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Got hit last Monday

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Got hit last Monday

Old 01-17-09, 12:37 PM
  #1  
breadgeek
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Got hit last Monday

First day of graduate school classes, all loaded up with my new laptop, and some lady runs a stop sign without seeing me whatsoever (nor me her), and she drove right into me and knocked the bike out from under me.

I was wearing a helmet or I might not be here, but because my head was down and its visor somewhat blocks my own view, the irony is that I could not see the car myself as it came down the sidestreet on my right, though there was no other obstruction (I went back & checked) like a building or trees that might have made it impossible for me to see her; I should have seen her....unless she was *flying* down the street. From my vantage point as I approached the intersection of infamy, where she would have been was indeed due East of my location -- blinded by the sun, I would have been.

It was 8AM, I was heading ENE on a straight road, she was coming from my right as she was heading NNW on her side street, perpendicular to me. Sunlight angles at that time & intersection means that if she was looking straight, left, or right as she approached the intersection, there was no sun in those directions obstructing any view for her. But I quite likely could not see her because of the blinding sun in her general direction from me: East at 8AM.

Luckily, she was turning right at the stop sign that she was blowing through, so we met nearly tangentially, though not quite enough to allow me to stay on my bike. Her minimum speed at the intersection while turning right matched my own speed of ~15 MPH, which buffered the impact as our speeds nearly matched. I only saw her as she was crossing the white limit line for her stop sign at that speed, and had no time to react despite having had fingers on brake levers.

Where I found myself on the ground was on my road of travel, roughly 5 feet beyond the stop sign, about 10 feet into the street (that was the line I was traveling along).

I was stunned, to be sure, but both bike, body & laptop are unharmed save for a bruise where my inner thigh bashed into the top tube, and new-found skittishness. I will be buying a safety vest on the off-chance that the whole thing happened due to her view of the story which is simply that she *did* stop but simply did not see me when she pulled out. I contested that viewpoint because the distance from the stop line she was to have respected to the point of impact is only about 8-10 feet; her story means that she'd have needed a very fast car to accelerate to 15 MPH in 10 feet before slamming into me.

The lady was maybe 40-50, and was very unnerved at what had happened. She was very apologetic, except would not admit that she ran the stop sign. Pissed, I got her business card, admonished her severely for not having stopped, and made a mental note that I had some lessons to learn of my own here. I made it to class on time.

I'll buy the safety vest anyway because I do not want my genes cleansed yet from the gene pool, but it sure was scary.

I would also heartily recommend to anyone the Ortlieb Office Bag 2, which was on its maiden voyage for me; it must have done its job, because laptop and external 1TB hard disk seem OK. It was not lost on me that had the laptop been where it had been the Friday before-- in the right-hand pannier instead of in a rack-top box -- it would have been smashed to smithereens. Thank you, Ortlieb.
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Old 01-17-09, 12:45 PM
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Hope you got a police report to protect yourself from her saying it was your fault trying to get you to pay damages on her car.

Last edited by Grim; 01-17-09 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 01-17-09, 12:51 PM
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I filed no police report, but sure thought about it. She does not even have my name, but I have hers. Were she to pull that sort of crass thing on me, I would howl, but lowlifes do indeed come in all shapes in sizes.

I think there were like 5 other cars that stopped and looked. Several would have seen the entire thing, and I suspect would have offered to help, but they saw that I was OK. Hindsight has me saying that I ought to have gotten one witness name, but hey, I was late for my first day of grad school.
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Old 01-17-09, 02:51 PM
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**** that, file a police report, if you still can. this sort of crap shouldn't go unpunished, especially if she was unrepentant about blowing a stopsign
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Old 01-17-09, 03:24 PM
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Bummer. Hope your injuries are indeed minor, and don't hurt more tonight.
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Old 01-17-09, 04:16 PM
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Glad to hear you survived. Now file that police report.

A friend of mine got into trouble. Nothing bike related, but the other party made the first contact with police and though they were no angel in the incident they immediately gained the upper hand in court. My buddy was facing some serious charges from this that could have easily been mitigated (right word?) had he only filed a report of his own.
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Old 01-17-09, 06:21 PM
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Hope you get better soon!
+1 for filing the police report. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 01-17-09, 06:36 PM
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Motorists rarely admit fault, especially when they were at fault.

I've had 4 similar collisions, all at intersections, motorists completely at fault. I was lucky too, not hurt. Did lose the better part of one bike, but was compensated by insurance.

You get shook-up and nervous for a while, then settle down to business.

Glad you were OK, no injury or damage.

In the future, I urge you to contact police right away, at scene of accident. If you wait even a day you lose credibility, and possibly the ability to recover any damages from the motorist.
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Old 01-17-09, 08:44 PM
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When I got hit, there were lots of witnesses, traffic was stopped in both directions to allow me to cross, and the guy passed the stopped traffic on the right to blow right through the marked crosswalk.....even with all the witnesses, police citing the driver, and me getting hauled off on a backboard/cervical collar, the guy still pled not guilty, saying that he was trying to park and I ran out in front of him.

Fortunately, once I showed up in court he quickly changed his plea to guilty. So, get a report filed ASAP before they start changing the 'facts'.

I got the bike damage settled out last week, but 7 months later, I'm still in pain/getting treatment. (I had a compression fracture of my T11 vertebrae, bruised ribs, abrasions, etc......) According to the doc, it will be at least March before I'm cleared (9 months post accident), and possibly June (1 year post-accident).

If you get hit, call the police (or have someone do it), get witness names and full driver info....then go to the hospital if you are hurt at all. I didn't even know I had a fracture at first, because it didn't show up on the initial x-ray. On the MRI, however, it was pretty clear.
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Old 01-18-09, 02:31 AM
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I'm so glad that you survived it with minimal damage. You even made it to class! That's another amazing cyclist story. We are amazing, you know.
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Old 01-18-09, 09:30 AM
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Glad to hear you and your gear are all ok. Yes, you can never be certain that someone sees you. Definitely file a police report if you still can (you should be able to if you have all her information). It protects you in case some injury or damage surfaces down the road AND it can demonstrate a pattern of neglectful driving if this woman was to do something like that again.
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Old 01-18-09, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by breadgeek View Post
I filed no police report, but sure thought about it. She does not even have my name, but I have hers. Were she to pull that sort of crass thing on me, I would howl
I hope you get a lot of satisfaction out of howling, because with no police report, that would be all you could do at that point -- howl, and possibly pay up.
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Old 01-19-09, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by lil brown bat View Post
I hope you get a lot of satisfaction out of howling, because with no police report, that would be all you could do at that point -- howl, and possibly pay up.
I'll hedge that bet. I hear you all about the police report, and agree that it would be the prudent thing.

Still, IMO police have more important things to do than file reports for what amounted to (thankfully) a fender bender; maybe a more sinister crime would have been missed while an officer was filing my report. If some loser wants to take me to court and make it become all about me, then I cannot stop them any more than I can prevent bigotry. I would gain personal satisfaction in knowing their worthlessness as they took my puny assets, so yeah, laughing at them would be immensely rewarding; I'd cry later ;-)

I did learn a lesson about what I might do differently in the future to avoid such traffic accidents, which seems a more fruitful area to concentrate on: prevention. Next time, I probably will file a report, but with some luck there will not be a next time.
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Old 01-19-09, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by breadgeek View Post
I'll hedge that bet. I hear you all about the police report, and agree that it would be the prudent thing.

Still, IMO police have more important things to do than file reports for what amounted to (thankfully) a fender bender; maybe a more sinister crime would have been missed while an officer was filing my report. If some loser wants to take me to court and make it become all about me, then I cannot stop them any more than I can prevent bigotry. I would gain personal satisfaction in knowing their worthlessness as they took my puny assets, so yeah, laughing at them would be immensely rewarding; I'd cry later ;-)
I think you'd learn a tough lesson if it were to really come to that. I don't think going through lawsuits like that is fun, and if she manufactures some injuries you could be looking at garnished future wages. There are steps you can take to protect yourself, and this is one of them. Always file the report.

As for law enforement in general: It's not like there's a zero sum game between catching criminals and filing your report, as if the cop were about to run out the door to catch a murderer until you walked in to file a report. The cops sitting in the office waiting for you to file that report are assigned that very duty for that exact purpose. It might not help you, but it couldn't hurt.

I don't know how familiar you are with cops, but I see a lot more filing of paperwork, harassment, speed traps, and donut consumption than I do successful crime prevention.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:21 PM
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What Mr. Underbridge said. It's not about trying to be a chiseler (wow, when was the last time you heard someone use that expression?), it's about protecting yourself -- from the possibility of more severe damage to yourself and your gear than you saw in your quick "omg I just got hit but but but I still have all my limbs attached so it must be all okay!" assessment, and also from the possibility that she decides to be a jerk about it. Filing a police report doesn't mean that you have to do anything with it, it's just protection.
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Old 01-19-09, 08:24 PM
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when I was little, an old lady was doing her makeup while driving while I was riding on the sidewalk... I was 4, she almost hit me, but I swerved out of the way into a cactus- that's the AZ climate and drivers for ya'll.
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