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  1. #1
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    crash yesterday, surgery tomorrow

    I work in the IT department at MS State University and live close enough to campus that I usually ride home for lunch on my fixed commuter. Yesterday I left campus for lunch heading west in the bike lane. A block before my turn, a Nissan SUV passed me slightly and made a right turn with no signal onto a side street and cut me off. I do have a front brake, but I was cruising near 20mph so I could not stop. I hit right behind the rear passenger wheel, I flew up and to the left and the bike went to the right. I hopped up pretty quick and thought I was ok with just a little road rash. The 20y/o student driving got out and was already crying and she said "I saw you but I thought you were farther back." I was thinking, "Why didn't you look?" My left arm was starting to throb a bit and I could not get my mess bag off without help from a bystander. 911 was called and the fire department made it there first and checked me out. All of the damage was on the left side and seemed minor, scraped knee (through pants!), scraped elbow, and a wrist that felt super sprained. I kept my left arm stabilized on my helmet. The police and ambulance were not far behind. The paramedic checked out my arm and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I knew my arm was not working so I went. Me and the bike got to ride to the hospital in the ambulance. My wife was at work, lucky for me she is a nurse at the hospital and could come down to the ER to see me. Anyway the xrays confirmed that I had a fractured left radius right at the wrist. I was splinted up and sent home.

    This morning I visited the orthopedic and got the option of a 6 weeks of cast and iffy recovery of motion or surgery and better recovery. I picked the surgery, a open reduction and internal fixation of distal radius. This afternoon I got a copy of the police report. No ticket for the girl, but it was indicated that she failed to yield. The diagram of the incident is pretty accurate too.

    Today I have used my own medical insurance and paid co payments out of my pocket. Tomorrow is the surgery so I'm not going to worry about anything. My question for Friday is what should I do? Call my medical insurer first? Call her auto? Is her auto going to pay for the damage to my bike? I just need a direction to get started in.

  2. #2
    Brompton M3L, Strida 5.0
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    I recommend you call her insurance company.

    I also recommend you get a book by Nolo called How to Win Your Personal Injury claim.

    This book basically gives you an idea of what you can expect to get from an insurance company, and how to do it yourself, without using any lawyers. I bought it a few years back when a guy took his dog off leash and it ran right across the road and into my path...broken collarbone, several weeks of pain and inconvenience, damage to my bike and apparel, physical therapy.

    I ended up not filing a claim but it gave me a new perspective, which is this: maybe you don't deserve a million dollars for your "accident", but you will have a very good case with her insurer for some money to compensate you for the harm as well as the out of pocket cost.

    Also, I'm sorry to hear about your accident. Mine scared me away from biking for four years. But I'm back, and biking more defensively as a result.

  3. #3
    These go to 11. DavidLee's Avatar
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    Damn, sorry about your accident, trust me I feel your pain. I fractured the radial joint in my elbow last Friday & had surgery today. They placed 2 screws in to close the gap. Like you I was given a choice, no surgery & hope for the best or surgery & help it the best. I hope all goes well with your surgery, please update the thread when your cognizant enough when you get home.

  4. #4
    One Hep Cat Joe Dog's Avatar
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    Geez - I am sorry that happened to you. Good luck with the surgery and the coming hassles with insurance. I am sure the driver feels horrible about it, but that does not help you out much. Best wishes and get well soon!

  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Your health insurance will want to know about the accident and about her insurance. You will want to make yourself known to her insurer to ensure that your health and bike concerns are addressed. Forget about that until after your surgery.

  6. #6
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    Jim good Luck man!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM
    Your health insurance will want to know about the accident and about her insurance. You will want to make yourself known to her insurer to ensure that your health and bike concerns are addressed. Forget about that until after your surgery.

    Definitely let your ins company handle it if you can. They will go after the other ins company and get what they need.

  8. #8
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Very sorry, heal well.

  9. #9
    Recumbent Commuter Traicovn's Avatar
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    jiminim, sorry to hear that. Where about did this happen. I also am at Mississippi State and work in George Hall and bike commute (I'm a guy riding a recumbent).

    By the way, did you notice they have edged the bike path leading from the center of campus up University Drive? I managed to hit that and did quite a number on my ankle/leg/eblow/helmet and my bike about a week and a half ago.

    Sorry to hear about your injury. Hope you recoup quickly. By the way, I stopped bicycling up University behind the stadium on that portion of the bike path because of so many near misses along the stretch between the architecture building and the chapel of memories, especially around the little parking lot at the back end of the stadium and Extension Dr.

  10. #10
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    I am not Jiminim, but I am his friend, and also a fellow Student/Employee of MSU. From what he told me was that this happened on the conner of University and Old west point road. Near Quizno's. I am also a fellow commuter. I have seen you all around town. I ride an old green 70's Raleigh grand pri. Fixed gear with a blue chain. I know that Jim and I have talked about this many times, and the worst intersection on campus is the one right where the stadium, Barns and nobles, McArthur, and the Architecture building are. I think its college view, and University(what ever it is called on campus)

    kevin

  11. #11
    Recumbent Commuter Traicovn's Avatar
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    Yikes, I was temporarily on a trek comfort bike last week and didn't have my lights so I had to ride ninja style, and chose not to come back via old west point from a professors house because their is little/no shoulder on the other side of 182, and I had way to many people buzz me while speeding on the way out.

    Hope her Mom and Dad have her insurance all paid up.

    A friend of mine had to have a similar procedure done about a year or so ago when he ran into one of the bollards on the campus bike path. Turned out ok I think, just took a while. Didn't sound like it was all that fun though.

  12. #12
    Goathead Magnet aley's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your crash. I hope you heal soon and well.

    I would imagine that you'll have to talk to her insurance company about damage to the bike in any case. Your insurance company may well want information so that they can go after her insurance to recoup their costs for the ER and surgery, but I doubt they'll spend a lot of time worrying about recovering your costs for the copays, so that's probably another area where you'll be dealing with her insurance company.

  13. #13
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    Jiminim; Sorry about the accident but a lot of airheads have drivers licenses. We all have had "blonde" days.

    I would NOT even think about the insurance crap until 2 or three days after ALL of the drugs are out of your system. That's right, even the special aspirin that they give you to take home. The insurance guys are going to want this settled soon, and off of their desks as cheaply as possible. They have bonusus and job evaluations based on this stuff. This is important to keep in mind.

    Stategy: Keep good notes (dates, times and who said what) and take the helpful approach. After a couple of weeks where the guy tries to low ball you, THEN you contact the VP of claims in writing -return receipt requested -and make the point that his insurance company's well deserved reputation for quality is in jeapordy and you're sure that he doesn't want that to occur... that the guy working with you is really nice -but somewhere in between things are getting fouled up and since this is his company, he should know about it... I will guarentee that the claims adjuster will realize that it is not really HIS money, but it might be if he doesn't get this settled amicably. I have used this method several times and it has worked from Chysler to Great American Insurance. You are not looking to make a killing here, you just do not want to get killed.

    From personal experience (lots): Besides the surgery, the rehab is the most important part of this and it will take more fortitude and energy than you would believe. At some point months later, you may begin to believe that you are lazy or tired for no good reason. Wrong. You are solid, it just takes lots of the body's energy to get the job done. (Nerves and tendons are really slow and a lot of them got stretch and torn and you will not know about them because they don't register)

    Rehab costs both money AND time, and getting you back to minimum (65%) is not the same as getting you back to OK. This is not a pitch for you to demand lots of money, I am just telling you to not take it too lightly. BTW you may be inundated by attorney solicitations, use the family friend.

  14. #14
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    Thanks guys for all of the encouragement! Gotta be at the hospital in 30 minutes so hopefully I can post on how it went tonight.

  15. #15
    Slow ride, take it easy - Frankenbiker's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, having been right-hooked last summer with a subsequent endo/face plant/broken wrist/cracked ribs/broken helmet while riding home for lunch. The driver, in my case, didn't stop. I limped over to a fire station a couple of blocks away for treatment.

    I've had four near-miss right-hooks at that same intersection so far this year.

    I have also added daytime running lights, brake light and turn signals to the bike and wear a blaze orange vest to make me more visible. This way, the next time somebody hits me, they can't say they didn't see me.

    Get better soon.

  16. #16
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Sue her for vehicular assault. Make that girl wish she never got a drivers licence.
    As you are going through much suffering, so must she.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  17. #17
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your accident.

    Why not ticket the driver of the car? That stinks. I think a reason may be that the police expect you to file for damages. Actually, your insurance will insist as they won't pay.
    Cleveland, OH
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  18. #18
    another cat...FAB! stevesurf's Avatar
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    Jim, I am so sorry to hear about this. I would not wait to move this case forward; keep in mind that laws vary in different states and you should first get a free consult by a personal injury attn'y to see if it worth them taking it on. If not, this needs to be pursued quickly so that they cover your medical and personal property losses/costs directly.
    Last edited by stevesurf; 04-19-07 at 07:01 AM.

  19. #19
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    I also don't get why she was not cited. 1+ on keeping an "accident" file. Make sure you tally everything that was damaged: you , clothing, bike, etc. It does take a bit of work to get everything paid for and can be complicated. I would guess your medical insurance will be looking to her auto insurance to pay the medical stuff, but you might have your homeowners insurance go for other stuff.

    Heal fast.

  20. #20
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    I trust all went well in surgury. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  21. #21
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    Contact you're medical insurance ASAP. They'll cover the surgery and ER visit and if they want to subrogate and bring a claim against the driver, they will.

    For you're bike, clothes, etc, you'll have to get her insurance info. If they won't pay, you'll have to take her to small claims to recover damages.

  22. #22
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    Keep in mind that if you seek a settlement for additional damages, your personal insurance company will try to recoup everything they're fronting at the moment. Careful with a suit, you could end up worse off in the long run.

  23. #23
    Senior Member wheel's Avatar
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    Good luck, get well
    My Youtube Cycling Videos Here

  24. #24
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    Wow, I didn't realize there were so many MState folks on this board. I'm a '95 grad and commuter in Huntsville, AL.

    I remember riding my mountain bike to classes back then without even realizing that I was a bike commuter. It was just the best way to get around campus. They've come a long way since then with the bike lanes and everything on campus. I've never really ridden with bike lanes, but I wonder sometimes if they aren't more dangerous. I guess you can get right-hooked anywhere.

    Anyway, sorry about the accident jiminim. I hope your surgery and recovery go smoothly.

  25. #25
    eternalvoyage
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    Condolences.

    I had an almost identical accident last summer. It was also an SUV (and also happened to be driven by a young woman). The contact point was a little farther forward -- near the front edge of the right rear wheel.

    It happened so quickly that I had no time to evade. (It takes maybe a second for the sensory and afferent nerves, the brain, and then the efferent nerves to conduct and process impulses, and initiate muscle movement; and the following actions also take some amount of time -- it all seems so quick, but it can be measured -- and it all allows for plenty of things to be happening in the meantime, especially when fast-moving vehicles are involved....)

    In fact, the timing was so fast and perfect, I thought she had done it on purpose. It really seemed that way. She couldn't have timed it better, or done it more skillfully. She took me out like she knew what she was doing.

    I too had sore spots along my left side -- wrist (which had a very sharp pain; I kept shaking it after the accident), elbow, side of knee, shoulder, hip. The worst was the hip. The paramedics checked for neck and spine injuries; the police asked if I wanted to file a report. I thought I was just bruised. But the hip injury kept causing problems. A lot of pain at times. Looking back, I think there was probably some kind of minor hairline fracture. It got better after a few weeks.

    I felt extremely lucky that it was not worse.

    ***
    There may be something at work here -- a factor in these accidents that is rarely discussed.

    I am not a sexist, but I do believe that there is sufficient scientific evidence that there are some differences between male and female brains. Some of the differences are visible to the naked eye. Others can be tested and measured. Each gender has some strengths and weaknesses going.

    Women do not have the same spaciotemporal projection processing. It can be tested. I've observed it with friends. I know women who have also observed it, and who are aware of it.

    In these kinds of accident situations, men tend to take for granted that everyone is aware of and processing physical events (relational movements of objects, etc.) in the same way. It may be that some people -- probably some men as well as some women -- are not processing the movements and the situation in the same way the rider is.

    It seems that this awareness (of individual differences) may enhance safety by giving riders a more accurate account of what is going on around them. Assuming that other people are on the same page, or have the same sort of awareness of what is happening, or the same sort of processing in the brain, is itself a hazard.

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