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Old 11-11-07, 02:36 PM   #1
Capt. Z
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What to do after an accident?

Hi;

I went out yesterday for my regular 25 - 30 mile ride on Saturday. About half way through i got 'nailed' by a car.

As I approached the intersection I watched the driver looking for uncoming traffic in front of him, and to the left, but he never looked to the right, where I was coming. I know this because I did watch his face while approaching the intersection.

Well, I was going about 17 mph as he started pulling across the intersection. I did try to break, but I made conact with the car in less than a second, hitting his front fender and being dragged about 10 or 15 feet away from my bike.

i layed about 5 minutes in the road, due to the pain. But shortly after the pain got less, the Sherrif and the ambulance came. By the time they arrived I was able to stand up again and walk. The medics checked me out in the ambulance, but could only find some bruising on my shoulder, elbow and buttock. I declined going to the hospital, since I did not see any need for that.

After the sherrif and the ambulance left I proceded with my ride, since the pain had gone to a minimum.

On the way home I drove by at our bike shop to have the bike checked out. The owner said that the front wheel got damaged, so did the front shifter and maybe the left pedal. There is also some road rash on the bike, but since the bike is about 20 years old he said he could not tell the insurance that the road rash came from the acciden for sure.

He said mostlikely the wheel needs to be replace, which could be about $ 150, plus a new tire and tube, a new shifter and maybe a new pedal. He also mentioned that repqinting the bike could easily around $ 400.

The sheriff told me that the insurance of the car driver will conact me in the next couple of days.

I did take some pictures of the damage on the bike and the bruses on my body.

Question is: what do I need to do next? Should I wait untill the insurance conatcts me, or should I try to contact the insurance?
What kind of rights do I have?
What kind of 'settlement' from the insurance can I expact?
Would insurance pay for the pain I am experienceing now and in the next couple of days and the limited usage of the left side of my body (where I got hit)?

Thanks for your input and sharing of your experience.
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Old 11-11-07, 03:03 PM   #2
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Go to the doctor right now and get everything documented as far as your injuries go. Any insurance you have that would pay for your bike should be notified also. My auto insurance takes care of my car and then goes after the other company.
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Old 11-11-07, 03:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Capt. Z View Post
Hi;

I went out yesterday for my regular 25 - 30 mile ride on Saturday. About half way through i got 'nailed' by a car.

As I approached the intersection I watched the driver looking for uncoming traffic in front of him, and to the left, but he never looked to the right, where I was coming. I know this because I did watch his face while approaching the intersection.

Well, I was going about 17 mph as he started pulling across the intersection. I did try to break, but I made conact with the car in less than a second, hitting his front fender and being dragged about 10 or 15 feet away from my bike.

i layed about 5 minutes in the road, due to the pain. But shortly after the pain got less, the Sherrif and the ambulance came. By the time they arrived I was able to stand up again and walk. The medics checked me out in the ambulance, but could only find some bruising on my shoulder, elbow and buttock. I declined going to the hospital, since I did not see any need for that.

After the sherrif and the ambulance left I proceded with my ride, since the pain had gone to a minimum.

On the way home I drove by at our bike shop to have the bike checked out. The owner said that the front wheel got damaged, so did the front shifter and maybe the left pedal. There is also some road rash on the bike, but since the bike is about 20 years old he said he could not tell the insurance that the road rash came from the acciden for sure.

He said mostlikely the wheel needs to be replace, which could be about $ 150, plus a new tire and tube, a new shifter and maybe a new pedal. He also mentioned that repqinting the bike could easily around $ 400.

The sheriff told me that the insurance of the car driver will conact me in the next couple of days.

I did take some pictures of the damage on the bike and the bruses on my body.

Question is: what do I need to do next? Should I wait untill the insurance conatcts me, or should I try to contact the insurance?
What kind of rights do I have?
What kind of 'settlement' from the insurance can I expact?
Would insurance pay for the pain I am experienceing now and in the next couple of days and the limited usage of the left side of my body (where I got hit)?

Thanks for your input and sharing of your experience.
Captain-

#1 Sorry for your crash and I hope you heal well and are back on the bike (a new bike?) in no time.

#2 When posting in BF, especially in the A & S Forum, expect some posters to have comments on what happened prior to the crash and look for fault- some of them may even find fault in your failure to avoid the collision. Don't let them add insult to injury unless you feel you need advice from people who were neither at the scene nor professional accident investigators.

#3 I've highlighted a couple of things that happened after the accident that you might have done differently.

A) If an ambulance was called and you had even the slightest doubt of more extensive injury it's always better to get checked out. Do you have some kind of health insurance? Often andrenaline kicks in after a crash and you won't feel the pain until several hours or even days after the crash. Spinal, neck and head injuries in particular can be difficult to self-diagnose.

B) If you are still experiencing pain and the "limited use" of the left side of your body- why not get checked out by a medical professional asap. Their diagnosis will be taken far more seriously by an insurance company than your self-diagnosis and refusal of treatment.

C) I am neither a lawyer, doctor nor insurance specialist but I would not wait for the insurance company to contact me. I would contact them immediately and have a notebook, pen and a manila envelope or file folder ready to take notes- like case numbers, names of agents, phone numbers, e-mails etc. and to store receipts for costs, estimates, accident reports and hard copies of forms- good for you for getting photos- make sure they are well lit, in focus and show details- they are useless otherwise.

D) Regarding rights: A little on-line research for your particular state and/or contacting a local bike advocacy organization for information on bike accidents and rights might be in order. You might consider consulting an attorney if you suspect long term injury or find the insurance company difficult to negotiate with personally.

E) How much of a settlement? From what I know (limited) this can vary- so, neither get your hopes up nor settle for less than you feel you honestly deserve. But I would think you at least want the cost of the bike repairs/replacement covered and any medical costs.
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Old 11-11-07, 04:19 PM   #4
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As a lawyer, I don't like to give advice on the internet but I will give you this friendly warning, be careful what you post on the internet. You gave a detailed description of the accident, the actions you took, what you observed, etc.

If this ever goes to litigation, a good attorney can find your posts and the posts then become "prior statements" which he can use to impeach you. In other words, if you say anything different at trial from what you wrote in your posts, the attorney will shove your posts you know where.
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Old 11-11-07, 04:54 PM   #5
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Hi buzzman. Thanks for your insight and kind words.
I did not go to the hospital or doctor, since I used to be a registered Nurse in Germany 20 years ago and therefore knew, that they could really provide no further treatment - I guess they only could have given me a professional statement of my injury. But the discomfort I feel is only due to the brusing and should be ok in a few days.

Thanks also to San Rensho for the legal backround info. I do not want to take any legal actions, and if anyone would find this info on the web, it would be the same I would state over and over again, since that is exactly what happened.

I guess I will try to find out what insurance the driver has and try contacting the insurance company. I also will write me own accident report and save it on a memory stick together with some photos for the insurance guys and than go from there.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:20 PM   #6
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if you've got automobile insurance, get your own insurance company involved, otherwise consider hiring a lawyer if your injuries or damage to the bike are extensive, don't go up against a motorists insurance company alone, there's a good chance they will just deny everything and you will be screwed.

I'd also be cautious about downplaying the severity of your injuries, some soft tissue damage takes a while to fully manifest itself.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:26 PM   #7
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Since I only drive company vehicles I do not have any private car insurance, but I could check with our legal department at the corp. office.
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Old 11-12-07, 10:07 AM   #8
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Captain-
#2 When posting in BF, especially in the A & S Forum, expect some posters to have comments on what happened prior to the crash and look for fault- some of them may even find fault in your failure to avoid the collision. Don't let them add insult to injury unless you feel you need advice from people who were neither at the scene nor professional accident investigators.

Best advice for a new poster I've ever seen. But really, maybe if he was wearing day-glo face paint and singing showtunes as he approached the intersection, the inattentive motorist wouldn't have T-boned him.

On a serious note, I second the 'soft tissue injury' advice - after a crash a few months ago, it wasn't until I got home that I realized I couldn't lift my right arm above my waist.
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Old 11-12-07, 09:29 PM   #9
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play dead until the paramedics get there and "revive" you...it might make motorists think twice about driving stupidly again
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Old 11-13-07, 08:57 AM   #10
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I like that shirt. Do they have that on the back and/or of a biking jacket?
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Old 11-13-07, 11:09 AM   #11
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Hopefully your experience with the car insurance company of the person that hit you will be as painless as mine.

I live in NY state, and there are some things here that my not apply to other states. In NY state there is is a no-fault clause for payment for any car that hits a pedestrian or cyclists. This means that when I was hit the driver's insurance company was responsible for all my expenses. This also means that even though I have health insurance, the carrier will NOT cover any of my medical expenses because an accident was involved. I did get a call from the driver's agent and he was kind enough to explain how things work in NY state and gave me information on how to get my medial bills sent straight to the insurance agency so I never had to front any money. I was then also sent a bunch of standard paperwork from the state that clearly spelled out what I have entitled to. Since I had not broken bones, and I was not layed up for any significant time I was not considered a serious accident by NY state and therefore I was allowed only compensation for physical looses, all medical costs, and 80% of lost wages (no pain and suffering costs are allowed). That was fine since all I wanted was my bike and other damaged items to be replaced. Withing 2.5 weeks I had a check for about $1000 to cover all my losses, a few weeks later I got the money from the few hours of lost wages due to ER visit, and I never saw any of my medical bills.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 11-13-07, 12:54 PM   #12
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Call the the guy who hit you, if he has any kind of a brain he will figure out that it would be cheaper to fix your bike for you then to let a claim hit his insurance company. Get your bike shop to give you a written quote and see if maybe the two of you can work it out. Fixing what appears to be less than $1,000 worth of damage is going to be cheaper in the long run then letting your insurance company pay and ding you for it later.

Also, get a new brain bucket. It might be in good shape, but why risk it after doing battle with a car once.

-Nate
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Old 11-13-07, 01:08 PM   #13
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Since Serge is apparently suffering from inattentive blindness and hasn't castigated you in this thread, allow me to offer the following summary of his "profound" comments, in the form of a BF tee shirt (from the tee shirt thread below):

who should have been further left...the car or the rider?
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Old 11-13-07, 03:26 PM   #14
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Don't contact the guy directly...you need to go through his insurance company and it's probably a state requirement to do so.

Take photos of your bike and your injuries. Take more photos of your injuries as they heal, to document the amount of time involved.

You may want to deal yourself with the other guy's insurance company, but if they start ******** with you, lawyer up.

Besides the bike and your injuries, you should receive a settlement check for "pain and suffering". Don't be surprised if it's for a shockingly large amount of money (perhaps several thousand dollars, if not more).

FWIW, I speak from personal experience.
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Old 11-13-07, 07:54 PM   #15
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Don't contact the guy directly...you need to go through his insurance company and it's probably a state requirement to do so.
A state requirement? I find it hard to believe that a state law would force you to handle all claims through an insurance company. My truck has been hit twice (minimal damage) and both times the person offered to pay for the repairs out of pocket. Both times I went to the dealer, got a quote, had them fax a copy over to the guy who hit me, and got my truck fixed. Lots of people would rather pay for damage resulting in small amounts then have their rates go up. Both times I was hit, my truck was fixed quicker then it would have been if I would have waited for the insurance company.

-Nate
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