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Old 02-15-11, 07:39 PM   #1
BikeDork02
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Wife hit by Car today riding on Lakeline

Hey Guys and Gals,

Need help from the TX cycling community.

Today my wife was hit from behind travelling northbound on Lakeline. She had just left our home and was going out for a quick fun spin while I was at work.

Unfortunately a motorist hit her from behind, launching her over his car, onto the asphalt. She bounced over onto the sidewalk, thank God, and was not hit by any other motorists.

She is ok. Tons of road rash, fractures on her spine, and possibility of fractures in her wrist and knee. Shes on pain meds and is able to sleep.

Bike is trashed from what the police told me (havent gotten it back yet, they want to hold onto it to examine it for another day or two.)

I still dont fully understand Texas vehicle code, so I need some advice. What should we do? Do we need to lawyer up? (We come from California, where everyone has a lawyer.) What rights do we have?

If we need to lawyer up, does anyone know a lawyer that is a cyclist that can help us?

Last edited by BikeDork02; 02-15-11 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 02-15-11, 07:44 PM   #2
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Sorry, can't help with the lawyer questions...just wanted to say, thankfully she will be o.k., outcome could have been much worse. Good luck to you both.
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Old 02-15-11, 07:58 PM   #3
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I'll ask around for you. I place attorneys for a living, but I don't place candidates for personal injury. To start, you might google 'personal injury attorney cycling' in your area. A quick google search for the following came up for Austin, but I don't know him. I'll ask our Austin recruiter if she knows him. In any case, you can research your attorney through the Texas Bar www.texasbar.com, and the local county bar association near your city.

http://austincyclistattorney.com/

You definitely need to consult at least one attorney, and I would recommend 2 or 3, and choose 1.
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Old 02-15-11, 07:58 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about it

This is not good and probably hurts a lot. I hope she can recover completely.

I went through almost that this past summer- tore my face up, injured my back, totaled my bike. I won't ever fully recover.

If she was hit from behind then I'm guessing that you definitely need a good lawyer.
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Old 02-15-11, 08:03 PM   #5
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Thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery.

Good luck with your search for a lawyer.

Be safe out there guys. You never know what the other person is going to do.
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Old 02-15-11, 08:20 PM   #6
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Oh, yeah. And go ahead and order a complete copy of the city's records, police report, pictures, 911 call if it is available, etc. You will want that when visiting with the attorney. Sometimes those records aren't kept on file all that long, so get a copy while it is available.

You might also call the police/detective and see if there is a case for criminal behavior that they will be referring to the prosecutor. That may be why they kept the bike, if they are doing an ongoing investigation.
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Old 02-15-11, 08:28 PM   #7
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I know nothing about attorneys, but I wish her a full recovery. Once recovered I hope this does not put her off cycling. A crash such as this can leave lasting impressions. Good luck
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Old 02-15-11, 09:09 PM   #8
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Have her write down everything she can remember about what happened right now. Have at least two copies. Get a photo of the bike and the area and the car if you can. Back up your digital info. Eventually it may be important. Date everything too. Then follow the advice about talking to at least three lawyers. It may drag on for a long time the the dated detailed info will be important if they fight you.
Go back and see if you can find any witnesses. Keep the medical records too. Be proactive not reactive.

I hope she is OK.
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Old 02-16-11, 08:04 AM   #9
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Sorry about your wife getting hit. May she recover quickly
I don't know any lawyers but i recommend you getting one in this case.

Check with the bicycle advocacy groups

I was out yesterday and did 45 miles during that no fewer than five vehicles buzzed me. (passing me while having the tires over the white line) This is a road that has a wide berm.
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Old 02-16-11, 11:59 AM   #10
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Definitely get an attorney; I know there are at least 2 in the Austin area who ride and have advertised services for cyclists but I can't find their names right now.

One thing wasn't clear from your post - did the driver stick around or disappear?
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Old 02-16-11, 06:03 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the well wishes and support. She is doing really well. Knee movement is back, and she has less sharp pains. Shes still in bed alot and isnt moving around much though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
Definitely get an attorney; I know there are at least 2 in the Austin area who ride and have advertised services for cyclists but I can't find their names right now.

One thing wasn't clear from your post - did the driver stick around or disappear?
The driver stuck around, even called 911, and Cedar Park PD has all the info. EMT's were quick to the scene and raced her to the hospital so I never made it to the scene.
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Old 02-16-11, 09:40 PM   #12
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Best wishes.
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Old 02-16-11, 09:45 PM   #13
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Prayers
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Old 02-18-11, 07:28 AM   #14
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That sucks. She has my prayers for a quick and complete recovery. I would definitely lawyer up since bikes can legally be on the road. I would think it would be the same as if the driver rear-ended another car.

Riding Lakeline scares me to death, I go out of my way to avoid it (have ridden on the sidewalk several times just because I don't feel safe on the road).
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Old 02-20-11, 11:03 AM   #15
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I would recommend a lawyer I was hit last may and luckily I only had soft tissue damage helmet took the brunt of the impact and probably saved my life. Bills get out of hand very fast and the most screwed up thing I learned about the whole thing is my health insurance (a ppo through the company I work) covers nothing in injuries that were not of my own fault. Until you make your mind up about a lawyer or not I would have her avoid any statements to the insurance company and I recall my attorney suggesting not discussing the accident on any forums or social networking sites. The whole thing that I didn't like about having a lawyer is once you sign the contract with the attorney you are pretty much playing by his rules while you can back out but you will owe him for his time and expenses, luckily I didn't have any problems with my attorney. In the end I was glad to have an attorney they deal with all the bs while I focused on recovery. I wish your wife a quick recovery and good luck with whatever decision you make.
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Old 02-20-11, 07:28 PM   #16
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Call AJ cycles on Parmer. If I remember correctly the owner of the bike shops father in law is a lawyer for cyclist.

Sorry hear about your wife, where on Lakeline did it occur?
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Old 02-23-11, 02:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeDork02 View Post
She is ok. Tons of road rash, fractures on her spine, and possibility of fractures in her wrist and knee. Shes on pain meds and is able to sleep.
If spinal fractures are on the OK list for you, I really don't want to see what you'd call a bad injury.

Definitely at least talk to a lawyer now; even if you don't need one right away, they can make sure you gather the right information and deal with everything in a way that won't interfere with the possibility of suing if the insurance company makes trouble later.
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Old 02-26-11, 01:12 PM   #18
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Best wishes for her speedy recovery.
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Old 02-26-11, 01:17 PM   #19
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Best wishes and prayers.
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Old 02-27-11, 12:51 PM   #20
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If the driver is being cooperative and isn't trying to deny fault for everything, you may not actually need a lawyer.

The person to ask would be a lawyer (rather than us, if for no other reason that we don't have all the information), but keep in mind that they don't get paid if they say "no", so there is a conflict of interest here.

It sounds like your wife's medical bills alone will be way more than the minimum auto insurance in Texas, and if you have a lawyer, they may very well want 33% of whatever you collect. With some luck, this person had more than the minimum coverage, or has a lot of money to pay for things, but if not, you may very end up with less if you get a lawyer than if you don't.

I hope things turn out well, and hope your wife heals quickly, but keep in mind that there are negatives to getting a lawyer. I imagine the thing to do is to talk to one, but keep the big picture in mind.
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Old 02-27-11, 09:25 PM   #21
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Best wishes!!! glad she's 'ok'.

Lawyer Up!! They driver did the right thing by sticking around and all but the Insurance CO is going to try to get away with paying as little as possible. Not saying that you'll be suing for $10 Mil, but still if they can get away with paying out $10k, they will. A good Atty will help you get what you deserve and not a dime less. Spinal injuries go on for years and years, you'll need coverage for that.

Again sorry to hear!!
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Old 02-28-11, 12:58 PM   #22
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Not saying that you'll be suing for $10 Mil, but still if they can get away with paying out $10k, they will. A good Atty will help you get what you deserve and not a dime less.
Lawyers are always on TV talking about what you "deserve", often giving a nice fist pump when they say that word. It seems to be very convincing. As for "not a dime less", this only works when the person they're after has deep pockets, and of course this is measured before the attorney takes his fees.

If there's no doubt that the driver is 100% at fault, and medical bills exceed the policy limits, a good attorney will get you the max of their insurance policy, minus 33% or so for his fees. If you don't get a lawyer, you'll probably also get the max of their insurance policy -- but won't subtract 33%.

A lawyer might be useful if there's some doubt about who's at fault, or if the driver has lots of insurance or assets, or just in general if the insurance or driver is trying to screw you around -- but there's a heavy cost associated with lawyering up.

A good lawyer will tell you this, and will tell you when you should handle things yourself -- but considering that this means they don't make any money, I wouldn't expect to hear this often.

Quote:
Spinal injuries go on for years and years, you'll need coverage for that.
The minimum liability insurance in Texas is $30k. Based on the description of her injuries, her medical bills probably exceeded that in the first day.

Unless the driver was wealthy or was driving a company car, it's unlikely that any settlement will be large enough to cover years worth of any part of the cost of this crash.
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Old 02-28-11, 03:16 PM   #23
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Yes, get a lawyer. The motorist who hit her could be the most compassionate and helpful guy in the world, but you won't be dealing with him, you'll be dealing with his insurance company. When I was hit by a car, the first offer from the other guy's insurance company would have left me out of pocket for my medical expenses. And the second. And the third. Lawyers can marshall information to build a case that will convince the insurance company to pay out. Most laymen can't. Good luck. Glad your wife wasn't more seriously hurt.
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Old 03-01-11, 08:11 AM   #24
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not turn this into some legal debate, but I'll share an experience of a co-worker who was hit on his motorcycle. i'd still at least call a lawyer.

unless this individual was on business, you'll most likely never see dime from them. the texas homestead laws favor the defendant.

If the insurance company ponies up the max, that is the best you can hope for. not to mention, your health insurance right now is most likely picking up the bill. if the insurance is through an employer, the laws reach into EIRSA or whatever. leins will be filed on your home. you must sign to release the insurance money to your health insurance company, so there is some negotiation there.

just sharing an experience from a co-worker who was hit by a motorist running a stop sign. all he had to show for it was $50k, a limp and less than 1 mile walking range.

i'm sorry to hear about this, and i hope for a speedy and full recovery.
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Old 04-09-11, 02:14 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeDork02 View Post
Hey Guys and Gals,

Need help from the TX cycling community.

Today my wife was hit from behind travelling northbound on Lakeline. She had just left our home and was going out for a quick fun spin while I was at work.

Unfortunately a motorist hit her from behind, launching her over his car, onto the asphalt. She bounced over onto the sidewalk, thank God, and was not hit by any other motorists.

She is ok. Tons of road rash, fractures on her spine, and possibility of fractures in her wrist and knee. Shes on pain meds and is able to sleep.

Bike is trashed from what the police told me (havent gotten it back yet, they want to hold onto it to examine it for another day or two.)

I still dont fully understand Texas vehicle code, so I need some advice. What should we do? Do we need to lawyer up? (We come from California, where everyone has a lawyer.) What rights do we have?

If we need to lawyer up, does anyone know a lawyer that is a cyclist that can help us?
Sorry to hear the bad news is there an update? Hope your wife is recovering well. It's hard to give advice without the details, but who was "at fault" for the accident based on the police report?? Either way, depending on the situation I would most definitely obtain a lawyer. There is property damage involved.
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