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Old 11-08-08, 08:36 AM   #1
scotharr
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Hit by car, advice appreciated

Yesterday I was t-boned by a car while commuting to work in SF. I was starting up from a green light, looked to my right as the opposing traffic came to a stop, proceeded through the intersection and was completely surprised by a vehicle blowing through it. It was just a flash and I went flying.
To make a long story short, I've got witnesses (even got a card from a SF Bike Coalition advocate as I was laying there), the police report, card of the driver, etc. I was taken by ambulance to the ER and spent most of my day there. No broken bones but probably fractured ribs and the accompanying pain. My bike is stored away at the hospital until I can pick it up, so I haven't assessed the possible damage.
It could have been much worse of course, but I will have pain for some time and expect to be off my bike for quite a while. I'll most likely have to drive to work during recuperation, incurring all the expenses involved in that (gas, very $$ parking). Any advice or thoughts of how to proceed from here?
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Old 11-08-08, 09:16 AM   #2
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Call the advocacy group and ask them to hook you up with a lawyer who handles car v. bike claims
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Old 11-08-08, 09:27 AM   #3
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Follow the lawyers advice and stop posting comments about it on public forums until it is resolved. Then give us a full report (with pictures!).
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Old 11-08-08, 10:51 AM   #4
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I have to agree with what the posts above me have said. Get the best lawyer possible and go after the cager with no mercy.
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Old 11-08-08, 11:14 AM   #5
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Use a lawyer that the advocacy group recommends. Get one who's solid in this area of the law. Stop posting until it's done. Get well soon.
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Old 11-08-08, 02:00 PM   #6
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Cracked ribs and broken bones!

Good advice above; now ask a MOD to delete this thread.

Then you can tell us all about it after the settlement.
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Old 11-08-08, 03:05 PM   #7
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Those of you who suggest that what the poster has made public to this point could somehow harm him in litigation, please tell me how. The man said a careless driver broke the law and ran over him. How does that compromise his case?
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Old 11-08-08, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotharr View Post
(I) was completely surprised by a vehicle blowing through it. It was just a flash and I went flying.
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Those of you who suggest that what the poster has made public to this point could somehow harm him in litigation, please tell me how. The man said a careless driver broke the law and ran over him. How does that compromise his case?
Driver lawyer to scotharr - So Mr. scotharr, you were not paying attention to traffic on the day of this unfortunate accident. If you had been paying attention, then you would not have caused such damage to my clients car. And you stated "No broken bones", so you suffered no real injuries.

Never seen lawyers at work, have you. It is sometimes a contest of who can tell the biggest lies and who can misrepresent the facts to the greatest extent.
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Old 11-08-08, 04:36 PM   #9
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Driver lawyer to scotharr - So Mr. scotharr, you were not paying attention to traffic on the day of this unfortunate accident. If you had been paying attention, then you would not have caused such damage to my clients car. And you stated "No broken bones", so you suffered no real injuries.

Never seen lawyers at work, have you. It is sometimes a contest of who can tell the biggest lies and who can misrepresent the facts to the greatest extent.
My girlfriend is a lawyer, so I know my way around a lawyer pretty good.

Counselor if you are going to drag into question comments I made on an internet forum, do you mind not misquoting me? I said I was surprised. I didn't say I wasn't paying attention. In fact if you had taken time to read the internet post closely, you'd see that I said I looked to my right and saw cars coming to a stop. It was your client who couldn't be bothered to comply with the traffic signal. In that same post I mentioned that I probably had some fractured ribs and would have to incur extra expense in driving a car to work.

Attorneys who are on the defensive will try to cloud facts, that's their job. The synopsis the OP provided here gives opposing counsel absolutely zero ammunition that they couldn't come up with during discovery.
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Old 11-08-08, 06:27 PM   #10
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The bedroom does not count!
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Old 11-08-08, 08:03 PM   #11
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Call the advocacy group and ask them to hook you up with a lawyer who handles car v. bike claims
Excellent advice well worth repeating. Until you have counsel, make no further statements.
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Old 11-08-08, 08:38 PM   #12
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Get a competent lawyer. Ask lots of questions regarding your future to your doctor. Don't answer any questions from the driver's insurance company until talking to your lawyer.
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Old 11-08-08, 08:44 PM   #13
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don't answer any questions from the driver's insurance company until talking to your lawyer.
+1!
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Old 11-09-08, 07:57 AM   #14
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I suggest getting copies of all medical records as quickly as possible. Start a "crash book" documenting all the added expenses with receipts. Logical sections. We use a 3 ring binder to compile everything. You can even keep a journal documenting pain, troubles, recovery progress.

On property damage, photograph the bike, find the original receipt if you can. Get written repair and replacement estimates from a reputable shop. Be sure to account for your clothes. My wife had new Sidis sliced open and got paid for them.

Generally the property damage and straight medical aren't a problem, but the additional pain and suffering will get low-balled. Your medical insurance provider will have a subrogation clause, but don't tell them ahead of time another party is responsible. They tend to fail to give all the negotiated discounts you're normally getting when they think they'll have an insurance company paying. They go to full freight. Wait for your medical provider to ask you about another party being responsible.

Otherwise, be patient. Presuming the other party is located, you'll send a demand, they'll dink around with letters for a while. Then push will come to shove, you'll file a complaint. The answer will include the first set of interrogatories focusing on documenting the damages. Your crash book really helps on this. If you've got everything lined up, you might be able to settle then. Sometimes you'll go through depositions, medical exams, etc. Just keep lots of organized notes.
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Old 11-09-08, 08:38 AM   #15
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The bedroom does not count!
why not?.... either way someone's gettin' screwed
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Old 11-09-08, 09:28 AM   #16
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Driver lawyer to scotharr - So Mr. scotharr, you were not paying attention to traffic on the day of this unfortunate accident. If you had been paying attention, then you would not have caused such damage to my clients car. And you stated "No broken bones", so you suffered no real injuries.

Never seen lawyers at work, have you. It is sometimes a contest of who can tell the biggest lies and who can misrepresent the facts to the greatest extent.
That is only if this goes to court. I had more serious injuries caused by a more boneheaded driver. The whole thing came down to damages and the amount of compensation for pain & suffering and long term ill effects. It was handled by negotiators.

In a situation of this size, the defendant's attorneys would be nuts to go to court unless the plantiff makes exorbitant demands. Paying off the reasonable damages suffered will cost far less than just the cost of going to court.
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Old 11-09-08, 01:51 PM   #17
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Call the advocacy group and ask them to hook you up with a lawyer who handles car v. bike claims
Agreed! Glad you're o.k.
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Old 11-09-08, 01:57 PM   #18
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That is only if this goes to court.
What guarantee does the OP have that this will not go to trial at this point?
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Old 11-09-08, 04:09 PM   #19
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Very very few cases go to trial. Trials are a pain in the rear. And a wild card. Uncertainty is not pleasurable.
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Old 11-09-08, 08:55 PM   #20
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Not much of a guarantee!
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Old 11-09-08, 10:23 PM   #21
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Thanks to all of you folks that took the time to consider this. I will do the documentation advised and contact a lawyer tomorrow. Thank goodness for vicodin, fractured ribs are quite painful.
Safe and healthy riding to you all!
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