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Old 11-14-10, 09:13 PM   #1
kudude
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Maybe someone can help me with what to do after an accident?

Hello foosters,

I lurk here but haven't posted often in this particular subforum. I'm hoping I can get a little advice from some of you who have experience with my situation.

Attempt at short version:

I was involved in a traffic collision with a car while riding my bike. From everything I understand it was the driver's fault, but since I was unconscious for part of the incident and in the ambulance for the rest, I was unable to get her information (name, insurance, etc), or talk to any witnesses.
A police report has not been filed yet, but I have the officer's name and email who is on the case. He says the report should be filed 7-10 business days after the incident (the accident was Thurs Nov 4, so 7 business days is Monday the 15th).
I was interviewed by an officer while in the trauma center (and on pain meds and still really out of it). I remember saying how fast I was going (under the speed limit), and asking how the driver was doing

What do I do now? My cell phone was broken (expensive android device), kit was cut off of me, helmet busted, and there is some damage to my bike. I expect the medical bills to be $20-40k, and my property damage to be between $1500 and $4000 (bike is being checked out at LBS).

I'm not interested in making lots of $$ from this incident, but would like my expenses covered and possible a few bucks acknowledging the fact that I am going to have some pretty ugly scaring on my neck.

Can I go get a new phone and be reimbursed later? How willing are most insurance companies to pay for reasonable costs if their client is found at fault? I've heard "get a lawyer" from a bunch of people, but I don't see this accident as me having won the lottery. I just want to "be made whole", as they say, but not in a large settlement kind of way. I also want this thing to be over. I'm not interested in dealing with this during my free time next September.

I hope I didn't run on too much. I'm really lost right now, and can't seem to get more than a quick iphone email response from the officer on the case.

thank you
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Old 11-14-10, 09:50 PM   #2
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Glad you're okay dude.

Having been in your shoes, I'll try and give you some advice that I learned from my experience.

As long as you can show receipts for expenditures directly related to your crash, the driver's insurance company will reimburse you. When I settled with American Family for the damage that was done to me, everything was totaled up into one check. That included 3 months of lost wages, damage to equipment and clothing, hospital and physical therapy charges. All of it. Every single charge to me that was related to the accident was documented and filed away until I was ready to settle. In the state where I had my accident, I had up to 4 years to settle a claim. Considering I had 11 months of physical and speech therapy, that was a good thing. Just don't be in rush to settle, or let the insurance company try and rush you. It took me about 2 years to settle my case (no attorney), but I wanted to make damn sure I was good to go before I signed off on anything. Head trauma is bad news, and in my case, it was literally years before I felt right. Even 6 years later, I'm still not at 100%, and never will be.

As for the police report, keep after it. If you make yourself a pain in their ass, you'll probably get it faster. That's just my opinion though. In my part of the world, the police tend to forget who exactly they're working for. Hope this helps.
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Old 11-14-10, 09:57 PM   #3
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document,document,document every little thing including conversations with people associated with the accident.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:18 PM   #4
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From my experience they will try to low ball you and give you "one time only offers". Tell them to go **** themselves. Wait for police report before contacting them. There are two parts to this the property damage, and medical. They are handled separately. Get an estimate for everything, receipts if you have them. Don't be in a hurry to settle. Specially on medical stuff. It should cover not only the initial trip to ER, but the follow ups etc. Oh and hope the driver has more then a minimum required, otherwise that is all they will pay out. Then it's up to you to go after the driver. You also might want to contact your insurance and see if this is covered under your underinsured/uninsured motorist auto insurance.

Good luck, heal up fast.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:43 PM   #5
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Ugh. CA minimums are only $15k medical and $5k property. I'm really hoping I don't have to sue someone to get my medical bills paid.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:59 PM   #6
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Ugh. CA minimums are only $15k medical and $5k property. I'm really hoping I don't have to sue someone to get my medical bills paid.
Yep, thats why I have 100k/300k personal/property damage for uninsurared motorist on my motorycle insurance.
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Old 11-14-10, 11:03 PM   #7
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Yep, thats why I have 100k/300k personal/property damage for uninsurared motorist on my motorycle insurance.
I just looked at mine, and I have 100/200, but I think it's only for personal damage, not property.

I wonder where the pain/suffering/lost time/nasty scars $$ comes in. Medical or property?
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Old 11-14-10, 11:09 PM   #8
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For me it was under Medical if I remember correctly.
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Old 11-15-10, 02:14 AM   #9
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Sorry to hear about the accident. Hope you heal fast and get a fair shake.

Be careful not to write anything here that may harm your case. Even if you delete posts, they can dig them up - and it may cost you.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:40 AM   #10
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Best of luck. I would get the report and review it first, then try to address any inaccuracies based upon your condition at the time of the accident and the post accident interview. I would then contact your insurance agent and discuss this to see about the other drivers coverage level, etc. I would do the same with your physicians. Get an idea of level of injury, amount of rehab, cost, etc. Get the bike to the shop and have it gone over carefully and either restored to pre wreck condition or replaced, as well as all accessories, kit, helmet, etc.. Do some research and find out how long you have to file all your claims, and then go from there with the decision on whether or not ot lawyer up.

As others have stated, your rehab might be months or years and you are not sure how much loss of income, sick time, vacation time you have suffered yet.

Do not rush into any decisions right now.
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Old 11-15-10, 11:15 AM   #11
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You should get covered for everything, all damaged property, medical bills, sick time (keep those time sheets, the driver owes you reimbursement for sick time you used that you can no longer use for just being sick), travel time/cab fare to med appts even. Document it all.

The property claim you can settle as soon as you have it all totaled up. Different states have a limit for how long you can let a medical claim sit for, it's worth letting it go as long as you can in case you need to wait for some symptoms to decide before others become apparent. But they should be paying your med bills as they come in.

I don't know if you can talk to the cop filing the report to see where the report is heading or not. I would be curious about that. And, it shouldn't matter that you don't have the driver's info if the police do, you can get it from them.

Not all insurance companies are the same, but I got hit by a USAA driver and it worked well for me to not have a lawyer. For you, if you are not getting current medical bills paid as they come, you will probably want a lawyer sooner than later. I am sure the Bay Area has a few lawyers who even specialize in bike/car accidents.
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Old 11-17-10, 05:14 PM   #12
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I'd lawyer up. If it were just damage, that is one thing, but medical bills get real high, real fast, both due to injuries, and stuff after the collision. Documentation and a good personal injury lawyer on your side are your two best friends here.
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Old 11-17-10, 06:10 PM   #13
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I'd lawyer up. If it were just damage, that is one thing, but medical bills get real high, real fast, both due to injuries, and stuff after the collision. Documentation and a good personal injury lawyer on your side are your two best friends here.
Would you wait until you had the police report and heard from they other party's insurance, or would you do it on the way home from the hospital?
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Old 11-17-10, 06:36 PM   #14
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I was in an accident 5 months ago. I was also unconscious- I woke up laying on the ground with EMT's working on me. We headed to the hospital and I was there 3 days. I was able to get a police report later which provided some information. I have not contacted a lawyer yet though.

I still have visits to a plastic surgeon, eye doctor and a back/neck specialist coming up so I don't know how long it will take for all of my injuries to heal (try to heal).

My bike frame is a total.
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Old 11-17-10, 06:41 PM   #15
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I was in an accident 5 months ago. I was also unconscious- I woke up laying on the ground with EMT's working on me. We headed to the hospital and I was there 3 days. I was able to get a police report later which provided some information. I have not contacted a lawyer yet though.

I still have visits to a plastic surgeon, eye doctor and a back/neck specialist coming up so I don't know how long it will take for all of my injuries to heal (try to heal).

My bike frame is a total.
Wow, I'm sorry to hear that. Good luck with the upcoming medical events. Is everything going well (or at least as expected)?
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Old 11-18-10, 05:47 PM   #16
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Main reason to get a lawyer is to have somebody make sure you don't do anything to sign away your rights. Also, say absolutely nothing about the accident in this forum or anywhere else on the internet or e-mails to friends until everything is settled.
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Old 11-18-10, 07:36 PM   #17
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Document REPLACEMENT cost for all the stuff you lost or had broken. Not what you paid for it, but what it will cost you to replace it.

Then document your work time off and the wages you don't get paid.

Then, GET A LAWYER. You lost consciousness and may have continuing medical issues. The lawyer will bump up the amount of the payout, since they want to get paid, but you need to have someone considering the more long term potential issues you might have with the loss of consciousness.

It's good to want to be reasonable and just made whole, but you have to consider the long term implications. The other guys insurance company may say they'll make you whole with a cash offer, but you'll have to sign away anything else where a lawyer will make sure the language protects you should there be longer term health issues because of this incident.
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