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Old 04-18-08, 09:15 AM   #1
cutterfilm
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me, my bike and a car door.

I'll try to keep this brief as possible. Someone opened their car door into my bike yesterday while riding home. He opened the door just as I was passing, so he missed my wheel and opened it into the angled forward part of my frame. I flew around. Can't remember the next two seconds too well, but I think my bike got swung around because there was a wheel mark on the side of his car next to the hood. I'm feeling bruised up but not so great today after the trip to the emergency room last night. My frame is pretty crushed in the spot that collided with the door. After apologizing many times while writhed in pain on the sidewalk (he also said he'd pay for my broken side mirror -- $6.50 -- woohoo!), the owner of the door was much more confrontational on the phone when I got out of the hospital. Anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this? I was riding in West Hollywood. I'm not looking to stick to him, but if it's his fault then I want to get my emergency room and bike bills taken care. I'm not a confrontational person, but I want to stand up for myself. BTW, i went to Cedar's emergency. They were all great. I was surprised by how reasonable and helpful everyone was.
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Old 04-18-08, 09:23 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear that. Since you were injured, did you file a police report?
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Old 04-18-08, 09:25 AM   #3
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Yes...I hope you got a police report.
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Old 04-18-08, 09:51 AM   #4
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His automotive insurance covers this type of accident. (I just talked to my buddy who is an Allstate agent). File a claim with his insurance. If he won't give you the information, take him to small claims court, I think the maximum in CA is up to $5,000.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:11 AM   #5
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police report

i need to file one today. it was late when I got out of emergency and I couldn't even write yesterday with a shoulder injury. i'm gonna drive over to the sheriff's dept today. i got all his info except his car insurance.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:21 AM   #6
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Glad to read that you are relatively OK. Too bad he's being a ******bag about it as it would be in his best interest to be REALLY nice to you.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:21 AM   #7
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Yeah....i have a friend that has been commuting in Socal for years and has been hit like 3 times...everytime the other person's insurance company paid for the bike plus much more, hands down his fault in the state's eyes. He should be nice to you cause he's gonna pay for it.

Glad you're ok and i hope it all turns out well.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:51 AM   #8
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CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE 22517. No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

Amended Ch. 162, Stats. 1963. Effective September 20, 1963.

You need to have a police report reflecting this man's violation of CVC 22517. Ideally, you would have called the police at the scene and had the motorist cited. It's 100% his responsibility to watch his door.

Get a police report and a lawyer. Sue.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:53 PM   #9
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Documentation, documentation

first sorry about your misfortune and hope your ok, when ever possible ride 5 ft to the left of parked cars.

You should still be able to go down to the police station and file a report, do your self a favor and try and insist. Document the day, time, etc, hopefully you got the vehicle info and driver info, take pictures of your bruises, bike damage etc. Have extra copies of and medical docs on hand in case you need them. Finally, contact the driver's insurance.

good luck,
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Old 04-18-08, 01:25 PM   #10
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Yeah, get pictures of your bike and your injuries. if you can find it, pictures of the car before it gets repaired will be helpful too.
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Old 04-18-08, 02:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dunwood View Post
His automotive insurance covers this type of accident. (I just talked to my buddy who is an Allstate agent). File a claim with his insurance. If he won't give you the information, take him to small claims court, I think the maximum in CA is up to $5,000.
The maximum in California is $7,500. If you win the case you may also have the court-fees paid for by the losing party (filing fees, sheriff summoning fees, etc:.)
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Old 04-18-08, 02:48 PM   #12
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sorry to hear about this. get photos of everything, including his car (if possible) and file the police report. have the bike inspected (at least) and have the shop work up some figures for repair or to have a similar quality bike put together. call the guy, explain that it will all go under his insurance, but that you need that information.
If he is uncooperative then you can have the cops identify if he has insurance (they will be able to give you a yes/no answer at least) and then start calling around to companies to search for his insurance yourself...
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Old 04-18-08, 04:45 PM   #13
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Take the lane, it's safer. Also look out for former forum members who door cyclists and then try to justify their actions.
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Old 04-18-08, 05:36 PM   #14
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The West Hollywood Sheriff's station wouldn't let me file Police Report or an Accident Report. They said: Police Report only if he left the scene; Accident Report only at the scene. Of course, I tried calling 911 at the scene, but it was busy then no answer. So we just went to the Emergency Room. Thanks for all the suggestions. Feeling okay, but it's tough climbing stairs and getting out of a chair.
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Old 04-18-08, 05:43 PM   #15
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I'm hoping you're not going to let this guy get away.
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Old 04-18-08, 05:52 PM   #16
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So far I think he's just young and naive about the law. I just want things to turn out fairly. But, yeah, I'm not going to roll over, even though I hate confrontation.
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Old 04-18-08, 06:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutterfilm View Post
The West Hollywood Sheriff's station wouldn't let me file Police Report or an Accident Report. They said: Police Report only if he left the scene; Accident Report only at the scene. Of course, I tried calling 911 at the scene, but it was busy then no answer. So we just went to the Emergency Room. Thanks for all the suggestions. Feeling okay, but it's tough climbing stairs and getting out of a chair.

I believe that is hogwash...these guys get lazy and don't care to spend the time to write up a report. Ask for a supervisor, his boss, or his boss's, boss. Your a tax payer, they work for you. Insist. When they write it, read it over carefully make sure it's legible and that your statement is on there. Check the details, dates and times. Don't be intimidated just because they are law enforcement.
Ask your self this question. If you and another motorist collide while driving vehicles, (CHP) for example, do they not write a report just becuase the other motorist didn't get away? I think not...That report is a very important piece of evidence in case it come to you needing it. Mention that you called 911 and that you kept getting a busy signal. You can walk in with your cell phone bill as proof too.
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