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Old 09-01-05, 03:44 PM   #1
lux
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Need Advice

This happened August 23rd. I'm attempting to talk to a lawyer, but I'd like some law advice about what to do. The police still haven't contacted me and I'm frustrated.

I was biking up Broadway just north of Irving park, closer to the Jewel near
the bus stop.

I was riding at an appropriate distance from the cars so as not to get
doored.

A car begins to lay down on their horn. I continue on, not moving
over because there was no need to.

I look to see their side window against me, which catches me off gaurd
and causes me to lean into the car as I lose my balance. As the car
passes, I lose my balance and fall on my left side into the street.

The car behind me stopped and asked if I was okay. The car who hit me
continued on and didn't bother to stop. Two pedestrians asked if I
was alright.

The car was either dark blue or dark green, 2 or 4 door. The car who
stopped to see if I was alright went after the woman and got her
license plate number.

When he returned to see if I was okay, he said that she asked "did you
see her run into my mirror?" and said she had an attitude and thought
I was at fault.

I got his name and phone number and he said he'd definitely be fine
with being a witness if I decided to press charges. Which I am going
to do.

The police told me that if I wanted to do anything I should get a
lawyer, since I wasn't severely injured. They didn't seem too
interested in even filing the report.

I provided the witnesses phone number and name to them, as well as the
woman's license plate number who hit me.

I never saw the driver of the vehicle because she took off, and I
never really even saw her when she hit me because she came up beside
me. The guy who witnessed it did see her and confronted her at a stop
light while he got her plate number.


Thanks
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Old 09-01-05, 03:51 PM   #2
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Your police suck. Years ago someone rear ended me and drove away. I called and police had a guy out there in minutes. At least in California hit and run is a serious thing, even if the original accident would have been thought of as nothing.

If you want to take this farther I would suggest calling the witness you have and asking how they feel about it. After all they are an innocent party and could end up spending time in court if you do go forward. If they are supportive then go forward. If not you may want to either drop it.
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Old 09-01-05, 07:39 PM   #3
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If the police won't do anything, you are screwed. Dr. RedNeckLove or How to fight back without really dying
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Old 09-02-05, 06:15 AM   #4
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Get a lawyer ASAP. Said lawyer can then deal with the cops. If they are not taking you seriously, play hardball right back at them. "Not seriously injured" my arse! What if some dude fired shots at a cop and missed? The cop is "not seriously injured", right? but they'd get medieval on the guy.
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Old 09-02-05, 05:25 PM   #5
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I've said it once and I'll say it again. I HATE COPS! Yes, I know there are a few that are competent but I sure haven't met any. Money buys the system, so get a lawyer and then see how they treat you.
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Old 09-02-05, 05:47 PM   #6
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If you have no injuries or damages for which you can be compensated, a lawyer very likely isn't going to be able to help you, or even interested in trying. Oh, you can hire one, and try, but it'll cost you a lot of money and probably not be worth the trouble in the end.

On the other hand, if you have injuries and other demonstrable damages and want to go after the person's insurance for compensation, a personal injury lawyer will usually represent you on a contingency basis and can be very helpful. (It is generally true--in California at least--that personal injury settlements negotiated using attorneys tend to be substantially higher. Sucks, but it's true.)

If you are going to go this route, get to a doctor and get your injuries treated, documented and photographed immediately (you can do this yourself, use real film, not digital). You will need this stuff later. It is really hard to make a convincing case for compensable injuries if you don't bother to get treatment.

But, on the other hand (have I run out of hands yet?) if all you have is a little road rash, you might decide it isn't going to be worth the hassle. In that case, you might just want to continue to get some action from the police to at least try to get the person cited. (I have seen cases take months, even years to resolve--of course this depends on the facts and the evidence and lots of intangible factors, every case is different.)

I am NOT a lawyer, so this is NOT legal advice, just some things to consider. I was a paralegal for fifteen years for a personal injury attorney, worked on quite a few bicycle/auto cases. And some of this will vary from state to state, too, depending on different laws.

Last edited by primaryreality; 09-02-05 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 09-02-05, 06:29 PM   #7
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primaryreality - I think we all agree (except for the cops) that the point of getting a lawyer here is not to pursue civil damages, but to get some guidance on how to get some action out of the police and/or DA on the criminal matter of hit-and-run.
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Old 09-02-05, 06:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
primaryreality - I think we all agree (except for the cops) that the point of getting a lawyer here is not to pursue civil damages, but to get some guidance on how to get some action out of the police and/or DA on the criminal matter of hit-and-run.
Yeah, I got that, I'm just skeptical about whether a lawyer can or will be much help with that aspect of it. But I could certainly be wrong about that, and for the OP's sake, I hope I am. I wish him good luck with a satisfactory result, truly.
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Old 09-03-05, 11:11 AM   #9
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I'd just like to get the woman in trouble. Cited. Something. She could pay for the bike repair too. I just want someone to recognize that it's not okay to leave a scene after she made me fall into traffic.

Oh, if only people would apologize for their idiocy.

Thanks everyone for your advice.
thea
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Old 09-03-05, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lux
I'd just like to get the woman in trouble. Cited. Something. She could pay for the bike repair too. I just want someone to recognize that it's not okay to leave a scene after she made me fall into traffic.

Oh, if only people would apologize for their idiocy.
The law is spectactularly unsuited for that purpose. Compensating economic loss is its strong suit, and even that is a hit-or-miss proposition.
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Old 09-07-05, 08:53 PM   #11
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Next time just seize out for a few minutes then "pass out".
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