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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    N-1, death of a french girl

    Today was a sad day for me. I had a great 50 miles ride and made it back to the group starting place feeling better than I have in a ver long time. On the ride home I turned down a street specifically because it had a bike lane and I was still pushing 18 miles and hour heading for home. when about 1 block and a half before me turn a car past me, suddenly pulled over the solid white line and stopped right in front of me. I never had a chance to even grab the brake. Flew over the trunk and smashed into the back window. I got the wind knocked out of me. Stuck my hand up to protect my face and head and must have put it between my helmet and the window. Anyway I smashed through the window and fell behind the car, engine still running, I could the exhaust puffing off of my face. Some people stopped to call 911 and the Paramedics came to check me out. All that hurt was my hand. The woman driver said all she wanted to do was pull over to make a phone call. And these are her exact words, When I passed you I thought you had plenty of room to stop. I asked why the bike lane? She didn't know there was any rules about parking in a bike lane.

    Yes I am filing a claim but I haven't a clue howmit will go. The police said they were too busy to came make a report. My Lapierre is toast.




    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  2. #2
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    1) G e t a l a w y e r. Preferably one that has experience with bicycle accidents.

    2) As the lawyer will tell you, get checked out medically. The lawyer will probably make a referral.

  3. #3
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    I wish we had some sort of knowledge and skills testing before we handed out licenses to use tools that can, and all to often do, maim and kill people. The level of ignorance of even basic traffic laws is utterly amazing.

    You came out better than many would have in this encounter. Heal well and be sure to upgrade when you replace the bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    I would write her a letter describing the incident and itemizing your cost plus loss. Tell her you would like to be fully compensated, either by her, or her insurance company. Say you would like a reply within two weeks. Send the letter registered.

    If two weeks goes by and you hear nothing, get a lawyer.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHen View Post
    I wish we had some sort of knowledge and skills testing before we handed out licenses to use tools that can, and all to often do, maim and kill people. The level of ignorance of even basic traffic laws is utterly amazing.

    You came out better than many would have in this encounter. Heal well and be sure to upgrade when you replace the bike.
    Thanks for the concern. I will feel better in a few days I think. I only hope it isn't a big fight to get the bike replaced. I am pretty sure the law is on my side even if the police wouldn't come to the site. If it is a solid line cars are supposed to stay clear. Now we will see how this turns out. I only hope it gets easier on my wife as I continue to ride around town rather than drive.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    The police said they were too busy to came make a report.
    Unreal!

    Very sorry about the bike. Glad you are OK. Lawyer up.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  7. #7
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
    I would write her a letter describing the incident and itemizing your cost plus loss. Tell her you would like to be fully compensated, either by her, or her insurance company. Say you would like a reply within two weeks. Send the letter registered.

    If two weeks goes by and you hear nothing, get a lawyer.
    No, get a lawyer immediately. Don't even correspond with her until you have one to guide you. She's already weaseling, and since California makes the presumption that if you run into someone from behind, that you were not paying enough attention, and the accident is your fault, the burden will be on you to prove that you are in the right.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    First, thank heavens you got your hand up in time to protect your face. So sorry it happened to you.

    I have to agree with others. Get a lawyer. Do not wait. The woman was negligent. It's her job to know the laws and rules of the road the minute she gets behind the wheel of a car.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
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  9. #9
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    A couple of observations:

    1. That solid white line is solid for a reason. Legally, it's considered a curb.
    2. You can call now and still file a report with the police. Especially if you claim injuries, a report MUST usually be filed.
    3. Unless you're going to claim punitive damages for pain and suffering, a lawyer will probably cost more than the settlement.
    4. That California doctor went to jail for pulling in front of a cyclist and slamming on the brakes.

  10. #10
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Whoa!!! At least you weren't injured worse. She needs to be drawn and quartered for that bone headed move. As said, don't talk or correspond with her, get a lawyer before she makes this your fault. I hope you have any witnesses names if someone saw the accident. Stay on her insurance company about everything regarding the bike, kit and injuries. A follow up doctor's examination and something in writing would be a great idea to cover yourself. Hope this works out in your favor, Howitzer, I am just glad you weren't hurt worse.

    Now what is your N+1 dream? Hmmmm?

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  11. #11
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your misfortune and I'm glad to hear your OK.
    It sounds like you need a lawyer for the accident and for the police dept.
    George

  12. #12
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    Police were too busy? WTF? They don't come in my area if there is no injury, but I would have DEMANDED it in your case!

    Unreal...
    Gary F.


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  13. #13
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    First of all, I am glad that your injuries were not more than what they were and that you are doing well. I'm also sorry to hear about your bike.

    If California considers a bicycle a vehicle, and the crash did not happen on private property, the police have a duty to respond to the crash, even if they are "too busy". Since an ambulance did respond, you at least have some record of the incident actually happening. I hope that you retained the names and contact numbers of witnesses and the driver of the vehicle as well as her insurance information. You can put in a claim to her insurance company to compensate you for medical bills (if any) and the replacement cost of your bike just as you would if it was your car that was involved. Even in California, rear-end collisions are not always cited to the driver striking the vehicle in front of them. In the Uniform Traffic Code, which all 50 states adhere to, if a vehicle enters your lane, effectively decreasing your ability to come to a safe stop and causes you strike that vehicle, that is considered an improper lane change and the fault goes to that driver. In this case, since there is no police report, a witness(s) statement is extremely important for you to prevail, especially if one of them heard her say that she pulled into and stopped in the bike lane to make a phone call.

    Since serious injuries were not present, I don't know if getting an attorney would be prudent in your case since their fees would outweigh your recovery. The advantage that an attorney would have is to subpoena the 911 call to see if the caller explained the events that lead up to the collision. However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't seek legal advice if you want to. If all else fails, you can take the driver to small claims court to get compensation for the damage to your bike.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Sorry about the bike. Glad you weren't hurt terribly bad.

    Why the H*** didn't she just slow down and pull over BEHIND you instead of passing you and stopping in front. Oh yeah, get a lawyer.

  15. #15
    Senior Member SuncoastChad's Avatar
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    Glad you were able to walk away.
    Check out the vehicle code for rear-end collisions.
    Lots of fraud cases around here with staged hits from behind accidents.
    Again, glad you're healing and I'm very sorry for the loss of your bike.
    Good luck.
    Before hitting "Enter" or "Send" ask yourself: Is this true? Is this kind? Is this NECESSARY?
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  16. #16
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post

    Why the H*** didn't she just slow down and pull over BEHIND you instead of passing you and stopping in front.
    Because her life is the most important on the planet.

  17. #17
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I asked why the bike lane? She didn't know there was any rules about parking in a bike lane.
    Not sure about California, but here in Texas she would be in the right as far as parking in the bike lane goes. Here, there is no prohibition on parking in a bike lane unless there are actual No Parking signs.

    She's still at fault, every bit as much as the lunatic doctor that stopped in front of the cyclists in the mountains a while back.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  18. #18
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    I agree with those who say to get a lawyer first.

  19. #19
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Glad you came out of that relatively unscathed. Looks like the bike breaking must have absorbed some of the energy of the impact.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  20. #20
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Hopefully you have witnesses and their address and same for the driver. Get the lawyer first and he/she can advise on proceeding.

    And watch out for Bike valuation from the insurance company- That is a total bike replacement as other parts apparantly not damaged will have taken a shock. Luckily in my area my LBS deals with insurance companies of replacement and repair after accidents and they know how to handle claims.

    One of my customers had his bike totalled when he was run over by a car- He was hurt aswell and had a month off work. The insurance company would not replace his bike as it was an "OLD" one and offered him $75 and would not pay for 60 days. The company he works for got in touch with the insurance company and put in a bill for his wages- wages for a replacement worker and A Replacement bike as it was the only form of transport for the worker at $2,000 that was bought under the Bike to work Scheme we have over here. It did help in that it was the same insurance company that the company had for their insurance and they might not like to lose such a valuable customer. All sorted in 1 week after the contact.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    "Mobile 155", what an awful way to start a day. It is good fortune that you were not hurt more than you were. Heal well. You must be heartbroken about your Lapierre. It looks like a very beautiful bike. Never saw one that color before. It has a very classy look to it.

    I won't offer you advice, as other have already covered the important stuff. But, I will say that in an auto accident back in 1978, I had to eventually get a lawyer and take the person who caused the accident to court to get remuneration. Had to take their insurance company to court also. (The insurance company eventually settled out-of-court before any trial.) You are entitled by law to be "restored" fully.

    Oh, better figure on getting a new helmet also. Even if it doesn't look like its integrity has been compromised ... it has and needs to be replaced.
    Deut 6:5

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  22. #22
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Now that we've advised him to get a lawyer, we need to start another thread to decide what kind of bike he should buy.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  23. #23
    blt
    blt is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    4. That California doctor went to jail for pulling in front of a cyclist and slamming on the brakes.
    To be accurate, that guy didn't go to jail for pulling in front of a cyclist and slamming on the brakes, he was convicted for leaving the scene of an accident with an injury. Having civil liability and criminal liability are different things.

  24. #24
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    I'm a lawyer, and I'm going to go against the grain and tell you not to bother. Here's why: while the driver was negligent, you really have no damages to make it worthwhile for a lawyer to take your case for a contingency fee. Unless you want to pay one $300-$500 an hour to dog an insurance company, that employs a whole army of lawyers. You weren't hurt. The real incentive for a lawyer to take a case like this is a contingency fee for a third to a half of a personal injury claim. Preferably one of at least 5 figures. Not for a piece of the replacement cost of a bicycle. You're better off taking her to small claims court without a lawyer.

  25. #25
    Senior Member k7baixo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
    I'm a lawyer, and I'm going to go against the grain and tell you not to bother. Here's why: while the driver was negligent, you really have no damages to make it worthwhile for a lawyer to take your case for a contingency fee. Unless you want to pay one $300-$500 an hour to dog an insurance company, that employs a whole army of lawyers. You weren't hurt. The real incentive for a lawyer to take a case like this is a contingency fee for a third to a half of a personal injury claim. Preferably one of at least 5 figures. Not for a piece of the replacement cost of a bicycle. You're better off taking her to small claims court without a lawyer.
    Interesting - point taken too. However, it's our conclusion that the driver was negligent - and likely so. What's your advice if the driver or her insurance claims otherwise? Is she better off w/ an attorney at that point?
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