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Hit by Car, Need Advice to Help with Insurance Response

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Hit by Car, Need Advice to Help with Insurance Response

Old 11-09-19, 02:34 PM
  #26  
bpcyclist
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A bit of study suggests that insurance is perhaps the most lucrative business every devised. They make and hold piles and piles of cash and assets. They did not get in that position by being kind. They are ruthless vipers.

Always know your enemy.
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Old 11-09-19, 04:05 PM
  #27  
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When I got hit by a car, I went to my shop and they gave me a list of everything that needed to be replaced and the full costs for that. My frame was broken, and the shop noted it was broken and that I should not ride it. It was about 10 years old at the time.

The driver's insurer came with a list of similar bikes and offered to provide a check to purchase one of those, and they would take my broken bike. But there were enough differences that I wasn't happy with that - e.g. my SRM still worked fine. I countered with a proposal for them to repair the wheelset - based on the estimate my shop provided, and replace my frameset, at the current top of the line model price. That was cheaper than the new bike they were offering.
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Old 11-09-19, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
A bit of study suggests that insurance is perhaps the most lucrative business every devised. They make and hold piles and piles of cash and assets. They did not get in that position by being kind. They are ruthless vipers.

Always know your enemy.
Guess I need to sell all of my stocks & invest solely in insurance companies.
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Old 11-09-19, 08:41 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
A bit of study suggests that insurance is perhaps the most lucrative business every devised. They make and hold piles and piles of cash and assets. They did not get in that position by being kind. They are ruthless vipers.

Always know your enemy.
I suppose that a "bit" of study might 'suggest' that 'perhaps' about anything you might want to say. FWIW, their regulators require them to hold a lot of very liquid assets (like cash). I am not sure how big a pile of cash is.

That doesn't mean that they are not vipers, but I agree that they act in their best interests and when being kind is not in their best interests, see the previous clause.

dave
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Old 11-09-19, 10:24 PM
  #30  
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OK, ONE OF THE BIG THINGS IS THAT IF YOU DO WIND UP IN COURT, ANYTHING YOU POST ON THE INTERNET IS POTENTIALLY FAIR GAME. I'D CONSIDER IT OK TO SOLICIT ADVICE, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO OFFER ANY SPECIFIC RESPONSES.

READ THE BIKE FORUMS FAQ UNDER ADVOCACY/SAFETY

****If You've Been Hit By A Motor Vehicle: ALL MEMBERS READ****


Lots of issues here.

The car insurance company should cover for any doctor's appointments and PT which you've already received. I'm not sure how that works if it has already been billed to a health insurance company.

Pain and Suffering is another nebulous issue. Personally I wouldn't expect a large payout for myself if I was generally OK, but not everyone feels the same. Especially if it has significantly impacted your summer.

Are you now back to 100% (No need to answer here), but just think about the answer. If not back to 100%, consider what the future will have in store before you do a one-time settlement. 99% isn't necessarily equivalent to 100%.

Now your bike. Insurance companies probably like to think that all bikes are worth $100, but that just simply isn't true. You have real expenses. Likewise a good helmet could be $5 or $200. And, your helmet did its job if you didn't spend a month in the ICU (much cheaper than doctors bills).

If the bike was 2018/2019/2020, I'd probably ask for full replacement value. I can't say that I'd get it, but that is what I'd start with.

2017 puts you back 2 years. So it falls in the "pretty-new", but not truly "new". How many miles have you put on the bike? 20,000? 500? Again, food for thought, but no need to post details on the internet.

I am assuming this was an original NEW purchase through a verifiable mainstream source, and not a used purchase.

Did you already purchase a new 2019/2020 replacement bike?

If it was a car crash. $5K would barely pay for touching up the paint. Bent or cracked frame and the car could be totaled. Injury or hospital expenses, and you're up into many thousands. And, fighting a case in court is EXPENSIVE for whoever loses. And, if the fault is 100% the insured, then they can't win, they can just get a better settlement (including likely paying all the court costs and paying both lawyers). They really don't want to go to court over $5K.

I haven't been in your situation, but if I was, then I'd likely ask for the full new replacement value ($5K), plus the helmet ($200?) for whatever you were wearing, plus perhaps a few other expenses. Bike Computer? Power Meter? Clothing? Of course, just charge for REAL items.

I think you're pretty easily up to $6K, plus any uncovered medical expenses. Co-payments? Ask your medical insurance company what they expect. I assume you're not paying the lawyer yet. But, remind the insurance company that you are willing to fight for just compensation, and that your lawyer's retainer is a minimum of $5K. Plus you'll take your lawyer's advice should he/she suggest reevaluating damages.

Many bicycle companies will also offer a "crash damage discount" which may help a bit. Do they ask the type of crash? So, you might get some discount on a replacement bike.

I'm a home tinkerer. So, I'd keep my bike, especially if it happened to be a custom or classic.

Anyway, for the bike, helmet, etc... I'd hit them back for $6K (plus actual medical expenses that they would be liable for). And, I wouldn't feel bad about it.

If the bike was > 5 years old, or > 10 years old... then hard to justify not prorating. But, if the bike is 50 years old... tough choices!!!
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Old 11-09-19, 11:39 PM
  #31  
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My advice (based on being hit by a car running a red light, suffering almost no bike damage save a rebuild of the rear wheel but me suffering broken ribs and collarbone, ambulance and 24 hours in the hospital): do your homework in advance and know who your good bike attorneys are. Call and at least leave a message as soon as you can. From there, refer all calls from insurance to the attorney; simply saying he/she is handling it all and you are not taking calls. Then sit down with your attorney.

I knew of Ray Thomas in Portland. Called his office and quickly got hooked up with Cynthia Newton. She told me to refuse all calls from the other driver's insurance that first phone calls and I never did talk to anybody on the driver's side. I also told my health insurance that this was an accident and who my lawyer was. (This mads my insurance a very interested party. My medical bills were not minor.) This wasn't a windfall for me (a few thousand dollars after lost wages for an extremely painful experience) but total cost to driver's insurance was to the tune of several brand new Jettas; the car she was driving. Best part was that I never got involved beyond sitting down with an attorney completely on my side.

I also didn't say a word about what was going on to anyone. To friends or anyone else; just that a lawyer was handling it. Online, nothing until after the settlement.

Edit: I took my bike to a shop for an estimate of damage and to be held until either settlement of a court date. I'm guessing most shops wouldn't hold the bike for space reasons but I knew this owner well.

Ben

Last edited by 79pmooney; 11-09-19 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 11-10-19, 12:05 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
My advice (based on being hit by a car running a red light, suffering almost no bike damage save a rebuild of the rear wheel but me suffering broken ribs and collarbone, ambulance and 24 hours in the hospital): do your homework in advance and know who your good bike attorneys are. Call and at least leave a message as soon as you can. From there, refer all calls from insurance to the attorney; simply saying he/she is handling it all and you are not taking calls. Then sit down with your attorney.

I knew of Ray Thomas in Portland. Called his office and quickly got hooked up with Cynthia Newton. She told me to refuse all calls from the other driver's insurance that first phone calls and I never did talk to anybody on the driver's side. I also told my health insurance that this was an accident and who my lawyer was. (This mads my insurance a very interested party. My medical bills were not minor.) This wasn't a windfall for me (a few thousand dollars after lost wages for an extremely painful experience) but total cost to driver's insurance was to the tune of several brand new Jettas; the car she was driving. Best part was that I never got involved beyond sitting down with an attorney completely on my side.

I also didn't say a word about what was going on to anyone. To friends or anyone else; just that a lawyer was handling it. Online, nothing until after the settlement.

Edit: I took my bike to a shop for an estimate of damage and to be held until either settlement of a court date. I'm guessing most shops wouldn't hold the bike for space reasons but I knew this owner well.

Ben
totally different case though, health bill scares the insurance company much more than a used bike
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Old 11-10-19, 01:34 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post

I also didn't say a word about what was going on to anyone. To friends or anyone else; just that a lawyer was handling it. Online, nothing until after the settlement.

Ben
EXCELLENT advice.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:16 AM
  #34  
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When you say "the insurance" are you talking about your insurance or the other party's? I assume it's the other guy's carrier. If this is the case, they should replace it at full replacement cost and be glad that your personal injury claim is so minor.
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Old 11-10-19, 09:26 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by MrBinky View Post
Thx for feedback folks. Its good to hear your experiences and points of view. As always stay safe out there and enjoy the ride!
More feedback:

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Old 11-10-19, 10:59 AM
  #36  
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I was in a pretty minor (low speed accident) once where the driver was clearly at fault. There was a no stitches required (but close) cut on the forehead and about $600 of bike damage and that was all there was. I played it pretty straight as the driver stopped and was truly appalled at what she had done. So I got my $600 plus that same amount for inconvenience to basically just sign something that said 'that was it and I will go away now'.

But it occurred to me that had I been so inclined, I could have gotten a lot more (which I didn't particularly feel that I deserved).

Heck - I wanted new handlebars anyway -

dave
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Old 11-10-19, 03:49 PM
  #37  
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Same thing happened to me last year. I got an attorney whose firm specializes in representing clients on two wheels.

NEVER discuss your medical issues with anyone other than your doctors and attorney. Effects from injuries can be delayed and in some cases with long lasting or permanent disabilities.

In my case the injury was far more significant than the bike. The bike was an early 1990s hybrid, only worth about $200, and the frame wasn't damaged. A friend refitted it while I was unable to ride and it's much more ergonomically friendly now. I rode that thing for almost a year before I was able to resume riding a drop bar road bike.

But my injuries and disability are incalculable. At the time I had no health insurance and the emergency care alone is in the thousands. Fortunately the VA came through promptly after the injury and now I'm covered. They might even be able to settle the outstanding amount due for emergency care since I should have already been covered by the VA, but wasn't due to an oversight.

However I'll never be able to work a regular job again. The neck injury was too serious and between medical appointments, physical therapy, etc., and unpredictable problems with pain, headaches, occasional dizziness with nausea, etc., there's no way to commit to a job with regular hours. Some days I can lift 20 lbs or so. Other days I can't lift a coffee cup without spilling it. Some days I can ride my bike. Some days I can barely hobble to the bathroom. Fortunately a friend needs a photo/video producer/editor for his business, and I can work whenever I'm able. It's all educational and promotional stuff without hard deadlines.

I've been through this before, in 2001 when my compact car was t-bone by a full size SUV. Broke my back and neck in six places, with permanent C1-C2 damage. And the paltry $5,000 settlement didn't come close to covering my actual losses, including being unable to work for years. I was walking with a cane until 2014, more than a decade after the injury.

So this time I'm being patient and letting the attorney handle everything, including pressuring for the maximum amount possible. The problem is that the offending party's insurance company is not required by law to disclose the amount of insurance. So it's a poker game with lots of bluffing.

I wouldn't be happy if my bikes were wrecked but even my 1993 carbon fiber Trek 5900 cost only $200 used. I can replace bikes. The delayed long term physical effects were far more serious.
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Old 11-10-19, 04:21 PM
  #38  
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Here is something to keep in mind. The liable party is usually responsible for the value of your bike at the time of loss. But wait a minute. If you have a bicycle with a lifetime frame warranty, then you are entitled to a used frame with the same warranty. This does not exist, which gives you leverage to argue that you are entitled to a new frame.
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Old 11-10-19, 04:29 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by mbailey View Post
Here is something to keep in mind. The liable party is usually responsible for the value of your bike at the time of loss. But wait a minute. If you have a bicycle with a lifetime frame warranty, then you are entitled to a used frame with the same warranty. This does not exist, which gives you leverage to argue that you are entitled to a new frame.
The Carbon world has a lot of superstition in it. So, it is impossible to know for sure that one used bike is as good as another used bike.

If the insurance company wishes to pick out a used bike for you, are they willing to sign an open-ended liability contract for any future damage or personal injuries that could occur due to hidden previous damage?

Liability alone might direct a person towards buying new.
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Old 11-11-19, 08:24 AM
  #40  
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I was hit by a car in 2017, the car turned right into me, it was entirely their fault. My bike was a 2017 Trek 1.1, I had bought new for $900 and put about 3k miles on. The bike was destroyed and my newish phone (a Samsung galaxy S7) was scratched, some of my kit was also torn up. I hired a lawyer who specializes in bike accidents and ended up getting $2500 about 2 months later. Then another $600 about 4 months later for "pain and suffering".

IMO, you can get a muuuch better deal.
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Old 11-11-19, 09:32 AM
  #41  
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You must have a poor attorney. I've been hit twice and always made a lot of profit from the ordeal. You should receive an amount equal to 2-3 times your total medical bills, just for pain and suffering. A new bike of equal value to the trashed bike is a minimum for the bike. Let the insurance company keep the scrap.

I've made even better deals, where I got to keep my bike, fixed it with new wheels, saddle, shifters and bar tape, but still got the price for a new frame and repair parts, plus several thousand additional, just with pictures of my scrapes, bruises and swollen hand.

One of my wrecks that caused little damage to my bike, but lots of medical bills netted me about 6K in profit, but it took a year to get it. The payment was about 10K, but the attorney got a lot, too.
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Old 11-11-19, 09:38 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
You must have a poor attorney. I've been hit twice and always made a lot of profit from the ordeal. You should receive an amount equal to 2-3 times your total medical bills, just for pain and suffering. A new bike of equal value to the trashed bike is a minimum for the bike. Let the insurance company keep the scrap.

I've made even better deals, where I got to keep my bike, fixed it with new wheels, saddle, shifters and bar tape, but still got the price for a new frame and repair parts, plus several thousand additional, just with pictures of my scrapes, bruises and swollen hand.

One of my wrecks that caused little damage to my bike, but lots of medical bills netted me about 6K in profit, but it took a year to get it. The payment was about 10K, but the attorney got a lot, too.
https://www.lawyersmutualnc.com/blog...-rates-by-city
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Old 11-11-19, 11:06 AM
  #43  
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If an attorney won't take your case free of charge, they are worthless. You never pay an attorney, hoping to come out ahead. The attorney gets a percentage of the total paid by the insurance company. I never paid an attorney a dime.
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Old 11-11-19, 11:10 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
I've been hit twice and always made a lot of profit from the ordeal.

I've made even better deals, where I got to keep my bike

One of my wrecks that caused little damage to my bike, but lots of medical bills netted me about 6K in profit
How many crashes? Crashes covered by insurance? Bicycle only? Cars? Bicycle Groups?

I've had years of riding. Quite a few close calls. I did get knocked over once at a traffic light/crosswalk. Boy that was quick. Minor bumps, although I think I later discovered some wheel damage as well as some aches for a few days that I hadn't realized at the time of the incident. Overall, however, there has been nothing major with years of riding.

I have to wonder if there is a difference between the people who get repeatedly hit, and those that don't.

Of course, different cities and different traffic situations too. But, one can hunt for low risk riding routes.
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Old 11-11-19, 11:58 AM
  #45  
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This is a thread about being hit by a car. I've been hit by a car twice. The first timed was riding in a bike lane. A 16 year old drives by me and makes a right turn, right in front of me, so I bounce off the side of his car. Damage to my left hand results in no permanent injury, but several doctor appointments, x-rays and an MRI. Insurance company says I'm equally at fault and will pay nothing. It took a year, but they paid 10K.

Second time I get hit, I was riding side by side with another person, when we approach a T intersection, with a stop sign in only one direction. A car was stopped at the intersection. As we get right in front of the car, the driver hits the gas and knocks us both over. The other rider went away in an ambulance. I got scrapes and bruises, but no need for an ambulance. The apologetic driver took me and my inoperable bike home. My wheels were tacoed, saddle torn, and right shifter broken off. I negotiated a payment of several thousand dollars, since the frame alone retailed for 3K and most people wouldn't ride a carbon frame after that serious of a hit. I fixed the bike for $800.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:12 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
If an attorney won't take your case free of charge, they are worthless. You never pay an attorney, hoping to come out ahead. The attorney gets a percentage of the total paid by the insurance company. I never paid an attorney a dime.
Other than introduction appointments, the lawyers aren't working for free. Somebody is paying them.

And, the larger the insurance payouts, the higher the insurance rates are for EVERYONE.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:15 PM
  #47  
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BikeWoke ? Cyclist Awareness
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Old 11-11-19, 12:50 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Other than introduction appointments, the lawyers aren't working for free. Somebody is paying them.

And, the larger the insurance payouts, the higher the insurance rates are for EVERYONE.
Drivers who cause accidents should be the only ones who have to pay higher premiums. The payments that I received were considered customary in the insurance business.

Attorneys who specialize in accident claims take a percentage of the proceeds and get nothing if there is no payment. In my case, I would have settled for 4K, but the car insurance company offered nothing. That cost them another 6K.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:53 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Drivers who cause accidents should be the only ones who have to pay higher premiums. The payments that I received were considered customary in the insurance business.

Attorneys who specialize in accident claims take a percentage of the proceeds and get nothing if there is no payment. In my case, I would have settled for 4K, but the car insurance company offered nothing. That cost them another 6K.
Your insurance rates are based on an expected payout.

Even if you've been driving for 50 years without accidents or tickets, your rates still reflect the expected payout calculations which includes the cost of payouts plus a profit margin.
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Old 11-11-19, 01:01 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
The driver refused to acknowledge that they had hit me and their insurance company sued me for car damage claiming I backed into the car.
Hard to claim an accident didn't occur and still sue for damages.

It sounds like the driver was a real CLOD.

I would hope that with or without a lawyer, if the case went to court, the judge would see through the silliness.

Unfortunately, our court system is also biased against complainants without lawyers, and the cases can be dismissed even without hearings.
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