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  1. #1
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    Hit by a Car-Any Advice?

    I was on the shoulder, the car turned left right in front of me. I only had a couple of seconds to react. I grabbed my brakes and when I looked up he was right in front of me looking straight ahead-he obviously wasn't even looking my direction and the police report confirms the same "He didn't even know I was there until he heard me hit his car". I hit his car about middle of passenger side. I called the police and had a report written while I was cleaning my many cuts at home. I went over to get a copy of the report the next day and was told it wouldn't be ready for 5 days. I picked it up today and called his insurance company. They are claiming that it is a "no-fault" state and that my automobile insurance should pay for any medical claims. I asked for their claim number and they said there isn't one.

    I took pictures of all my cuts and scrapes. Also, my bike is totaled, my helmet is cracked in three pieces, my sunglasses are wrecked, and my gloves have holes. I feel that his insurance should at the very least pay for my damaged property. Do you have any advice on how to achieve this without a prolonged/expensive court battle? Also, do you know of a good cycling attorney?
    Last edited by bikemore7; 09-11-08 at 01:11 AM.

  2. #2
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Your on a bike, your not required to carry insurance. The state no-fault laws likely require his insurance to pay all medical for cyclist or pedestrian injuries. When he is at fault, his insurance is on the hook for property damage, including the rental of a bike while yours is repaired or replaced. Don't let State Farm BS you.

  3. #3
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    What CB_HI said.

    You appear to have given State Farm the opportunity to play nice. Now screw them to the floor.
    LOL The End is Nigh (for 80% of middle class North Americans) - I sneer in their general direction.

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    Do you have any experience on how to achieve that, without sending a huge portion to an attorney?

    Thanks-I appreciate it!

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Tell State Farm striaght up that you want all your medical bills, property damage paid for and the longer it takes the higher the rental cost will be (that you want to be made whole). Tell them if they are not willing to cover those cost right off, that you will retain a lawyer and also be asking for pain and suffering as well, plus any other items the lawyer may have in mind.

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    Don't take this into your own hands!
    Glad you're ok!

    A very simular instance happened to me here in Southern NJ (another state with "NO-fault" insuarace policies). Even though the accident was the drivers "fault", my insurance covered my hospital bills and rehab.

    I recommend you get a good reliable Personal-Injury-Lawyer to help you navigate through the legal mess that is coming. I am not a lawyer and am just letting you know about this route because it worked for me and i hate to see other people facing simular issues heading in bad directions. I had 1+1/2 rears of rehab covered and in the end, lawyer took 30% of settlement.

    Were you riding in the correct-legal direction, with traffic? The age 85 lady who turned left in front of me stated "i had my signal on".......

    good luck and spin safe!

    tomg

  7. #7
    Senior Member ritepath's Avatar
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    Too bad this wasn't in WV, you my friend would have limitless earning potential. In West Virginia accidents like this are known as hitting the Lawsuit Lottery.

    1.5 million for pain and suffering, then a good disability lawyer would get you a government check.
    Harmony, Spirit, Way

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ritepath View Post
    Too bad this wasn't in WV, you my friend would have limitless earning potential. In West Virginia accidents like this are known as hitting the Lawsuit Lottery.

    1.5 million for pain and suffering, then a good disability lawyer would get you a government check.
    And that attitude contributes to the high cost of justice in this country - someone trying to jump on a gravy train just .

    If it were me, I'd contact my insurance agent if I had insurance, discuss it with him/her. It might be that your insurance company will cover your out of pocket costs immediately and subrogate against his insurance company to recover their outlay. If that arrangement applies to you, you can clean your end of this matter up right away and not have to worry about it any more. There will be no cost to you and no negative impact on your insurance history.

    If you aren't covered by your own insurance, then, I'd contact an attorney if you have significant loss or damage (sounds as though you do). I would personally steer clear of those types who want to coach you into play acting and send you to countless 'specialists' to build a claim. They are really more interested in lining their own pockets, not yours. Besides, it's not impossible for you to work your way into a position where you might be accused of fraud. I personally would rather go out and work for a living instead of pretending to suffer from made up ailments and psychological damage just so you can share in some part of an undeserved reward with a crooked attorney.

    Now, I don't accuse you of doing that. You sound as though you just want to be made whole, and you certainly deserve that. Getting rich off of such an accident is, IMO, not called for.

    Good luck to you.

    Caruso

    Caruso

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    I didn't say anything about "getting rich", I am not sure how that was derived from I think they should cover my damaged property. It makes me sick that a company that is obviously liable has the audacity to thumb their nose at their reponsibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemore7 View Post
    I didn't say anything about "getting rich", I am not sure how that was derived from I think they should cover my damaged property. It makes me sick that a company that is obviously liable has the audacity to thumb their nose at their reponsibility.
    Check your state laws before claiming the driver has any responsibility for hitting you. You were travelling on a shoulder. Are cyclists even allowed to travel on the shoulder in your state? What right-of-way do they have on the shoulder? I know it's very, very common practice for cyclists to (exclusively) use shoulders, but in many states, the laws governing shoulder use are vague at best. Before you go wasting too much time and possibly money with the insurance company, at least figure out if you have a leg to stand on.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Talk to a lawyer, not the insurance company. It's the only way to be sure you won't get cheated.

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    When you are making a left hand turn you are required by law to yield the right of way. You are supposed to actually look to see if there is a automobile, pedestrian, cyclist, wheelchair etc. coming from the other direction when they do not have a stop sign or stop light. This man did not do this. Therefore he broke the law and should be liable.

    Anyone know where I can get a referal? I would like to work with someone that has cycling experience.
    Last edited by bikemore7; 09-11-08 at 01:17 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemore7 View Post
    When you are making a left hand turn you are required by law to yield the right of way. You are supposed to actually look to see if there is a automobile, pedestrian, cyclist, wheelchair etc. coming from the other direction when they do not have a stop sign or stop light. This 70+ year old man did not do this. Therefore he broke the law and should be liable.
    I'm assuming this response is directed at my post.

    You are again making the assumption that you, while travelling on the shoulder, had the right of way through that intersection. You could be wrong depending on the laws in your state.

    If you were on the roadway or in a crosswalk (crosswalks do not need to be marked FYI), then you would have had the right of way over a left turner in any state. But you were in neither of those places.

  14. #14
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    Check your state laws before claiming the driver has any responsibility for hitting you. You were travelling on a shoulder. Are cyclists even allowed to travel on the shoulder in your state? What right-of-way do they have on the shoulder? I know it's very, very common practice for cyclists to (exclusively) use shoulders, but in many states, the laws governing shoulder use are vague at best. Before you go wasting too much time and possibly money with the insurance company, at least figure out if you have a leg to stand on.
    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/...es/?id=169.222

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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    Thanks for posting. I read through and while the laws do state that a cyclist can operate on the shoulder, the laws didn't address the right of way issue when a cyclist is operating on the shoulder. They only stated that cyclists have the same right as any other driver while operating on the shoulder.

  16. #16
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Minn. Stat. 169.21 Pedestrian.

    (d) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section every driver of a vehicle shall (1) exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicycle or pedestrian upon any roadway . . .


    It is incumbent upon the driver of the vehicle to proceed with caution when making a turn. Bicyclists are required to use hand signals in Minnesota. If our OP was proceeding straight through an intersection, he indicated that by not using a signal.

    At any rate, the driver is apparently at fault.

    Additionally, I would question the statement by Allstate that the OP's auto insurance would take care of the bills. If the OP was car free, he would not have auto insurance.

    East Hill
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    Minn. Stat. 169.21 Pedestrian.

    (d) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section every driver of a vehicle shall (1) exercise due care to avoid colliding with any bicycle or pedestrian upon any roadway . . .
    Subd. 31. Roadway. "Roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk or shoulder. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term "roadway" as used herein shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.

    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/...er#stat.169.01

    I realize that it may seem to some that I'm nitpicking. I'm merely trying to prepare the OP for what he might come up against if he tries to put the fault solely on the other driver.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    www.cyclingattorney.com Gary Brustin. I have know him for past 20 years. Check his web site. While he is licensed to practice only in California he has contacts all over the country. And only does bicycle law. As well as being a biggie in the League of American Cyclists.
    This space open

  19. #19
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    Subd. 31. Roadway. "Roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk or shoulder. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term "roadway" as used herein shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively.

    https://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/...er#stat.169.01

    I realize that it may seem to some that I'm nitpicking. I'm merely trying to prepare the OP for what he might come up against if he tries to put the fault solely on the other driver.

    The law in Minnesota specifically mentions cyclists riding on the roadway or shoulder. I doubt that the lawmakers in Minnesota intended for motor vehicle drivers to have a loophole which would give said drivers immunity from prosecution simply because a cyclist was on the shoulder of a road, rather than the legally defined roadway.

    Nevertheless, I could very well be wrong in my interpretation.

    East Hill
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  20. #20
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    The law in Minnesota specifically mentions cyclists riding on the roadway or shoulder. I doubt that the lawmakers in Minnesota intended for motor vehicle drivers to have a loophole which would give said drivers immunity from prosecution simply because a cyclist was on the shoulder of a road, rather than the legally defined roadway.

    Nevertheless, I could very well be wrong in my interpretation.

    East Hill
    Although you are likely right about legislative intent, it does not always count in the courtroom.

    joejack951's point is a good one, that either in court or with the insurance adjuster, the OP should be prepared for this type of BS to be thrown at him. The better prepared he is to fight back, the better the results will be for him.

    Don't stop at just reading the law, also read the history. The history of the law and case law may be helpful to the OP. There are links on the law page for the history but none for case law. Hopefully there is an easy summary of case law for the state, otherwise law libraries and online lawyer pay sites could be the only source.

    The advantage the OP has is that the insurance adjuster likely knows little about bicycles and has even more to learn than the OP. And that time learning will likely not be worth the time vs just paying the OPs claim in full.

    OP, also realize the insurance adjuster will paly hard ball for awhile, but there is a point in time that they simply need to clear the case. At that point they normally just pay up. There is another insurance thread in BF that showed that effect.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
    The law in Minnesota specifically mentions cyclists riding on the roadway or shoulder. I doubt that the lawmakers in Minnesota intended for motor vehicle drivers to have a loophole which would give said drivers immunity from prosecution simply because a cyclist was on the shoulder of a road, rather than the legally defined roadway.

    Nevertheless, I could very well be wrong in my interpretation.

    East Hill
    I doubt that was the intention either. What is clear is how ambiguous right of way is when operating on the shoulder. Any mention of rights always seems to include that word "roadway" which as I pointed out, excludes the shoulder.

    The defendant might be able to easily wiggle their way out of any responsibility by arguing that the OP should have yielded to him because the OP was operating on the shoulder and thus did not have any right of way. The law does not appear to ever state explicitly what special rights cyclists have while operating on the shoulder. All other drivers are excluded from operating on the shoulder so having the rights of a driver doesn't mean a thing once you leave the roadway.

  22. #22
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    Again, I am not a lawyer and the only tie i have with the below listed is that they were able to assist me through legal b/s to get financial re-pay post trashed bicycle (i was driving-VB) vs motorist.

    i believe her (age 85, buick) ticket was for "not yeilding to a pedestrian", but whatever...

    lawyers know how to "Play" the system. that's why they get payed. sad, but true!

    through personal referal, i went with Perskie, Wallach, Fendt, & Holtz - "the injury lawyers". they may be able to help you. (t/c 609-645-2111). this is just a suggestion, i am just a bicyclist who has been in a a simular situation. they may be able to make referrals for you to decide!

    good luck!

    tomg

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
    I doubt that was the intention either. What is clear is how ambiguous right of way is when operating on the shoulder. Any mention of rights always seems to include that word "roadway" which as I pointed out, excludes the shoulder.

    The defendant might be able to easily wiggle their way out of any responsibility by arguing that the OP should have yielded to him because the OP was operating on the shoulder and thus did not have any right of way. The law does not appear to ever state explicitly what special rights cyclists have while operating on the shoulder. All other drivers are excluded from operating on the shoulder so having the rights of a driver doesn't mean a thing once you leave the roadway.
    First, I want to thank you very much East Hill for taking the time to point me in the right direction, I really appreciate it. I think the below subdivision clearly addresses the roadway/shoulder issue.

    Subd. 2. Left turn. The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection
    or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching
    from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute
    an immediate hazard.


    Looks pretty black and white to me.

    I want to sincerely thank you East Hill, CB HI, JoeJack, Ken, and Tom. Thank you also for taking the time to read through the laws-I REALLY appreciate it! Thanks!
    Last edited by bikemore7; 09-07-08 at 08:48 PM.

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    Tom,

    Did your case end up in court, or did they settle prior to getting that far? Were you able to replace your bike with something equivalent, or did the "injury lawyers" take a large portion of the replacement cost? Did you get anything for pain and suffering or anything outside of the poperty damage? Also, was your insurance company involved at all?

    Thanks again!

  25. #25
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemore7 View Post
    I was on the shoulder going east and the Lincoln Town Car was westbound and turned left (South) right in front of me. I only had a couple of seconds to react. I grabbed my brakes and when I looked up he was right in front of me looking straight ahead-he obviously wasn't even looking my direction and the police report confirms the same "He didn't even know I was there until he heard me hit his car". I hit his car about middle of passenger side. I had two witnesses, one knows him, and the other one knows of him. I called the police and had a report written while I was cleaning my many cuts at home. I went over to get a copy of the report the next day and was told it wouldn't be ready for 5 days. I picked it up today and called his insurance company. They (State Farm) are claiming that Minnesota is a no fault state and that my automobile insurance should pay for any medical claims. I asked for their claim number and they said there isn't one.

    I took pictures of all my cuts and scrapes. Also, my bike is totaled, my helmet is cracked in three pieces, my sunglasses are wrecked, and my gloves have holes. I feel that his insurance should at the very least pay for my damaged property. Do you have any advice on how to achieve this without a prolonged/expensive court battle? Also, do you know of a good cycling attorney in the Minneapolis area?
    Double check the 'no-fault' claim. I lived in Duluth(MN) Nov.'02-Jan.'07 and, I never heard that claim.

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