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Commuting Accident:

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Commuting Accident:

Old 08-28-08, 07:56 PM
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foehn
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Commuting Accident:

I was reading a post below about the person wanting advice on what to ask for from dog owners/insurance company for injuries and the like for a bike-dog accident. It brought to mind my husband's accident earlier this year:

A couple of months ago my husband was commuting to work and was hit by a van changing lanes. He was bounced back and forth between a parked car and the van which resulted in him ending up on the ground, off the bike (he was separated from it), the front wheel tacoed and damage to his carbon fork and helmet. He had a very brief loss of unconciousness (he does not remember hitting the ground). No cuts, scrapes or abrasions, nor even a tear in his clothing. Fire Department emergency people were called out and he was hauled off in an ambulance to an emergency visit. He was x-rayed and examined but nothing was found to be hurt and there was no concussion observed; he was told soft tissue damage and he should check in with his doctor. He was sent to physical therapy for soft tissue damage to his shoulder; he DID NOT tear his rotator cuff and he says the therapy helped out. The last therapy visit was in July.

He was in pretty big pain and took prescription pain-killers for this (it had to have been pretty severe because doesn't liketo take even OTC medications) for the first couple of days after the accident. His head was banged up; on the first day after you could see some slight swelling on the left and after that he got a diffuse shiner-bruise around his eye. His vision is and was fine.

This accident was reported to our health insurance as an accident and they were given the name of the person driving and his insurance information.

He does not want to sue but he has not settled with the insurance company. He said the last time they talked to him they wanted access to his medical records and he did not want to do this. He originally was going to settle for all medical bills paid and all damages to his bike and helmet covered plus $4,000, giving up his rights to further compensation. I said no, because at the time he had not started physical therapy, and if any other complications had come up we could have been stuck big-time.

He seems back up to par and normal. He is riding his bike about 5 days a week for his usual lengths of time.

1. Is the request for access to his medical records normal in a case like this?

2. Even though he does not want to sue, should he go see a lawyer to find out where he stands?

3. If you recommend a lawyer, do you know of a good bicycle lawyer in the eastern section of Los Angeles county or in San Bernardino County in Southern California?

Any other advice, comment or questions?

Last edited by foehn; 08-28-08 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 08-29-08, 01:37 AM
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Get a lawyer.
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Old 08-29-08, 04:39 AM
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I'm a doctor, and the request for medical records in a case like this is absolutely routine. But anybody involved in an accident like your husband's should retain an attorney. If he tries to cut a deal on his own, he'll just get taken for a ride. Insurance companies have the ethics of a cockroach.
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Old 08-29-08, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
I'm a doctor, and the request for medical records in a case like this is absolutely routine. But anybody involved in an accident like your husband's should retain an attorney. If he tries to cut a deal on his own, he'll just get taken for a ride. Insurance companies have the ethics of a cockroach.
Does that mean that if you nuke seven of them one will survive?
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Old 08-29-08, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ajenkins View Post
I'm a doctor, and the request for medical records in a case like this is absolutely routine. But anybody involved in an accident like your husband's should retain an attorney. If he tries to cut a deal on his own, he'll just get taken for a ride. Insurance companies have the ethics of a cockroach.
Why not first see how large a settlement he can obtain from the insurance company? He can always hire an ambulance chaser later, but at least that way he can judge whether the lawyer is taking him for a ride. If the insurance company offers him $6K without an attorney, he'll need a $10K settlement with a lawyer, just to break even.

The victim can add up his own mechanical and medical expenses, plus lost wages, transportation expenses, etc. A customary multiplier for pain and suffering is something like 3X medical. Never accept the insurance adjuster's first offer, because there is always more money where that came from.
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Old 08-29-08, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
Why not first see how large a settlement he can obtain from the insurance company? He can always hire an ambulance chaser later, but at least that way he can judge whether the lawyer is taking him for a ride. If the insurance company offers him $6K without an attorney, he'll need a $10K settlement with a lawyer, just to break even.

The victim can add up his own mechanical and medical expenses, plus lost wages, transportation expenses, etc. A customary multiplier for pain and suffering is something like 3X medical. Never accept the insurance adjuster's first offer, because there is always more money where that came from.
They don’t necessarily have to hire an attorney, they could consult with one or more. The initial consultation is usually free and most reputable attorneys will tell you if they think the offer you’ve gotten is fair.

There are a ton of “bike lawyers” on the internet but I would be very careful when choosing one. You can do google searches of the lawyer’s name and see if he/she is involved in any advocacy groups or if they race or do charity rides. That might give you an indication of how much of a bike lawyer they really are.

But do consult with an attorney. The initial consultation should be free and it could cost you thousands if you don’t, but it doesn’t cost you anything to go to a free consultation.
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Old 08-29-08, 09:44 AM
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If the settlement will be big, then paying by the hour might work out better.
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