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  1. #1
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    Hit by car: Damages for scarring and refraining from cycling?

    Hi all, I'm about to settle for an accident I was recently in. A car hit me while I was cycling and the driver assumes full responsibility. I had a fracture to a limb and am getting damages for that but I believe I also deserve damages for several readily noticeable, and one very large, areas of permanent scarring to my limbs. I also believe I should be compensated for becoming too afraid to bike commute for 1 year (where previously cycling was my main mode of transport 6-8 months out of the year). My lawyer has advised that I am unlikely to get damages for either the scarring or change in cycling habits precipitated by the accident. I'm wondering if anyone else here has experience receiving damages for either of these losses.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I'm involved in a lawsuit around my accident last year...

    How much is your settlement for, if you don't mind me asking? Have you filed suit, or is this an insurance settlement? Do you know what the guy who hit you is insured for (that's the most critical issue in the eventual award)? Does the guy who hit you own property in his name? Have assets? Did you miss work? How much do you make? These are all the key relevant issues to what your settlement will look like...it's really not about the actual damages claimed.

    Basically the way it works is that all damages are sort of rolled under the "suffering" part of pain and suffering. There are guidelines to how much you get in pain and suffering - plaintiffs lawyers generally go for 3x and up depending on the insurance and assets in play while defense attorneys try to keep it to roughly even with the medical bills.

    The real issues at play here are does he have assets you can attack with a judgement and what is he insured for. Most attorneys don't want to go after judgments because they're difficult to collect on. Usually you aren't going to get a reasonable settlement offer until it's in litigation and pretty close to trial date. Basically everyone wants to hold the money longer...the longer the insurance company can delay settlement, the longer they hold the money. You're lucky that the guy said "my fault", they always get coached to lie/deny liability by the insurance companies/attorneys.

  3. #3
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    if you are talking lawyers etc read this http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...MBERS-READ**** and don't post anything else......and delete this thread
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    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    I don't think he's written anything that could be used against him, or that identifies him at all.

  5. #5
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    if you are talking lawyers etc read this http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...MBERS-READ**** and don't post anything else......and delete this thread
    I am in total agreement!!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Essex's Avatar
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    Couple of things: Some lawyers are very skilled. Some aren't. Get a second opinion with regards to collection of damages.

    If the guy said it was his fault - I just hope it was memorialized in some way. The funny thing is that people lie/change their mind when it comes time to ante up.

    Last bit - there are legal forums which can be visited. They offer interesting bits of advice. Sometimes sound. Sometimes not. As per aversion to cycling - you'd probably need a psych eval. using your own funds to establish some type of PTS effect and bring that into your case. Personally, I think this might be hard to collect on.

    On a comparable note - a rabbi-in-training caused me fractures to my face, broken orbital. He said he was at fault. We went to small claims where the judge said my case exceeded the courts' max payout wherein he recommended I go full - on civil. Before I could file in civil the rabbi-in-training bolted town and could not be found. Just saying - defendants get REAL funny.

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    Senior Member aubiecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shurly View Post
    I also believe I should be compensated for becoming too afraid to bike commute for 1 year (where previously cycling was my main mode of transport 6-8 months out of the year).
    Good God, are you serious?

  8. #8
    Senior Member walrus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aubiecat View Post
    Good God, are you serious?
    If he or she is then their pretty thick. If not me smells something funny. Either way this thread should be locked and deleted.

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    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    IF you were recently in an accident, how do you know that you are afraid to commute for 1 year? I don't think you can anticipate damages
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Knotdodger's Avatar
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    I was hit by a car . Did not even cycle for 25 plus years after. But that's my
    decision. I am back at it now though. I was happy I was still sucking air the next
    day, and every day since !

  11. #11
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shurly View Post
    Hi all, I'm about to settle for an accident I was recently in. A car hit me while I was cycling and the driver assumes full responsibility. I had a fracture to a limb and am getting damages for that but I believe I also deserve damages for several readily noticeable, and one very large, areas of permanent scarring to my limbs. I also believe I should be compensated for becoming too afraid to bike commute for 1 year (where previously cycling was my main mode of transport 6-8 months out of the year). My lawyer has advised that I am unlikely to get damages for either the scarring or change in cycling habits precipitated by the accident. I'm wondering if anyone else here has experience receiving damages for either of these losses.

    Thanks in advance.
    I am inclind to agree with your lawyer. Because the fractured limb you would more than likely, receive damages for. But the physical(I presume you are referring to physical) scarring unless absolutely debilitating in some way, is tenuous at best where damages are concerned. Your having to change your cycling habits, would be the same as the scarring, and not even close to tenuous.
    Quote Originally Posted by Knotdodger View Post
    I was hit by a car . Did not even cycle for 25 plus years after. But that's my
    decision. I am back at it now though. I was happy I was still sucking air the next
    day, and every day since !
    The first accident I had(that I recall), happened when I was 14. I didn't get on another bike for another 16yrs., after that, it was only 6yrs.. I have been on my racing bike for the last ten years. Following the first accident(that I recall again), it was both the decision of my parents', then I didn't ride throughout the majority of my marriage. Three years after the divorce I got back on a bike and only inclement weather has really stopped me from riding.
    Last edited by Chris516; 10-06-13 at 01:27 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shurly View Post
    Hi all, I'm about to settle for an accident I was recently in. A car hit me while I was cycling and the driver assumes full responsibility. I had a fracture to a limb and am getting damages for that but I believe I also deserve damages for several readily noticeable, and one very large, areas of permanent scarring to my limbs. I also believe I should be compensated for becoming too afraid to bike commute for 1 year (where previously cycling was my main mode of transport 6-8 months out of the year). My lawyer has advised that I am unlikely to get damages for either the scarring or change in cycling habits precipitated by the accident. I'm wondering if anyone else here has experience receiving damages for either of these losses.

    Thanks in advance.
    Do you have actual financial damages because of the scarring or fear of cycling?

    Does the scarring cause any sort of disability? Has it reduced income related to your appearance? (Scarring a model's face is worth a lot more than the same scarring on a telemarketer.)

    Did you require professional therapy to recover from your fear of cycling?

    "Special" damages = actual financial losses - property damage, medical costs, lost wages, etc.
    "General" damages = pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.

    Much easier to get compensation for special damages than general damages.

    Does your attorney have much experience with general damages cases? If so, he probably has a better feel for your local courts' philosophy and track record than random Internet cyclists.

    (Not a lawyer, just know a bit about damages from working in insurance.)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jputnam/collections/72157604835074312/

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