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Old 10-06-06, 10:17 AM   #1
kernman
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Insurance agents or cyclists with claims...

Hi, I was involved in an accident about 2 ½ months ago. I was on my bike and was hit by an uninsured driver. I was pretty banged-up and made a trip to the ER. My trek triathlon bike was destroyed. Since the driver was not insured my uninsured driver clause in my auto insurance policy kicked in. I racked-up about $6000.00 in medical bills that my auto insurance has paid. I was not compensated for the loss of my bike because it does not cover property damage….so I need to call my insurance company because they want to settle my case. Has anyone gone through this procedure and have any advice? Everybody is telling me to hold out for a big settlement. I have very little permanent damage…my knee was lacerated and I had a severe bone bruise that will most likely become arthritic as I age. I broke a finger in my hand that is healing but will most likely become arthritic as I age.” I hold a scalpel blade in my other hand about 4 hours everyday and grasp things with my injured hand” I am a physicians assistant.


What can I realistically expect….what if I get a low-ball offer do I tell them no….what if they ask me what I am expecting for a settlement….any help or advise would be greatly appreciated……thanks.
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Old 10-06-06, 10:23 AM   #2
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You should probably talk to a lawyer.
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Old 10-06-06, 10:43 AM   #3
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Agreed. Speak to a good lawyer, that will be able to help you out. You can also file a civil suit against the defendant so that if they ever come into some money they will have to pay you for the bicycle.
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Old 10-06-06, 11:16 AM   #4
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Attorney time.
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Old 10-06-06, 11:16 AM   #5
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Yeah, talk to a lawyer. And civil court probably is the way to go. Put a lien on them and it'll show up on their credit report until they pay it off. A very good way to "shut them down" if they want to have anything resembling that looks like a normal life.

This is not advice.
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Old 10-06-06, 03:43 PM   #6
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If you get a nice fat payout from your own insurance policy, they will probably raise your future premiums to compensate. Therefore, I would definitely have used my employer-paid health insurance policy, instead of my personal auto insurance, to pay for my medical expenses.
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Old 10-06-06, 03:58 PM   #7
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Under your UM coverage, you can make a claim for personal injuries, pain and suffering, permanent injuries, scarring, etc.

What are the policy limits on your UM? If its low, say $10k or $25k, then you, without a lawyer, make a demand to your insurance company for the policy limits. They will likely pony up because it sounds like you suffered some significant injuries and if they don't pay legitimate claims, they could be looking at a bad faith claim from you.

If after you demand the policy limits, your insurance company doesn't pay you the policy limits, then get a lawyer, but remember he will take about 1/3 of the settlement.
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Old 10-06-06, 04:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
If you get a nice fat payout from your own insurance policy, they will probably raise your future premiums to compensate. Therefore, I would definitely have used my employer-paid health insurance policy, instead of my personal auto insurance, to pay for my medical expenses.

Not so fast. In many states, insurers can't raise your premiums unless you were at fault.
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Old 10-06-06, 04:08 PM   #9
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my limit is $300,000......
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Old 10-06-06, 07:04 PM   #10
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I was hit in an accident about the same time (mid-July), took a trip to the ER and had to replace my bike, too. My offender was insured, but I'm dealing with similar issues, though my injuries weren't as bad - worst is lingering tailbone pain.

What do you think is fair? In all reality, it's difficult to place a price on it scientifically. An attorney can help determine what may be "typical" and should be able to help work through computing some potential future cost projecting. I concur with San Reshno. Having the higher limit is beneficial but doesn't make your calculation easy. It's difficult to predict how "arthritic" it will be and what treatments may be needed as a result- thus hard to predict a cost. He's also right that in most states companies don't add a charge for a UM claim. Look to your homeowners/renters policy for your bike. It will fall under "damage by vehicle". You'll have the deductible to get past, but otherwise, it will be covered and should be for replacement cost, where the offender's auto policy would have only been required to pay the depreciated value.

If your insurance company has treated you well so far, have a frank discussion with the adjuster asking how they calculate potential future medical costs and pain and suffering (loss of enjoyment). You do need to consider if it will affect your future in your profession and potential lost/reduced future income that could result. You're not committing to anything, just having a discussion with them. You're their client, they should be reasonably open to you, as opposed to a 3rd party claimant.

If the offender is driving without insurance, his credit probably already stinks and has additional issues, a lien won't likely affect their desire to pay you much at all. If you belong to a professional organization, might they have some free 1 call legal advice to at least get some basic advice?
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Old 10-07-06, 11:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kernman
my limit is $300,000......
You are a very smart man to have high UM limits. You are a perfect example that high limits UM is indispensible if you bicycle.

Its not likely your insurance co will tender the policy limits in this case. the injuries you suffered are substantial, but the insurance company, acting in their self interest of course, will not value you damages at 300k right off the bat.

It looks like you should probably get an attorney. Your injuries, if documented properly by an attorney that knows what he is doing, could get you a very good settlement or jury award.
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Old 10-07-06, 09:02 PM   #12
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settling claims for bike accidents...

...if you live in southern CA I can refer you to good cycling attorneys.

I had to sue a driver who tried to leave the scene of the accident after turning left in front of me on a green light... I was knocked nearly unconscious so I had to depend on the bystanders to get info for me... it was not her truck and she lied about just about everything, including not giving any insurance info on the police report.

It would be well worth it to take an attorney with you to the settlement table. That should not cost very much because you have gotten thru most the the paperwork, it sounds like...

In any case do not go alone. And take your poor smashed bicycle with you. Remember that you are a cyclist and you can outsit ANY insurance person at that table.

Bring any photos.... your stack of paperwork --pay to get your medical records... bring all that stuff with you. The helmet that got crashed-out... they are lucky that you are still alive, right? Say, "JUST A FEW MORE INCHES...."

BTW, if you know of a good workers' comp attorney they could well-advise you on the lifelong consequences of you injuries and the effect on your future career, earning capabilities etc....

Nothing is more powerful than the truth. But it doesn't hurt to bring lots iof documentation, tattered clothes, your wrecked bike and helmet etc.. with you when you go to that table!
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Old 10-07-06, 09:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karmalaundry
Yeah, talk to a lawyer. And civil court probably is the way to go. Put a lien on them and it'll show up on their credit report until they pay it off. A very good way to "shut them down" if they want to have anything resembling that looks like a normal life.

This is not advice.
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if you live in NorCal or maybe somewhere else, i might be able to get some recommendations for you.
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