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What to do if you're hit by a car

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What to do if you're hit by a car

Old 09-01-15, 03:01 PM
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CrankyOne
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What to do if you're hit by a car

I think Bob's written this before and it's been posted here before but always a good reminder. One thing that he did not mention is that you should write down gobs of notes immediately afterwards about time of day, weather, exactly where you were riding, how fast, what you were wearing, where the car was, where it came from, etc. It's amazing how much stuff we forget and how quickly.

Another reason to always call the cops (and to go by a station afterwards if they don't show at the scene) is to make sure that a report is generated and that you get the incident number. This is to insure that it gets in to the statistics. It's tough to enact legislation when statistics indicate that there haven't been many crashes.

Legally Speaking: What to do if you're hit by a car - VeloNews.com
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Old 09-01-15, 04:36 PM
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Also don't talk to the driver's insurance company for a few weeks, if they call, don't take the call. Gives you time to get your adrenaline/endorphines under control and decide if you want a lawyer.
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Old 09-02-15, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
Also don't talk to the driver's insurance company for a few weeks, if they call, don't take the call. Gives you time to get your adrenaline/endorphines under control and decide if you want a lawyer.
Actually, after my crash I chose to not talk to the driver's insurance company at all despite numerous phone calls and letters; same for the driver's attempt to contact me. The driver's insurance company has no interest in my welfare or what's best for me; they don't work for me nor do I work for them. They can rant, rave, threaten and try all the scare tactics they want....I have no obligation at all to care about their policies, needs, desires or what they eat for lunch. My wife said "You need to talk to them." My reply was "why?". I owe them NOTHING and anything I say to them or the driver will be used against me somehow.
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Old 09-02-15, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by sam21fire View Post
Actually, after my crash I chose to not talk to the driver's insurance company at all despite numerous phone calls and letters; same for the driver's attempt to contact me. The driver's insurance company has no interest in my welfare or what's best for me; they don't work for me nor do I work for them. They can rant, rave, threaten and try all the scare tactics they want....I have no obligation at all to care about their policies, needs, desires or what they eat for lunch. My wife said "You need to talk to them." My reply was "why?". I owe them NOTHING and anything I say to them or the driver will be used against me somehow.
Do you have a claim? Or were you and your bike not injured?
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Old 09-02-15, 11:54 PM
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Since all of my previous accidents are in the distant past and either never litigated or settled long ago, I'll take the risk of sharing a few observations.

For what it's worth, my background was in nursing with some emergency medical response (I tagged along on ambulance runs and worked in ERs, but was never a paramedic or EMT), and I've been a newspaper reporter on the police/fire beat, and federal safety investigator with many injury and fatality accident investigations. I was also an amateur boxer, knocked out a few fellows and observed the reactions of many boxers who were kayoed. But almost anyone who's experienced accidents and injuries, or observed enough of them, will probably agree with the following.

First of all, everything you think you know (I mean "you" in the general sense, not in any personal way) about how to respond in an accident tends to be forgotten in a real crisis. We rarely respond the way we plan to, unless we drill, rehearse and practice that method under duress until it's second nature. Otherwise, forget it, because we'll forget it.

Why? Shock and concussions. Those are the two main factors. The adrenaline rush from being struck, or nearly struck, tends to cloud reason. We may not know for certain from one day to the next whether we'll react with anger, hysterics, numbness or a roller coaster of emotions over the next hour.

Add to that the risk of concussion from a fall, blow or even a good jar without head impact, and even the most poised person will forget all their best intentions.

And as a witness, never trust the judgment of someone who's clearly experienced a head blow, even without external injury. They'll tend to give the illusion that they're just fine, answering rote questions appropriately, and declining any help or medical aid. It's almost always exactly the wrong choice. Often they won't even remember talking with you later. So don't worry if the victim of a concussion seems angry at you for interfering. You might save his/her life. You'll be lucky if they even remember you later, let alone arguing about seeking medical attention.

Most of my cycling accidents were slow speed, being struck by cars at stop signs - usually from behind, even though they saw me. A couple of times I was struck by cars at four-way stop signs even when I'd clearly established eye contact and come to a full stop and entered the intersection before the motorist had come to a stop. I've lost count of how many times that happened, both on bicycles and motorcycles. My theory is that four-wheelers have a mesmerizing effect on drivers and they believe we're ghosts. They can see us. They believe in us. But they think we have no corporeal form, so they can drive right through us with zero impact to them or us. They always seemed shocked to discover I had corporeal form and, yes, it did hurt. The drivers were often apologetic, in that dopey, zombie-like fashion that assures you they didn't actually learn a thing from the incident.

Only once or twice did I actually remember to take down the driver's info, license plate, insurance, etc. Even without a concussion, even though I should have known better, most of the time I just shrugged it off or completely forgot.

The most serious accident, in 2001, wasn't while I was cycling, but it's still relevant. It's the only time I've experienced a concussion. An SUV ran a red light and entered from the left of a blind intersection. I never saw her coming. We T-boned. It happened so quickly I thought my car's engine or transmission had simply locked up. Then I realized the front of my car was in my lap, and the airbag had deployed. I looked around and couldn't see any cause for it (the SUV had rolled and landed at least 75 yards away).

My first reaction was to get my grandkids out of the car in case there was a fuel leak. Fortunately some drivers behind us saw what happened and rushed over to help. Apparently I wasn't watching traffic in the adjacent lanes carefully, even though I honestly believed I was perfectly alert and aware of what was happening. But my choices were askew. Including handing off one toddler grandson to a perfect stranger without paying any attention to what they looked like. Fortunately everyone was honestly helpful and assured me I wasn't at fault and they'd give their statements to the police.

Unfortunately the cops and ambulance crew only paid attention to the driver who struck me. She was a local in a small wealthy enclave and I was an outsider. After an hour of waiting around the roadside it was apparent we were on our own. Some nice folks shepherded us to a nearby quick stop where the staff fed us and called a friend to pick us up.

Still in shock and not thinking clearly, I didn't take my grandkids to the doctor until the next day. They checked out fine. I didn't take myself to the doctor for several days. For two or three days I was dizzy, nauseated, vomiting, with severe headaches. Turns out my C2 vertebrae was splintered into three pieces (and still gives me ferocious pain 14 years later), and I had a concussion. Surprised me because I'd boxed some very tough hombres as an amateur, including some guys much bigger than I, and was never really rattled, let alone stopped. But nothing hits quite like an SUV against a compact car.

Because I'd waited to see the doctor, the insurance company decided my injury couldn't have been too severe. They offered something like $1,000. I contact several attorneys, all of whom tut-tutted and said I'd be lucky to get $10,000, half of which the attorney would keep. So eventually I settled, after several months of physical therapy (paid in addition to the cash settlement). Financially it was disastrous. I was never able to work a full time job again.

What could I have done better? The only thing I can think of would be to choose more savvy and mercenary friends and family members. They assumed I was doing okay because I *seemed* okay mentally. I never lost consciousness, and initially thought my nausea, vomiting and headache were due to food poisoning or something other than the accident.

In hindsight, that seems incredibly naive considering my background in medical care and accident investigation. But, again, that's typical of concussions. We don't make rational choices. So we need a plan. And our plan should include a trusted family member or friend to take decisions on our behalf, or at least have the power of persuasion, if not power of attorney, to urge us to take appropriate medical and legal counsel.

Hope this helps someone else. Please do establish a plan with one or two trusted family members or friends. And don't discount the fuzzy-headedness that accompanies concussions.
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Old 09-03-15, 08:20 AM
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Get a copy of the Police report. An important Document for a lawyer.
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Old 09-03-15, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sam21fire View Post
Actually, after my crash I chose to not talk to the driver's insurance company at all despite numerous phone calls and letters; same for the driver's attempt to contact me. The driver's insurance company has no interest in my welfare or what's best for me; they don't work for me nor do I work for them. They can rant, rave, threaten and try all the scare tactics they want....I have no obligation at all to care about their policies, needs, desires or what they eat for lunch. My wife said "You need to talk to them." My reply was "why?". I owe them NOTHING and anything I say to them or the driver will be used against me somehow.
Waiting for a reply as to whether or not you had a claim in the matter, and what transpired.
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Old 09-03-15, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
[h=2]What to do if you're hit by a car[/h]
Stick the landing.


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Old 09-03-15, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
Stick the landing.


+1

On a serious note, some of you may have seen my post about getting hit by a car recently. I am a police officer by trade and I followed through with getting a report and seeking medical attention. Lucky for me, I wasn't severley injured and the damage to my ride was minimal. My situation didn't end up in court or with any serious long lasting effects but I'm glad I got all the documentation in any case.
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Old 09-03-15, 11:34 PM
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No, you file the claim ASAP.....if you wanna be made "whole" by the insurer. Document/photograph EVERYTHING....and you too, can milk the teat of the insurance companies.

My last 2 car/cyclist "connections:"
1) Received $13,700 cash settlement - no lawyer
2) Received $7900 cash settlement - no lawyer

Last edited by Dilberto; 09-03-15 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 09-05-15, 09:00 PM
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Yes I was injured, nothing major but a separated A/C joint that won't ever heal properly. Bike was fine.
I'm working on the claim...it's a little complicated because the PD made several mistakes on their report so I have to request that they change some of the details that will be important in a claim. If the PD won't modify their report (very much their option because the change is nothing they would consider significant) then I'll have trouble finding an attorney who will take the case (already checked around) because it's no better than 50/50. If the PD does make the modification then I'll at least have a case worth pursuing.

I should also mention that the driver continued to call me because he wanted me to pay for the repairs to his vehicle...he was claiming $700 in repairs to a 1986 Toyota pickup. I drove by his house and took photos of it total POS. He can try small claims but I don't think the judge will swallow his BS. He hasn't called in over a month.

Last edited by sam21fire; 09-05-15 at 09:06 PM. Reason: update
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Old 09-06-15, 09:53 AM
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Good luck, Sam.
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