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  1. #1
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    I need to ask a few questions regarding a car/bike accident.

    Hello! This is a very large site. Seems you folks are passionate about your hobby!

    My bf was hit by a car and it was the drivers fault. His injuries are minor ( thank God) but the bike is totaled. A police report was made. A lawyer called. An er visit as well.

    No broken bones except his pinky finger. All limbs were bloody and bruised. He can't walk too well, he is 51. No lost wages, no job. The impact point was at his left thigh.

    We are at a loss as what to do next. Hes not a bright man. Lol, this is the truth. Hes not smart. The lawyer said to work with the insurance company as theres not much money in this. I just want the 200.00 bike money and he wants a few bux for the trauma. We are not sue-crazy, but do feel he needs some kinda compensation. I think we are suppose to contact the drivers insurance company?

    If no one here can help me, do you know of a website/ forum that CAN answer these questions?

    Ty and bsafe!

  2. #2
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    You might check with a second lawyer but a broken pinky finger isn't much...still...bloody and bruised should be "worth" something. The insurance company gets nothing from compensation to you personally so they really don't care. Only a second lawyer will be of any real help. If both agree it's not going to be worth it I doubt you have much further recourse.
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  3. #3
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    Well a lawyer has no interest in this. Im just looking for bike replacement. Hes looking for something for the trauma and injuries. Everybody is " sue crazy " i dont believe in anything more than fairness. We are going to call the drivers insurance. Is that a good step? Im not very bright either w legal things. My bf does not have any insurance. He only has state funded health insurance.

    Ps. I cannot respond to pms, altho i can get emails.

  4. #4
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    I have little experience in this kind of thing and I'm not a lawyer...that said... you might contact the person and say something like "I've been advised to get a lawyer and sue but these days that can be expensive for both of us. All I want is what is fair, including a replacement bike and some small amount for the injury. Would you like to discuss what is fair instead of going to court?" Most people think of themselves as "fair" and would prefer to do what is fair instead of being sued. Just a thought fwiw.
    Alaskans for global warming.

  5. #5
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    You're an honest person who just wants what's legally due you, and you just want the insurance company to deal square with you. I respect that but sometimes insurance companies don't. I wouldn't say lie about anything or pretend greater injuries, but the fact is that you don't really know your boyfriend hasn't sustained greater injuries that just haven't shown up yet. He has a hard time walking because of the injury to his hip, at his age that may yet require some medical attention. I'd say work with the insurance company, lay all that out and see if they'll settle for medical costs and something on the bike. It may not be what you expect for the bike, I'd advise not hoping to come out ahead on this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pibber's Avatar
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    File a Freedom Of Information Act(FOIA) request with the responding law enforcement department. Get all records/statements/pictures/reports and MAKE SURE the responding officer has judged the driver to be at fault. Then, you file a claim against the insurance company of the driver.

    Expect nothing. Delete this thread.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    I've been hit twice and settled with the driver once and an insurance company once.

    Both times I took the bikes to a bike shop and had them inspected then repaired to the condition they were in prior to the collisions. Then I made spreadsheets of all my expenses including the bikes, clothing, copayments, etc. I then presented these to the drivers.

    The first driver thought the bike repairs were excessive (IIIRC it was about $1300). I didn't argue, just told him that I'd contact his insurance company. He grumbled but wrote me a check.


    The second accident was worse; I had some minor injuries and the bike was totaled. The second driver's employer balked and had their insurance company handle it. The adjusters and I reached an agreement immediately.


    It wasn't difficult either time. You've got the police report so save your medical paperwork, take lots of pictures and keep track of any accident related expenses.

  8. #8
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    You may not be "sue happy", but due to living in what has become a litigious society, you're going to fight an uphill battle trying to get anything from the driver or their insurance company. I'd be very surprised if you couldn't get a "personal injury" lawyer to hop on this like white on rice.

  9. #9
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    You can't proceed with any suits if you don't pursue the proper channels and regardless of what you feel you need legal counseling to determine the proper actions to take. Don't waste any time-this should be the SECOND place you ask for advice, after a lawyer/DA.

    It means nothing that you feel he is not smart (except that it's a low opinion that is not our business). Take the steps to protect him from damages.


    Quote Originally Posted by ladyjazz321 View Post
    Hello! This is a very large site. Seems you folks are passionate about your hobby!

    My bf was hit by a car and it was the drivers fault. His injuries are minor ( thank God) but the bike is totaled. A police report was made. A lawyer called. An er visit as well.

    No broken bones except his pinky finger. All limbs were bloody and bruised. He can't walk too well, he is 51. No lost wages, no job. The impact point was at his left thigh.

    We are at a loss as what to do next. Hes not a bright man. Lol, this is the truth. Hes not smart. The lawyer said to work with the insurance company as theres not much money in this. I just want the 200.00 bike money and he wants a few bux for the trauma. We are not sue-crazy, but do feel he needs some kinda compensation. I think we are suppose to contact the drivers insurance company?

    If no one here can help me, do you know of a website/ forum that CAN answer these questions?

    Ty and bsafe!
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
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  10. #10
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    I understand not wanting to get lawyers involved. Yes, contact the driver's insurance company. That's why the have insurance. With such low costs, I'm sure you'll get the cost of the bike and a bit extra for medical bills with no fight.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    If you get a lawyer involved, that cost will come right out of whatever settlement is received; probably something like 30%. If you can get what sounds like a small amount of money directly from the driver's insurance company go for that, it'll be simpler all around and a much better yield. They don't want to go to court either.
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  12. #12
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    With the small amount of money involved, I'm not surprised you can't get legal representation.

    IANAL, but I'd say figure out the limits of local small claims court, stay under that amount, and stick to your guns. For example, $1,500. If the insurance company balks, you just go to small claims court, at which point they'll probably settle because it'd be cheaper than sending a lawyer.

    Just remember - you do not have a contract, a relationship, or any obligations whatsoever to the driver nor his insurance company. So do not sign anything you don't understand. You do have the right to be made whole for your losses.

    Document your costs, provide copies of that documentation as part of your claim, and see what happens.

    Again, IANAL, but in my experience common sense will work.

  13. #13
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    legally it's the driver not his insurance company who's at fault. for such a small claim, not involving injury or pain and suffering, the best bet is to sue the driver in small claims court.

    Be sure to total up ALL the damages including the fee for the ER visit, and any incidentals such as cab fare, transport while he's without the bike, and so on.

    Once you file the claim and notify the driver, he can either respond directly, or pay it to settle, or notify his insurance company who must reimburse him if he incurs liability. While the insurance company may act as his (and their) agent in settling claims, it's the driver who's liable, so suing him personally is often the best way to set the clock in motion and getting action.

    BTW- if the =insurer wants to respond and let it go to court, they must use a lawyer in most states. This means spending at least $500 win lose or draw, so they will be highly motivated to settle this before the court date (usually 30 days out).

    Good luck, and don't forget to sue for the max because you want to end up fully compensated for all od the loss.
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  14. #14
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    I have gone through this. IANAL, so take this for what it is worth. I assume you are in the US and that the other driver is insured.

    1. Photos of everything. The site, the bike damage, the injuries...EVERYTHING.

    2. Get a copy of the police report, including any citations issued.

    3. Get estimates of damage. Get a bike shop to estimate the cost to fix the bike and the cost to replace the bike with a similar bike. If there are no similar bikes (in terms of age/use) get the price of similar new bikes. Don't forget damage to lights, racks, panniers, clothing, bike computers, pedals etc, as these are items that typically require additional purchase.

    4. Get a copy of any medical bills.

    5. Establish the extent of the pain in terms of duration, any medication needed to manage the pain.

    6. If there were any witnesses, ask them to prepare a written statement of what they saw and ask for a copy.

    7. Prepare a statement of what happened. This is not a statement of I thinks or I suppose's. Clearly lay out the events leading up to the crash in as clear a language as you can, including dates, times and locations. Statements should be like "I was headed north on 1st ave on the shoulder of the road approaching 4th st at around 9am on the morning of July 3rd. I was traveling approximately 14 mph. As I crossed 4th street, I was struck by a vehicle traveling west on 4th street. After the collision, I was unable to ride the bike due both to physical injury and damage to the bicycle. I later determined that the vehicle was a red buick laSabre driven by Mr. Jones. Police issued a "failure to yield" citation to Mr. Jones (attached). I went to the emergency room for evaluation (bill attached). I am still suffering from mobility limitations and swelling, and have an appointment for another evaluation on xx date."

    8. Call the insurance company of the driver.

    The company will ask questions like "is everyone okay?" or "How are you doing today?" You are being recorded. Don't answer yes or fine to these questions. State that you are still in pain (assuming it is true) and that you are still under the care of a Dr. related to your injuries. (assuming this is true)

    Tell them that you are filing a claim against the drivers policy, and you are seeking reimbursement for damage to your bicycle, clothing etc. Tell them how much money that represents and provide your support for the estimate, offering to email or fax copies of all your information supporting the amount. Tell them you have saught medical care, and you are seeking reimbursement of all medical expenses, and tell them that you are seeking additional compensation for the pain, described as requiring percocet to manage over 2 weeks (or however you have quantified severity and duration of the pain.)

    They will now ask for a recorded statement or interview. If the police report states the driver failed to yield and struck you and was issued a citation, simply decline to give a recorded statement. Say instead, I don't understand why that is needed given the clarity of the police report. If the police report already says driver at fault, nothing in a recorded statement can help you. If the police report is ambiguous to the events in question, decline the interview and read your recorded statement. Be sure it does not indicate fault by you in any way and clearly describes what the other driver did wrong. Do not lie.

    At this point it will become a waiting game. The medical portion cannot be closed until you complete your medical exams. The physical damage part can be settled, but be sure you are not agreeing to settle the entire claim if they do make an offer. Typically they will move slow. They will likely come back with an offer lower than your offer. Ask them to justify their offer in light of the cost information you have collected. If they use a blue-book type item, ask them to show you where you can actually purchase such an item, since if it is not available, its valuation is irrelevant to making you whole. This will fluster them, but they will probably come back with a better offer. The medical expenses are also really simple, they are what they are, and the responsible party pays. The pain and suffering will again be at issue. The better job you do at quantifying this amount, and establishing the rationale for the amount, the more likely you are to get close to your desired value. Let them give you an offer before you counter with your value, they may (although it is unlikely) offer more than you are seeking.

    With every conversation, find out who you are talking to and take notes on the nature of the discussion. Write down any promises or agreements. If they break to many of them, go back to a lawyer and give them the detail of what you have provided, when you provided it, who you gave it to, who you spoke to etc. Again, always be aware of the questions they ask and do not assume they are small-talk and you can just say okay, fine or whatever, as these recorded statements have been used to deny coverage.

    Reminder, I am not a lawyer, but I went through the process, and found that by supporting all the damage and documenting all my injuries, the pain, loss of mobility etc. that I was able to come out of the process in the same shape I was prior to being hit. Best of luck.

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the apparent injuries are minor... there may be other soft tissue injuries that don't show up for days or weeks... getting a back twisted or muscles pulled are examples of this.

    Let the BF wait a bit, to ensure that he is in fact not feeling any extra pains a little while later.

    Dogboy (above) offered a great list.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
    I have gone through this. IANAL, so take this for what it is worth. I assume you are in the US and that the other driver is insured.

    1. Photos of everything. The site, the bike damage, the injuries...EVERYTHING.

    2. Get a copy of the police report, including any citations issued.

    3. Get estimates of damage. Get a bike shop to estimate the cost to fix the bike and the cost to replace the bike with a similar bike. If there are no similar bikes (in terms of age/use) get the price of similar new bikes. Don't forget damage to lights, racks, panniers, clothing, bike computers, pedals etc, as these are items that typically require additional purchase.

    4. Get a copy of any medical bills.

    5. Establish the extent of the pain in terms of duration, any medication needed to manage the pain.

    6. If there were any witnesses, ask them to prepare a written statement of what they saw and ask for a copy.

    7. Prepare a statement of what happened. This is not a statement of I thinks or I suppose's. Clearly lay out the events leading up to the crash in as clear a language as you can, including dates, times and locations. Statements should be like "I was headed north on 1st ave on the shoulder of the road approaching 4th st at around 9am on the morning of July 3rd. I was traveling approximately 14 mph. As I crossed 4th street, I was struck by a vehicle traveling west on 4th street. After the collision, I was unable to ride the bike due both to physical injury and damage to the bicycle. I later determined that the vehicle was a red buick laSabre driven by Mr. Jones. Police issued a "failure to yield" citation to Mr. Jones (attached). I went to the emergency room for evaluation (bill attached). I am still suffering from mobility limitations and swelling, and have an appointment for another evaluation on xx date."

    8. Call the insurance company of the driver.

    The company will ask questions like "is everyone okay?" or "How are you doing today?" You are being recorded. Don't answer yes or fine to these questions. State that you are still in pain (assuming it is true) and that you are still under the care of a Dr. related to your injuries. (assuming this is true)

    Tell them that you are filing a claim against the drivers policy, and you are seeking reimbursement for damage to your bicycle, clothing etc. Tell them how much money that represents and provide your support for the estimate, offering to email or fax copies of all your information supporting the amount. Tell them you have saught medical care, and you are seeking reimbursement of all medical expenses, and tell them that you are seeking additional compensation for the pain, described as requiring percocet to manage over 2 weeks (or however you have quantified severity and duration of the pain.)

    They will now ask for a recorded statement or interview. If the police report states the driver failed to yield and struck you and was issued a citation, simply decline to give a recorded statement. Say instead, I don't understand why that is needed given the clarity of the police report. If the police report already says driver at fault, nothing in a recorded statement can help you. If the police report is ambiguous to the events in question, decline the interview and read your recorded statement. Be sure it does not indicate fault by you in any way and clearly describes what the other driver did wrong. Do not lie.

    At this point it will become a waiting game. The medical portion cannot be closed until you complete your medical exams. The physical damage part can be settled, but be sure you are not agreeing to settle the entire claim if they do make an offer. Typically they will move slow. They will likely come back with an offer lower than your offer. Ask them to justify their offer in light of the cost information you have collected. If they use a blue-book type item, ask them to show you where you can actually purchase such an item, since if it is not available, its valuation is irrelevant to making you whole. This will fluster them, but they will probably come back with a better offer. The medical expenses are also really simple, they are what they are, and the responsible party pays. The pain and suffering will again be at issue. The better job you do at quantifying this amount, and establishing the rationale for the amount, the more likely you are to get close to your desired value. Let them give you an offer before you counter with your value, they may (although it is unlikely) offer more than you are seeking.

    With every conversation, find out who you are talking to and take notes on the nature of the discussion. Write down any promises or agreements. If they break to many of them, go back to a lawyer and give them the detail of what you have provided, when you provided it, who you gave it to, who you spoke to etc. Again, always be aware of the questions they ask and do not assume they are small-talk and you can just say okay, fine or whatever, as these recorded statements have been used to deny coverage.

    Reminder, I am not a lawyer, but I went through the process, and found that by supporting all the damage and documenting all my injuries, the pain, loss of mobility etc. that I was able to come out of the process in the same shape I was prior to being hit. Best of luck.

    Dogboy, That was an excellent post. Worthy of being stickied, IMO.
    This is why motorists hate us, and why I've given up riding on the road...You should be ashamed yourself, and you should be reviled by cyclists everywhere.

  17. #17
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    Wow! A wealth of information! Im sorry not to respond sooner, i thot all replies went to my email. Thank you all! Now things are much clearer!

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