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Old 05-12-13, 12:50 PM   #1
UMassAm
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What should I do if I get hit by a motorist?

Last week I was hit by a motorist as she turned into me without signaling the turn. I was so hopped up on adrenaline, and I didn't know what to do, so while she was saying she's so sorry, she's so sorry, I didn't say anything to her as I checked my bike over and rode off- I just wanted to go on my ride. Spent the next mile cursing her out to myself etc., but that's not going to lead to a behavior change on her part.

If this happens again, what are my rights and responsibilities? What should I do?
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Old 05-12-13, 12:57 PM   #2
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You should handle it as if you were in a car and she turned into you, same principles apply. Call the police so the indecent can be documented. If any injuries to you or your bike have occurred you now have proof of the accident and who was at fault, if it was her fault her insurance will pay for any damages.
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Old 05-12-13, 01:05 PM   #3
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Call the police.
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Old 05-12-13, 01:12 PM   #4
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After removing all bodies or vehicles from the pathway of impending traffic, first check for possible injuries sustained by either one of you. Calling 911 for physical injury takes precedence over any legal issues regarding loss of property. Next, get the license plate number, followed by a mutual exchange of driver's license, or state ID information. Next, call the police and try not to become engaged in too much conversation, as you try to accurately recall the physical dynamics of the accident, so that you will be able to intelligently describe the event to the police, once they arrive. Don't leave without the other party's insurance information, hopefully already obtained by the police!

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Old 05-12-13, 01:22 PM   #5
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Old 05-12-13, 01:24 PM   #6
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Call the police.
^This
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Old 05-12-13, 01:59 PM   #7
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Since there were no injuries or damage, the police do not want to be bothered and many will refuse to write a police report.

Your OP question seems to go towards changing motorist behavior. Since the motorist repeatedly said she was sorry, I think she learned her lesson. Save your anger for the motorist the hit you and then blame you for the collision.
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Old 05-12-13, 02:36 PM   #8
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Is 911 the number to call for any bike accident, even not very serious/involving physical injury (but bike damage)? Also, I guess some drivers will not stay there with you if it's their fault, and drive off before you get a good look at their license plates, especially if you are alone and someone that they think they can bully.
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Old 05-12-13, 03:57 PM   #9
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hit back?
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Old 05-12-13, 05:05 PM   #10
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Get the required information. Notify the police even if they don't come. Make sure you know your vehicle code. File a claim with the car owners insurance and hope for the best. If the insurance company gives you a bad time get a lawyer.
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Old 05-12-13, 05:43 PM   #11
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Since there were no injuries or damage, the police do not want to be bothered and many will refuse to write a police report.

Your OP question seems to go towards changing motorist behavior. Since the motorist repeatedly said she was sorry, I think she learned her lesson. Save your anger for the motorist the hit you and then blame you for the collision.
I mean, I got knocked down, got cuts and bruises and my bar tape got ripped. Not nearly deadly and it could've been a lot worse- but, I don't know what kind of accident you have in mind that an officer wouldn't want to be "bothered" by it, I'm pretty sure it's their job to be deal with it, even if there are no injuries. I'm the one that didn't want to be bothered by it haha.
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Old 05-12-13, 05:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Since there were no injuries or damage, the police do not want to be bothered and many will refuse to write a police report.

Your OP question seems to go towards changing motorist behavior. Since the motorist repeatedly said she was sorry, I think she learned her lesson. Save your anger for the motorist the hit you and then blame you for the collision.
One of your better posts CB
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Old 05-12-13, 06:06 PM   #13
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I mean, I got knocked down, got cuts and bruises and my bar tape got ripped. Not nearly deadly and it could've been a lot worse- but, I don't know what kind of accident you have in mind that an officer wouldn't want to be "bothered" by it, I'm pretty sure it's their job to be deal with it, even if there are no injuries. I'm the one that didn't want to be bothered by it haha.
if you didn't want to be bothered by it that is your choice and can not be faulted. I would have graciously accepted the woman's apology and told her I'm sure you won't make that mistake again! Years ago I was driving to work and a woman pulled over to the curb, stopped like she was parking her car, and then as I was passing here it turns out she decided to turn left == never blinked her turn signal, of course, but who can prove that? We both got minor dents in our cars. Waited for the police about an hour and it was as a total waste of time. Without them seeing it or a third party witness they are unlikely to write a ticket. You probably could have got police there quickly if you said you needed a meat wagon due to neck or back pains. But then you could end up stuck with the bill for the meat wagon ride.

In terms of her future behavior, I do think graciously accepting her apology would probably have been positive.

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Old 05-12-13, 06:08 PM   #14
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You should handle it as if you were in a car and she turned into you, same principles apply. Call the police so the indecent can be documented. If any injuries to you or your bike have occurred you now have proof of the accident and who was at fault, if it was her fault her insurance will pay for any damages.
How will you have proof who was at fault? Without witnesses its all honor system.

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Old 05-12-13, 07:02 PM   #15
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I mean, I got knocked down, got cuts and bruises and my bar tape got ripped. Not nearly deadly and it could've been a lot worse- but, I don't know what kind of accident you have in mind that an officer wouldn't want to be "bothered" by it, I'm pretty sure it's their job to be deal with it, even if there are no injuries. I'm the one that didn't want to be bothered by it haha.
Be sure to tell THEM that, next time you're dealing with one. haha.
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Old 05-12-13, 08:46 PM   #16
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You should have exchanged information at the least. For your protection. I doubt if this will happen in this incident, but I think that you could be charged with fleeing the scene of the accident leaving the way you did.

Also, check yourself carefully for the next few days, not all injuries are immediately apparent.
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Old 05-12-13, 10:15 PM   #17
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How will you have proof who was at fault? Without witnesses its all honor system.

Don in Austin
Thing is, a lot of times- 'specially with a minor accident- the at-fault person will likely tell the truth at the scene. What they acknowledge will be noted by the po-leece in their report....which is a good record to have, so that if anything comes of it in the future, you then have proof of what happened, with the at-fault person's own admissions. And even if you, the victim, don't intend to pursue the matter (i.e. nothing to sue for/the at-fault person vows to make restitution) you never know what the other party might do...like sue you(!)- even if you were the victim. I've seen it happen.

So it's always a good idea to have whatever documentation you can get...so that there can be no funny business down the road (Or if it turns out that the OP is injured, but didn't realize it at the time; or discovers that his bike is cracked, etc.)
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Old 05-12-13, 10:36 PM   #18
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Have a full police report. , get insurance particulars.
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Old 05-12-13, 11:21 PM   #19
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I mean, I got knocked down, got cuts and bruises and my bar tape got ripped. Not nearly deadly and it could've been a lot worse- but, I don't know what kind of accident you have in mind that an officer wouldn't want to be "bothered" by it, I'm pretty sure it's their job to be deal with it, even if there are no injuries. I'm the one that didn't want to be bothered by it haha.
Honolulu Police policy is anything under $3,000 in damages - exchange insurance info and leave them alone. If you do call 911, they will come, write down each drivers insurance info on self carbon forms and give each driver a copy - no real police report even if at fault is disputed. More and more cities are going this route.
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Old 05-12-13, 11:27 PM   #20
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You should have exchanged information at the least. For your protection. I doubt if this will happen in this incident, but I think that you could be charged with fleeing the scene of the accident leaving the way you did.

Also, check yourself carefully for the next few days, not all injuries are immediately apparent.

+1

Not all bicycle frame damage is noticed right away either...

*Two weeks later*...."Damn! Since when was that crack there in my down tube?"....
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Old 05-13-13, 07:05 AM   #21
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There is quite a bit of information on this subject on the Advocacy and Safety Forum.
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Old 05-13-13, 07:45 AM   #22
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You should handle it as if you were in a car and she turned into you, same principles apply. Call the police so the indecent can be documented.
Very true.

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If any injuries to you or your bike have occurred you now have proof of the accident and who was at fault, if it was her fault her insurance will pay for any damages.
Massachusetts is a "no-fault" state, or as I've discovered, more of a "your fault" state. Many insurance companies fight TOOTH AND NAIL to avoid paying claims to cyclists or pedestrians hit by cars, even if the car was obviously at fault...and there's nothing really stopping a driver from just lying and saying something like, "s/he came out of nowhere" or "s/he had no headlights". And the insurance company is liable to dishonestly underestimate the value of the damaged bicycle, and try to imply that the estimate you give them is false and your way of gaming the system, thus painting you as a liar.

It's really pretty terrible.
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Old 05-13-13, 08:12 AM   #23
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Call the police and get insurance company info.
Feeling ok today does not mean feeling ok in a couple of days.
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Old 05-14-13, 08:25 AM   #24
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There are a number of links to Mass bicycle Laws, and organizations on the Lovely Bicycle Blog, lovelybike.blogspot.com. The moderator of the Advocacy and Safety Forum also warns you about putting any information about an accident on the web. If there is a legal proceding the lawyer on the other side will search everything on the web. There was a case in SF where a rider killed a pedestrian, and blogged about it before learning there was a fatality.

Last edited by ironwood; 05-14-13 at 08:31 AM. Reason: correct mistake
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Old 05-14-13, 10:01 AM   #25
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There is quite a bit of information on this subject on the Advocacy and Safety Forum.
There is even a READ ME sticky just for a situation like this- http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...MBERS-READ****

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