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Old 11-29-11, 04:20 PM   #1
PLUChris
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Hit by uninsured driver

Hope this is the right place to post this, if not - sorry!

I was hit by a car a couple of weeks back on my commute home - broad daylight, riding along and a car taking a left turn ran right into me, sending me over the bonnet and into a heap on the ground. Lots of witnesses, one or more of whom called the emergency services and I was dealt with by an ambulance crew and taken to the ER. No serious injury and, thankfully, no loss of consciousness. Helmet did it's job (including breaking the windshield of the offending car!).

Police came to visit me while I was still in the ER awaiting a CT scan and told me that the driver was uninsured and undocumented, "so bad luck".

I've not yet got a copy of the full police report (it is apparently in the mail), so I don't know what they are planning to do with the driver.

What should I do next? The repairs are going to be at least 6 or 7 hundred bucks that I can't afford and I need to get the bike back on the road or replace it - I'm currently getting a ride with a co-worker, but her patience will probably expire before too long!

I'm guessing I could call in an ambulance-chasing attorney, or go for a private prosecution, if the guy hasn't been deported. Or should I try to get my own car/household insurance company to cover it? I really don't have a clue what the best way forward might be! Any ideas out there?
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Old 11-29-11, 04:36 PM   #2
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Wow! That was magical! Just as I posted this message, I got a call from the local DA's office saying that they are going to pursue a Criminal Complaint against the driver! Nice!
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Old 11-29-11, 04:41 PM   #3
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Since the person probably has no assets, taking him to court is a waste of time.
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Old 11-29-11, 04:50 PM   #4
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Well, he was driving a better car than I can afford!
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Old 11-29-11, 04:54 PM   #5
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Well, he was driving a better car than I can afford!
Check the registration on the car. If owned it is an asset.

But bikepro is likely right, an award means nothing if there are no assets.
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Old 11-29-11, 04:54 PM   #6
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My auto insurance is through State Farm, and they've indicated that my uninsured motorist coverage will cover me even if I get hit walking or cycling. Might be worth it to ask your insurance company.
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Old 11-29-11, 04:57 PM   #7
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I'm guessing I could call in an ambulance-chasing attorney, or go for a private prosecution, if the guy hasn't been deported. Or should I try to get my own car/household insurance company to cover it? I really don't have a clue what the best way forward might be! Any ideas out there?
Do you have uninsured motorist coverage bundled with your auto insurance?
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Old 11-29-11, 04:59 PM   #8
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Thanks - I'm with State Farm, too! I'll follow up with them.
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Old 11-29-11, 05:08 PM   #9
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Tragedy for you...ongoing tragedy for our country. Welcome to the third world.
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Old 11-29-11, 05:13 PM   #10
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Tragedy for you...ongoing tragedy for our country. Welcome to the third world.
Third World?
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Old 11-29-11, 05:18 PM   #11
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Tragedy for you...ongoing tragedy for our country. Welcome to the third world.

Yes, here in the third world uninsured drivers, like this dude, have charges placed against them, like the D.A. did in this case, and uninsured motorist coverage covers damages in a bicycle accident, like this poster's appearantly will. Oh, and here in the third world, people who get hit on bikes don't get caught, like this poster did not.

Am I missing something?

Glad you are O.K., and I hope I'm right about the insurance!
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Old 11-29-11, 05:19 PM   #12
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Bike might be covered under homeowner's contents or renters insurance. Deductible might not make it worthwhile, but also check one of those policies if you got one.
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Old 11-29-11, 05:55 PM   #13
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Wow! That was magical! Just as I posted this message, I got a call from the local DA's office saying that they are going to pursue a Criminal Complaint against the driver! Nice!
Talk about great timing!!!! I am glad I hadn't replied yet so I would see this!!!
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Old 11-29-11, 05:59 PM   #14
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Geeze... did this happen in SR itself?
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Old 11-29-11, 06:03 PM   #15
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Geeze... did this happen in SR itself?
Yes, it was on Sebastopol Rd - junction with Boyd St.
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Old 11-29-11, 06:15 PM   #16
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Wow, did the post office incident go down in SR too?
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Old 11-29-11, 06:21 PM   #17
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I wpould suggest that if this is going to court, you limit disclosure so as not to weaken any case you might have, unintentionally. I can guarantee you that lawyers datamine the forums for information that is similar to cases they are defending, and can even have a really good idea if they are actually talking to the other party in the case, especially since you identified the location.
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Old 11-29-11, 07:59 PM   #18
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Wow! That was magical! Just as I posted this message, I got a call from the local DA's office saying that they are going to pursue a Criminal Complaint against the driver! Nice!
That won't help you get the money though unless and until the judge orders him to pay restitution and he pays it.

You'd have to find out from your household insurance whether it will pay for damage (as opposed to loss) for personal property like that. I have no idea, but that's the first thing I'd check (I'd read the policy before calling them so you know how to couch your claim).
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Old 11-29-11, 08:27 PM   #19
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If the car is owned by the bank it's not an asset.

If the perp is here illegally, they will most likely deport him. No $$ for you.

I do know that if your homeowners insurance is State Farm, they will replace the bike but I believe there is a $250.00 deductible. Check with your agent...

Your medical insurance is obligated to cover your hospital costs, even in the event of an uninsured motorist.

The only thing you would have to fight for would be the replacement cost of your bike, loss of time from work or school, and diminished capacity if any...of course pain and suffering. But you know the old adage, you can't squeeze blood from a turnip. If the guy has nothing, than nothing is what you'll get.

Get ready, Hippiebrian should be chiming in on this before long...
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Old 11-29-11, 08:27 PM   #20
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This is precisely why every cyclist needs as much uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance as they can get. Check your own auto policy. Increase your UM coverage to its limits - in some states you can stack coverage if you have multiple cars. It is worth the money.
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Old 11-29-11, 08:29 PM   #21
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Thanks Kurt, I'm going to check on that for myself tomorrow...
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Old 11-29-11, 09:15 PM   #22
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Your medical insurance is obligated to cover your hospital costs, even in the event of an uninsured motorist.
.
Yes. Health insurance company will want to know if an accident was the reason for the healthcare costs and if an accident, was someone else at fault. Then, they will go after the motorist to get them to pay the costs. Which will be unsuccessful if there are no assets.
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Old 11-29-11, 09:55 PM   #23
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The only thing you would have to fight for would be the replacement cost of your bike, loss of time from work or school, and diminished capacity if any...of course pain and suffering. But you know the old adage, you can't squeeze blood from a turnip. If the guy has nothing, than nothing is what you'll get.
An honest question, not a snarky one: why couldn't a judge at least order someone's wages garnished until the debt were repaid (inflation-adjusted, if applicable)? Not the same as getting a lump sum, but it's better than nothing.
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Old 11-30-11, 12:27 AM   #24
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Wow, did the post office incident go down in SR too?
It did - just down the road from my home! I must be riding with a target on my chest! I never went ahead with any claim against the Post Office, decided it wasn't worth the bother - starting to wish I had, now!
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Old 11-30-11, 12:57 AM   #25
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I'm kind've surprised given SR is typically a good town for riding in.. I'm a little north of you in HB so even more laxed riding and btw very glad to hear you're alright, so is the issue you have no bike at all atm?
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