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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rahzel's Avatar
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    Need Help with the Bicycle Laws in Switzerland - Had an Accident

    I was riding my brother's mountain bike just east of Nyon with my dad. We were heading home when I got right hooked by a driver attempting to pass me on a very narrow road with an elevated median between the two lanes. I braked hard and went over the handlebars, busting up my knee (but not breaking any bones).

    We got the driver's information, and I am well-insured by my dad's insurance provider (he's being employed for a year at CERN labs in Geneve). I spent the afternoon in the ER and was discharged with a soft cast.

    All in all, not a huge deal.

    Now I've got to make sure that I'm not going to get stuck with the ER bill, since the accident was definitely the driver's fault. Since I speak little French, I haven't been able to get a grasp of how this sort of situation is handled in Switzerland. Can anyone help me here? What are the laws concerning bicycle/car accidents here? Is it pretty likely that there will be any complications for getting my medication and ER stay paid for?

    Any insight into biking in Switzerland would be appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Glad you are okay. Sorry to hear of the accident. Unfortunately I can be of no help. Can you find a lawyer there?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rahzel View Post
    We got the driver's information, and I am well-insured by my dad's insurance provider (he's being employed for a year at CERN labs in Geneve).
    Are we talking about medical insurance or car insurance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rahzel View Post
    Now I've got to make sure that I'm not going to get stuck with the ER bill, since the accident was definitely the driver's fault.
    Isn't the bill covered by your medical insurance?

    One approach is to talk to your insurance company. (Cheaper to start there before paying a lawer.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    You'll want good coverage if it turns out you have cartilage, ACL or other soft tissue damage in your knee. What's the prognosis?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rahzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Are we talking about medical insurance or car insurance?
    Medical insurance. Since I didn't hit his car or do any damage to his car all of the costs in this incident are associated with my medical bills.

    Isn't the bill covered by your medical insurance?
    It should be. My dad seemed to think that his/my insurance is very comprehensive, but the whole language barrier thing is making me a bit uneasy

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rahzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya View Post
    You'll want good coverage if it turns out you have cartilage, ACL or other soft tissue damage in your knee. What's the prognosis?
    To be honest, I'm not completely sure what the prognosis is. I have no broken bones or tears in my right knee. I can stand and walk relatively normally, but I can't lift any weight with my right leg, including the weight of the leg itself. I also cannot flex from the knee. I am going to see a doctor in the US when I return this weekend to get a second opinion (I was not completely satisfied with the treatment I received in Switzerland).

    The Swiss doctor did seem to think that I'd be able to walk normally again in about two weeks, so hopefully I'll be back on the bike shortly after that!

  7. #7
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    dude. Talk to the US Consulate if you need assistance sorting out that type of technicality. They'll have the 411 but won't do any of the legwork for you.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rahzel's Avatar
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    I went to a French orthapedist today, they confirmed that there is no fracture and that it's just a contusion of the knee. It should heal in a few weeks and I'll almost definitely be ready to ride when the warm weather returns to the Midwest

    Question--would it be too nerdy to ride with hard knee pads for at least the beginning of the season? The last thing I want to do is re-aggravate this injury before an event.

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rahzel View Post
    Question--would it be too nerdy to ride with hard knee pads for at least the beginning of the season? The last thing I want to do is re-aggravate this injury before an event.
    Not at all too nerdy, but would it be comfortable? Do you think you will crash again and hit the knee.
    Also even though the damage came from external blow, continuing to use the knee may aggravate it - or it could help it heal.

    Just as an aside, my brother who has lived in Switzerland (Zürich) for many years was right hooked by a motorist several years ago - with minor injury, but messed up bike. The driver jumped out of car checked on him, then she called to police to report she had hit him. She offered to take him to the hospital and cover all expenses. My bother assessed the damage to bike and later told her the actual repair cost. She paid immediately and later followed up to check if he was fully healed and if there were any additional expenses that had not been covered. My brother explained it to me that that when a cyclist is hit it is the motorist fault (not legally) and motorists will generally response accordingly.

    Al

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