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Old 09-18-09, 11:22 AM   #1
Splather
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Took a tumble this morning...what to do next?

Hi all

Was commuting through the city this morning on my crosser. Going down the main road when some idiot opened his car door. I basically went through the thing, the bike went down, and I can't remember quite how I landed, but my knee had a lump the size of a golf ball on it a couple of hours later, and I've got a heck of nasty scrape with a big bruise up the back of my calf.

Think the front wheel's out of true, and there are a couple of chips out of the rim (as if it's been gripped with some pipe grips or something). Can't see any other scratches other than on the brake hoods etc. Got carbon forks, but can't see any damage.

In terms of damage to his motor, I busted the door up pretty badly, and he couldn't close it. I took his phone number, and his reg plate, and he admitted liability (saw me coming in his mirror but let the door go too early - spanner).

Not sure on what to do next - should I get the bike checked over anyway in case of damage I can't see to the forks etc? Not sure if there's such a thing as "invisible damage"? Is chips out of the rim dangerous?

Not sure either whether to take out one of those no-win-no-fee cases against the bloke? I mean, he's offered to sort any damages... Is it worth putting in an injury claim? I've not been to hospital, just treated it with ice etc at home so far.

If anyone has any advice or relevant experiences, I'd be glad if they shared.

Cheers, Sp
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Old 09-18-09, 11:27 AM   #2
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Well, mistake #1 is it doesn't sound like you got a police report. Not sure how insurance works in the UK, but that would be my next step.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:28 AM   #3
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In the US, this would be the fault of the car owner and you would (generally) be able to recover your losses (for the bike, components, and any medical stuff). Typically, people (like him) have automobile insurance that covers things like this.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:42 AM   #4
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I'm guessing the bloke (from what he said this morning) will happily pay for damage to the bike. Just not sure if I'm making a fuss over nothing? Not sure how serious chips in the rim/potential fork damage is, really - do these things ever realistically cause problems?
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Old 09-18-09, 12:05 PM   #5
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If you haven't done it already, get to a doctor and have your knee looked at- from what you describe, there's the potential that it was seriously injured. You can always get another bike, it's a lot harder to get another knee.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:08 PM   #6
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Get yourself taken care of and then worry about fixing the bike.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:42 PM   #7
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It also sounds like you suffered some head trauma wherein you lost consciousness. This should be reported to a doctor. Subdural hematoma's are nothing to scoff at. Get a neurological exam.
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Old 09-18-09, 02:07 PM   #8
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Insurance company's in the UK don't respect the fact that a bike is worth anything. You may have trouble dealing with them so if you can get a shop involved that deals with Bike/car accidents then so much the better.

MY LBS has a relationship with insurance companies- or rather they know how to deal with them. Sounds as though this was the drivers fault so you should be OK.

The damage done to the bike should be checked out by a bike shop and estimate for them to do the work -with labour- and get in touch with the insurance company as soon as possible. As you are a commuter- point out to them that this is your means of transport and that you will have to hire a bike till the repairs are done.

I had a friend hit by a car and it was not his fault with the bike being a writeoff. In fact the driver was prosecuted by the Police as my friend also spent 3 days in hospital. The insurance company did not pay up for 3 months and it was a cheap bike- about 150- and was as far as the Insurance company concerned- not worth the 150 as it was used. So watch out.
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Old 09-18-09, 03:51 PM   #9
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You should get checked out by a Doctor, sounds like quite an impact.
You should claim for any damage to the bike, get it checked out by a good shop, they should pay for the check out as well if there is a charge.
You should claim for any lost wages because of this, including any time you spend at the Doctors.

Pain and suffering? Depends on how much grief it causes you and how you feel about it, you can certainly do so, but it's up to you.

Bottom line, this tool screwed up. Why should you end up out of pocket? If he really ticked you off, go after the P&S.
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Old 09-18-09, 04:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice guys.

Now got a couple of bruises starting to show up.. Injuries seem to tie up to me essentially rugby tackling the door of his car at about 15-20mph. All looks like I hit the bit at the top with my left arm, and the inside of the door with my knee, bent the door back. Think the bike carried on underneath me and that explains the pedal-whipping

Does anyone know if in the UK you have to have a police incident number in order to pursue an insurance claim? Is there a time limit on how long afterwards you can report it? Starting to stiffen up a bit now, so thought might nip up a&e in the morning or something to get it recorded and get the knee checked.

Will definitely go with advice re: having bike checked over, don't want another accident in the near future!

Anyone know of any success with insurance cases for being doored?


PS: Anyone tried one of these No Win No Fee things?
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Old 09-18-09, 04:37 PM   #11
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Do get your knee looked after. I had a spill about a month ago, and I thought I'd just let my injury heal naturally. Big mistake. It felt okay at first but it got worse as time went on. I saw my doctor a week ago, and she's referred me to a physical therapist so the muscles will heal properly.

Last edited by TinyCycler; 09-18-09 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 09-18-09, 04:52 PM   #12
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Do get your knee looked after. I had a spill about a month ago, and I thought I'd just let my injury heal naturally. Big mistake. It felt okay at first but it got worse as time went on. I saw a doctor my week ago, and she's referred me to physical therapist so the muscles will heal properly.
+10

Come on, Superman, and get checked out by the doctors.
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Old 09-18-09, 05:09 PM   #13
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+10

Come on, Superman, and get checked out by the doctors.


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Old 09-18-09, 05:12 PM   #14
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The damage done to the bike should be checked out by a bike shop and estimate for them to do the work -with labour- and get in touch with the insurance company as soon as possible.
Only got his number and Reg number. This might be a stupid question but it's my first knock and am new to this, but how do I find out his insurer?
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Old 09-18-09, 05:31 PM   #15
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TECHNICALLY this person is in the wrong, and it sounds like you're lucky enough that he feels badly and is willing to pay for damages, including to his own vehicle. Try to be reasonable with him. I doubt he'll pull that bonehead move again. I hope you realise that you're in the wrong, too (saftey-wise, although perhaps not legally speaking), to have let it happen at all. Leave yourself more space in the future, consider it a good lesson, and be glad there wasn't a third 'wrong' in the mix: someone overtaking a cyclist who wasn't leaving himself enough space. Three wrongs make for a disaster, in this scenario, not just a bumped knee and minor bike damage.
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Old 09-18-09, 05:44 PM   #16
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Am glad I didn't go under a bus Could have been much nastier.

Will get bike and knee checked - if it's a bump and the wheel just needs trueing, I think I'll ring him and ask for the money to get it done and leave it at that. But if it's any worse, isn't that what his insurance is for? I should tell the boys in blue, yeah?

Last edited by Splather; 09-18-09 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 09-19-09, 01:05 PM   #17
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Yeah, report it to the cops too. Glad you're still alive. I've heard stories of getting killed after doorings, and then people getting hit by oncoming cars..
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Old 09-19-09, 02:02 PM   #18
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That's not a "tumble" that's a bonafide crash my friend, sounds real nasty.

Yet another dumb cager incident. Sigh.
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Old 09-19-09, 03:21 PM   #19
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RICE

Rest
Ice
Compress
Elevate

It's prolly too late for your injury, but it bears repeating. Rest the injured area or joint, put ice on it to reduce swelling, compress it (with an Ace bandage or brace) and try to Elevate it higher than your heart. That last one is a bit tricky, so do your best.

After an hour or so with the icing, I usually take a large dose of NSAIDs -- ibuprofen, Aleve, or one of the other over the counter ones. The analgesic effect reduces the discomfort, and the anti-inflammatory effect speeds healing. Keep on the NSAIDs unless they give you upset stomach. A little starch or tea helps with that.

You can really cut a lot off of both the healing time and the pain by following this advice for serious bruises.
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Old 09-19-09, 06:10 PM   #20
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In the US, this would be the fault of the car owner and you would (generally) be able to recover your losses (for the bike, components, and any medical stuff). Typically, people (like him) have automobile insurance that covers things like this.
I'm not sure this is true everywhere in the US, or if the laws are enforced if it is. You'd have a hell of a time collecting anything around here (though we do have one cycling judge who's pretty tough on drivers). Being doored is such a common and well-recognized event that I'm inclined to think there's a shared responsibility at best--he shouldn't have opened the door without looking back, but you should have been aware of the possibility and been riding further from the cars, at reduced speed or both. My sympathy is with the cyclist in cases like this, but common sense dictates caution.
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Old 09-20-09, 01:16 AM   #21
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Only got his number and Reg number. This might be a stupid question but it's my first knock and am new to this, but how do I find out his insurer?
Contact him as soon as possible. Unless he is not insured- this will cost him a new door. So he will be going through his insurance company.

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Thanks for the advice guys.

Now got a couple of bruises starting to show up.. Injuries seem to tie up to me essentially rugby tackling the door of his car at about 15-20mph. All looks like I hit the bit at the top with my left arm, and the inside of the door with my knee, bent the door back. Think the bike carried on underneath me and that explains the pedal-whipping

Does anyone know if in the UK you have to have a police incident number in order to pursue an insurance claim? Is there a time limit on how long afterwards you can report it? Starting to stiffen up a bit now, so thought might nip up a&e in the morning or something to get it recorded and get the knee checked.

Will definitely go with advice re: having bike checked over, don't want another accident in the near future!

Anyone know of any success with insurance cases for being doored?


PS: Anyone tried one of these No Win No Fee things?

No police incident no required but it is up to the other party to inform his insurance company or pay up himself.

And for future incidents--Police have to be called if there is any personal injury involved to either party- So next time- Limp like mad and get the Police called.
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Old 09-22-09, 02:51 PM   #22
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Quick update

Finally got insurance details, went to a&e, told the cops.

Nothing broken, and rediscovered my belief that the police are pretty useless.

Really reticent to take any details. The place was empty, so they didn't seem too busy. Only after airing my concerns that I wouldn't have an official record of the accident in case of dispute that they finally took some details on a scrap of paper.

Insurance company have admitted liability on the blower so now it's just a case of submitting an estimate from the LBS for the repair work, and getting some solicitors to claim for bumps and scrapes. Result!

Ta to all who commented - some great advice given!
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