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Old 10-07-05, 02:12 PM   #1
craigwoods
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Hit by a car in Philly yesterday.. someone help me!!

so i was riding on my way to class yesterday and this guy decided to speed up real fast and go the wrong way on a one way street.. he totally slammed right into me knocking me off my bike on top of his car and landed on my head on the ground...
i got lucky..nothing is broken, just a few scratches on my legs.(i went right to the hospital after it happened).. but my bike is totally ****ed.

the cops came and we got witnesses and everything. the guy basically admitted to being wrong.
we filled out a police report and everything... the cop told me that this guy was totally screwed if i take him to court... that i just have to get a lawyer.

so...does anyone in the Philly area know of any lawyers that deal with this sort of biking accident? i dont have very much money at all to afford anything, but this case is a definite win on my part.. this guy totally screwed up.
if anyone knows of anything at all (im basically clueless to this sort of thing), please feel free to let me know.. i would seriously appreciate it soo much! email me at CRAIGISWOODS@gmail.com or post here.

THANK YOU bike forums!
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Old 10-07-05, 03:15 PM   #2
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The yellow pages are full of lawyers... You don't really need one who specializes in cycling, any personal injury lawyer will bend over backwards for an easy case like this.

Go have a free consultation with a couple of them.

If you want to screw the guy and/or try to enter the judicial system lottery, then pick a snake that tells you how rich you can get (translated to he/she gets rich too).

If you just want to get your bike replaced and medical and legal bills paid, then pick a lawyer that leans toward a negotiated settlement.

It depends on your objective. As a fellow cyclist I hope you lean toward a negotiated settlement.
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Old 10-07-05, 06:52 PM   #3
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Did you go to your doctor to get checked out to ensure nothing is wrong?
When you get bounced around like that, it always good to make sure you're okay.
If you are covered by insurance of your own in any way, file the claim through them.
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Old 10-08-05, 07:18 AM   #4
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If the guy admits to being wrong, can't you try to settle it with him first? Tell him that you are going to court and you are going to win for sure, so why not skip that part and work out a reasonable settlement deal?
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Old 10-08-05, 10:01 AM   #5
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Did the guy have auto insurance? Did you get the policy number and a copy of the police report? Make copies of everything-- medical bills, the cost of replacing your bike, the police report, ect... and send them to the driver's insurance company with a letter asking for what's rightfully yours. You can have your LBS write up a bill for replacing your bike even. Most of the time the costs aren't much money, so the insurance company is happy to settle for a few thousand dollars.

If the guy didn't have auto insurance you're out of luck because he's likely a deadbeat and doesn't have any money or property you could sue for. You can't get blood from a turnip.
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Old 10-08-05, 10:11 AM   #6
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If there was a police report, the guy's insurance company is involved. If the insured negotiates directly with the cyclist, whether or not a police report was made out, he violates the terms of his insurance contract.

The insurance company adjuster has the insurance company lawyer involved behind the scenes. So the car driver has a lawyer. If anyone who has an accident like this really wants to negotiate on their own, without benefit of an attorney, go right ahead. The insurance company, from the adjusters to the attorneys, love people who do that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
If the guy admits to being wrong, can't you try to settle it with him first? Tell him that you are going to court and you are going to win for sure, so why not skip that part and work out a reasonable settlement deal?
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Old 10-10-05, 03:57 PM   #7
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still looking for a lawyer... i have a few meetings tomorrow.

thanks everyone for the words of wisdom!! much appreciated!

it sucks i have to take the stupid subway everywhere now..
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Old 10-10-05, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideabike
If there was a police report, the guy's insurance company is involved. If the insured negotiates directly with the cyclist, whether or not a police report was made out, he violates the terms of his insurance contract.

The insurance company adjuster has the insurance company lawyer involved behind the scenes. So the car driver has a lawyer. If anyone who has an accident like this really wants to negotiate on their own, without benefit of an attorney, go right ahead. The insurance company, from the adjusters to the attorneys, love people who do that.
I worry when people think they know what they're talking about, but are actually clueless. The police report has nothing to do with the insurance company being involved. If the insured settles with the claimant, what part of his policy has he violated?

The adjuster does not have a lawyer "Behind the scenes". The adjuster will handle the claim up to the point that it is settled and closed, unless a suit is filed. If that happens, it goes to house counsel. The adjuster basically turns his file over to the company attorney.

For a claim like this, the insurance company wants nothing more than to settle this as quickly as possible. The cost of defending it in court is more than the claim is worth in the first place. If the injured party in this case hasn't bothered to file a claim first, rather than getting an attorney, he's selling himself short. He can get his bike replaced faster, and have his medical bills paid by going straight to the insurance company and filing a claim. An attorney will only be concerned with enriching himself, the injured party will always be secondary.
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Old 10-10-05, 05:10 PM   #9
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Go to your local bike shop and many times there are cycling specific magazines that are from your area.. Attorneys who specialize in bike accidents advertise in those all the time..

We have 2 regional magazines, here in so california - Competitor and Race Place..
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Old 10-10-05, 05:20 PM   #10
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I used to do this for a living. I know what I'm talking about.

Read your policy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
I worry when people think they know what they're talking about, but are actually clueless. The police report has nothing to do with the insurance company being involved. If the insured settles with the claimant, what part of his policy has he violated?

The adjuster does not have a lawyer "Behind the scenes". The adjuster will handle the claim up to the point that it is settled and closed, unless a suit is filed. If that happens, it goes to house counsel. The adjuster basically turns his file over to the company attorney.

For a claim like this, the insurance company wants nothing more than to settle this as quickly as possible. The cost of defending it in court is more than the claim is worth in the first place. If the injured party in this case hasn't bothered to file a claim first, rather than getting an attorney, he's selling himself short. He can get his bike replaced faster, and have his medical bills paid by going straight to the insurance company and filing a claim. An attorney will only be concerned with enriching himself, the injured party will always be secondary.
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Old 10-10-05, 05:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideabike
I used to do this for a living. I know what I'm talking about.

Read your policy.
You used to do what? And what part of the policy language are you referring to?
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Old 10-10-05, 05:40 PM   #12
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It doesn't matter what I used to do. I'm just trying to prevent someone from getting screwed.

Policies vary. The language might be under several different sections. It might be under the part which requires the insured to cooperate with the insurer. It might be in the caselaw litigating the meaning of the cooperation clause or perhaps another clause.

Adujsters operate under some general authority for property damage. When they get any kind of a claim, they consult with their supervisor and set a "reserve." An attorney can make sure that the reserve is set high enough so that there are not problems later in the claim. For the adjusters, personal injurie claims get bumped up to the supervisors who consult with house counsel. The adjuster still handles the claim but with guidance from house counsel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
You used to do what? And what part of the policy language are you referring to?
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Old 10-10-05, 06:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideabike
It doesn't matter what I used to do. I'm just trying to prevent someone from getting screwed.

Policies vary. The language might be under several different sections. It might be under the part which requires the insured to cooperate with the insurer. It might be in the caselaw litigating the meaning of the cooperation clause or perhaps another clause.

Adujsters operate under some general authority for property damage. When they get any kind of a claim, they consult with their supervisor and set a "reserve." An attorney can make sure that the reserve is set high enough so that there are not problems later in the claim. For the adjusters, personal injurie claims get bumped up to the supervisors who consult with house counsel. The adjuster still handles the claim but with guidance from house counsel.
Whatever you did, it wasn't for an insurance company. There are policy limits. There is the actual property damage. The adjuster determines the value of the injury claim based on the medical reports and/or IME. If they determine the value of this loss to be $6k, the claimant can plan on at least 1/3 of that going to his attorney. The reserve is simply a figure that is set based on exposure. It's more for accounting purposes, tracking exposure, and draft authority than anything else. I've never had a problem with reserves set too low or high in 10 years of handling subrogation claims.
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Old 10-10-05, 08:44 PM   #14
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Right. You work for an insurance company. That's a surprise.

Quote:
I worry when people think they know what they're talking about, but are actually clueless.
I'm not clueless. Neither are you. You just choose to insult people who think that insurance companies might screw people, and choose to tell people reading this that insurance companies will look out for the interests of the insured.

Pass the crack pipe over my way. I want to share your vision.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
Whatever you did, it wasn't for an insurance company. There are policy limits. There is the actual property damage. The adjuster determines the value of the injury claim based on the medical reports and/or IME. If they determine the value of this loss to be $6k, the claimant can plan on at least 1/3 of that going to his attorney. The reserve is simply a figure that is set based on exposure. It's more for accounting purposes, tracking exposure, and draft authority than anything else. I've never had a problem with reserves set too low or high in 10 years of handling subrogation claims.
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Old 10-10-05, 09:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideabike
Right. You work for an insurance company. That's a surprise.

I'm not clueless. Neither are you. You just choose to insult people who think that insurance companies might screw people, and choose to tell people reading this that insurance companies will look out for the interests of the insured.

Pass the crack pipe over my way. I want to share your vision.
I don't work for an insurance company any more, but why would that matter? I did, and I know how they work. You were the one that said you used to "Do this for a living", but never stated what it is you did.

Insurance companies do look after their insured, that's their job. In the case of a bike vs car accident where the motorist is at fault, the insurance company will try to settle the claim as quickly and fairly as they reasonably can. A minor accident like this one would not cost much to settle. Having the cyclist hire a dirtbag attorney to pad a claim and then take it to court for a ridiculous amount is not in the best interest of the insurance company, as juries are more apt to be sympathetic to the cyclist. The idea of facing a bad faith suit from the insured is also something to consider. By not settling quickly and reasonably, they open their insured up to exposure beyond his policy limits. But whatever, I'm just some crack head.
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Old 10-10-05, 10:54 PM   #16
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Quit having a pissing party, craig asked a legit question, if you have info that is helpful give it to him..

Insurance companies do what they always do when there is a claim of this nature, try to pay as little as possible.. If you have a decent bike and are injured you should make sure that a lawyer has your back and your interests.. Look for one that specializes in injury claims.. It sounds like you have a legit claim.. If you have cuts - abrasions - bruises, take pictures of them right away.. This will help bolster your claim..

Good Luck..
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Old 10-10-05, 11:27 PM   #17
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Newsflash! Craig sent me a PM, and I gave him the advice he requested. What he chooses to do is ultimately personal choice. Hopefully he will be making an informed decision. I find it amusing that you suggest he seek a lawyer that specializes in injury claims, and that he take photos of his injuries. I suggested seeing his GP, who can note any injuries. From that, if he is really injured, he should seek a Physical Therapist that specializes in sports injuries. Any attorney that specializes in injury claims is more likely to set him up on a routine used for bolstering injury claims, not one to get him well faster. And since there's nothing in it for the attorney when it comes to getting his PD paid, he'll wait even longer to get a new bike.
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Old 10-10-05, 11:44 PM   #18
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In absence of negligence, what pain and suffering can he even get above actual damages. If the claim's not worth much, a lawyer won't bother with it anyway, so the situation may provide its own answer. There is no such thing as an easy case. If there's a police report that says the driver was at fault (especially a conviction, finding of responsibility), the insurance company won't waste their time litigating the thing. Lawyer's are dang expensive, even though big companies with in-house counsel don't worry about the cost of legal action until they have to farm out trials, etc. to outside counsel. If there is no insurance to speak of, all is not lost. A small claims judgement wouldn't cost you much out of pocket (just time), and would probably allow you to put liens on any real property he owns (home, land), and even garnish wages if his employer will play along.
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Old 10-11-05, 12:04 AM   #19
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Adam, your post was not too far off my advice to the injured party.

Cheers.
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Old 10-11-05, 06:58 AM   #20
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This guy says that they have done bicyle claims:
http://www.erikjensenlaw.com/Practic...onalInjury.asp

Now that it has been some time, have you noticed any aches or pains that where not obvious at the time of the accident? I would push this guy hard, (legallay), so that he might act more responsibly in the future. You might save another life.
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Old 10-11-05, 09:03 AM   #21
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Nothing to add about your case and all but some advice, don't post your email address like that unless you like spam. Try something like CRAIGISWOODS@*ILOVESPAM*gmail.com -- it's obvious what your "real" address is to a person not to spammers' automatic address harvesters.

GL with getting bike, self and life patched-up!
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Old 10-11-05, 09:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaAdam
In absence of negligence, what pain and suffering can he even get above actual damages.
Even though there might not be "pain and suffering", the driver was VERY negligent.
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Old 10-12-05, 05:15 PM   #23
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Great. A guy from philly sent a PM and got advice from an insurance guy in Australia.

I wonder if he looked at some of your past posts before he PM'd you:

Run over by 18 wheeler - now need legal help

Quote:
A lawyer is simply a lever used to pry money from insurance companies.
Good luck craigwoods.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
Newsflash! Craig sent me a PM, and I gave him the advice he requested. What he chooses to do is ultimately personal choice. Hopefully he will be making an informed decision. I find it amusing that you suggest he seek a lawyer that specializes in injury claims, and that he take photos of his injuries. I suggested seeing his GP, who can note any injuries. From that, if he is really injured, he should seek a Physical Therapist that specializes in sports injuries. Any attorney that specializes in injury claims is more likely to set him up on a routine used for bolstering injury claims, not one to get him well faster. And since there's nothing in it for the attorney when it comes to getting his PD paid, he'll wait even longer to get a new bike.
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Old 10-12-05, 05:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rideabike
Great. A guy from philly sent a PM and got advice from an insurance guy in Australia.
So what's the problem? You'll also notice that my advice is the same as what I posted in another thread.
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