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Old 12-09-04, 02:52 PM   #1
descendr
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Question about insurance after accident

I got hit by a car on Tuesday. The car was turning right (against a red) and I was riding off of the sidewalk to cross (with a walk light) in front of her. (I know, I know...it's not a good maneuver and one I rarely make. I was unfamiliar with the street layout and had crossed to the left side of the street two blocks earlier to go down a cross-street. Noticing that the cross-street was a dead end, I proceeded down the sidewalk on the left-hand side.) Anyway, she didn't look to the right and pulled out as I was crossing in front of her. Except for some bruises and strained muscles, I'm OK. I went to the doctor today just to make sure. The bike is unrideable (sp?). The left crank was bent way in so that it won't rotate, and the front rim is all bent up. Fortunately, it was my old beater and not the new Trek 1200 I got earlier this year!

Anyway, here's my question:

I just talked to the woman's insurance company. After the agent did a taped interview with me, she told me that they were claiming fault. She told me to get an estimate for repair from my LBS, and she will be stopping over early next week to look at the bike. However, she also told me that since Minnesota is a no-fault state, they wouldn't be covering any injuries unless they were over $4000, which I certainly don't see happening. She suggested that I contact the insurance company that covers my pickup truck.
But, I don't think I want to file a claim with my insurance company and, then, watch my premium increase. This morning when I went to the Dr., I gave the clinic the name and address of the woman's insurance, but I didn't (and still don't have) the claim number. They told me to call it in later. However, given the no-fault information the insurance company gave me, I'm not sure what to do. I really don't foresee having to go back to the clinic. So, I'm thinking maybe I should just pay the $20 copay and have my health insurance through work pay for the Dr. visit to avoid making a claim with my insurance company. Thoughts?

Peace,
Tim
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Old 12-09-04, 03:11 PM   #2
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I would just leave it as it is (whatever you have already settled) and take it as lesson learned. In most states you would be at fault for riding a bike across a x-walk instead of dismounting.

Of course I could be misreading the actual scenario.

Al
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Old 12-09-04, 03:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by descendr
She suggested that I contact the insurance company that covers my pickup truck.
Tim, I would contact my insurance company to ask what to do. They are certainly not going to want to pay if they are not liable. Therefore, if the lady's ins. company is b/s-ing you, your insurance company will tell you, and help you with the details.

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-04, 04:28 PM   #4
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Your back is tweaked and you need to see a physical therapist once a week for a year. There's your four grand.
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Old 12-09-04, 06:18 PM   #5
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How does a claim raise your rates if nobody is at fault? Does "no fault" mean that one can get in an accident while violating traffic laws and have it be no one's fault. Confused.
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Old 12-09-04, 07:31 PM   #6
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First of all, I wouldn't take her insurance company's word for anything. Your state should have an insurance advocacy group, maybe even a state agency, that can help you to work your way through this. Their claim that you are not to get any medical reimbursement sounds odd to me.
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Old 12-10-04, 01:08 AM   #7
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How does a claim raise your rates if nobody is at fault? Does "no fault" mean that one can get in an accident while violating traffic laws and have it be no one's fault. Confused.

Anytime a claim is filed (does not matter if it is no fault) there is always a possibility of a rate increase. If you strike a pedestrian or a bicyclist with a motor vehicle, your insurance rate will go up guaranteed. On the other hand some insurance companies do reward good drivers by giving rebates to people who do not file claims.
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Old 12-10-04, 09:06 AM   #8
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How does a claim raise your rates if nobody is at fault? Does "no fault" mean that one can get in an accident while violating traffic laws and have it be no one's fault. Confused.
We have 'no fault' insurance in Ontario. What it means, in most cases, is your own insurance company pays for your damages if you are injured or you property is damged in a collision. Fault is determined for the accident however. If the other party is found to be at fault in the collision, your insurance company will recover their costs from the other party's insurance company. Your insurance premium won't rise. The other party's premiums will. I've been through this several times. Some half-wit runs into my car. It's their fault. My insurance company pays me. My premiums don't rise. I did have to pay my deductible though. A strongly worded letter or two (the second threatening legal action) to the at fault party has been enough to recover my deductible. This even worked when I was hit by a 15 yr. old cyclist. He ran a stop sign (I was on a through street) and struck my vehicle broadside. He damaged the front fender, trashed the hood and wiped out the pop up headlights. All told around $2500 damage. Fortunately, he wasn't injured. My insurance company paid me. My rates didn't increase. I threatened the parents of the cyclist with legal action. They paid my deductible.
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Old 12-10-04, 09:36 AM   #9
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I don't know who was legally at fault, but you are right that riding off the sidewalk into a crosswalk is dangerous. Some cyclists feel safer on sidewalks, but, as this accident proves, sidewalk riding is hazardous. If you must use the sidewalk, walk your bicycle. And never ride through a cross walk.

Again, I don't know if you're legally entitled to money, but morally, this was at least partially your fault. Fortunately, your injuries are minor. You can treat this non-serious accident is an inexpensive lesson in how not to cycle. We've all had a couple of those kind of lessons.
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Old 12-10-04, 09:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay677
We have 'no fault' insurance in Ontario. What it means, in most cases, is your own insurance company pays for your damages if you are injured or you property is damged in a collision. Fault is determined for the accident however. If the other party is found to be at fault in the collision, your insurance company will recover their costs from the other party's insurance company. Your insurance premium won't rise. The other party's premiums will.
Thanks, ajay677, for the info!

I did call my insurance company this morning because -- and I forgot to mention this in my earlier message -- an ambulance was dispatched to check my condition and, while they didn't transport me anywhere, I certainly don't want to be stuck with an ambulance bill. My insurance company seemed to be very familiar with the process.

Tim
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Old 12-10-04, 01:05 PM   #11
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Thanks, ajay677, for the info!

I did call my insurance company this morning because -- and I forgot to mention this in my earlier message -- an ambulance was dispatched to check my condition and, while they didn't transport me anywhere, I certainly don't want to be stuck with an ambulance bill. My insurance company seemed to be very familiar with the process.

Tim

As long as you RMA (refuse medical assistance) you will not be billed for the ambulance that shows up at the scene. Once you get inside the ambulance and they take you to a medical facility, then you are billed. I do not believe that your insurance will pay for it.
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Old 12-10-04, 02:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
I don't know who was legally at fault, but you are right that riding off the sidewalk into a crosswalk is dangerous. Some cyclists feel safer on sidewalks, but, as this accident proves, sidewalk riding is hazardous. If you must use the sidewalk, walk your bicycle. And never ride through a cross walk.

Again, I don't know if you're legally entitled to money, but morally, this was at least partially your fault. Fortunately, your injuries are minor. You can treat this non-serious accident is an inexpensive lesson in how not to cycle. We've all had a couple of those kind of lessons.
Daily Commute: The last thing I was looking for here was a lecture! And, I'm not looking for money! If you had bothered to read my entire post, you would have known that the question I had -- and was answered --was regarding "no-fault" laws as it pertains to bike accidents.

Thanks to all who had constructive advice!!

Tim
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Old 12-10-04, 02:55 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by descendr
Daily Commute: The last thing I was looking for here was a lecture! And, I'm not looking for money! If you had bothered to read my entire post, you would have known that the question I had -- and was answered --was regarding "no-fault" laws as it pertains to bike accidents.

Thanks to all who had constructive advice!!
The sidewalk riding deserved comment. Too many cyclists falsely think that riding on the sidewalk is safer than riding on the street. The opposite is true. As to the "lecture," I applied it to myself, too. I pointed out that most cyclists (including me, and now including you) have had a few painful lessons on how not to ride.

I hope you keep riding and keep posting to these forums.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 12-11-04 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 12-10-04, 04:04 PM   #14
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For discussion purposes (not for legal ramifications) there is also the consideration of how you left the sidewalk to get on x-walk. If you were stopped still waiting for walk signal and started out slowly (but on bike) - that is how pedestians do it and, legal or not, if done on a bike the car should have seen you and stopped. But if you were riding along at 15mph on the sidewalk and entered the x-walk at speed just as the walk signal came on then even an alert car driver may not see you.

I almost hit another cyclist when I was on my bike making a right turn - I was riding along at 24mph on main road, slowed a bit and made a right turn into a side street and nearly whacked a sidewalk cyclist who was riding parallel to the road on the sidewalk which is offset by ~6ft with some bushes, etc. between sidewalk so I didn't even see the other cyclist as I was looking at the road ahead of me and if any peds were preparing to cross x-walk, but not the sidewalk 20ft before intersection.

Al
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Old 12-28-04, 03:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay677
We have 'no fault' insurance in Ontario. What it means, in most cases, is your own insurance company pays for your damages if you are injured or you property is damged in a collision. Fault is determined for the accident however. If the other party is found to be at fault in the collision, your insurance company will recover their costs from the other party's insurance company. Your insurance premium won't rise. The other party's premiums will. I've been through this several times. Some half-wit runs into my car. It's their fault. My insurance company pays me. My premiums don't rise. I did have to pay my deductible though. A strongly worded letter or two (the second threatening legal action) to the at fault party has been enough to recover my deductible. This even worked when I was hit by a 15 yr. old cyclist. He ran a stop sign (I was on a through street) and struck my vehicle broadside. He damaged the front fender, trashed the hood and wiped out the pop up headlights. All told around $2500 damage. Fortunately, he wasn't injured. My insurance company paid me. My rates didn't increase. I threatened the parents of the cyclist with legal action. They paid my deductible.
Thanks ajay. I am no longer confused. very helpful info.
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Old 12-28-04, 09:07 PM   #16
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I just went through a bike/car accident last year. The motorist's insurance company admitted fault and covered all claims. Since I built the bike from the frame up (ten years ago), I submitted a list of parts and costs from LBS and mailorder catalogs. My LBS told me to salvage nothing because of the force on the frame and wheels, turn everything in as a claim even if it appeared okay. No problem, they sent me a check for the full amount. They also covered all medical costs, and used a multiplier of 5 for the settlement offer. (My agent told me that was more than fair, I also checked with a lawyer friend and he agreed.) My agent also asked me to turn in the medical cost to him for reimbursement regardless of what my medical insurance paid. This is NC, I'm sure laws differ from state to state, but it never hurts to ask. Here in NC we have up to three years following the accident to advance the claim.
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Old 12-28-04, 10:37 PM   #17
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I thought that no-fault only applied between motor vehicles? For insurance purposes, bikes are considered personal property, for which motorists still need to have PL/PD. Same as if the woman went through a store's front window - she couldn't just claim 'no fault' and walk away, her insurance would have to pay up.
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