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  1. #1
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    Bike v. Car Accident-What Actions to Take

    My wife was hit by a car while on her bike while crossing a street and a car hit her. All told, she is not too bad. She went over the handlebar. After a trip to the ER a CT Scan found a small fracture in her back at T-7. Nothing to do but control the pain. The bike, a carbon frame Scott Contessa Addict is probably toast. It looks like the front derailleaur got ripped out of the mount and there appears to be a crack in the seat tube.

    So far we have:
    • Requested a police report
    • Taken the bike to the shop to have it assessed
    • Have her medical papers from the ER visit


    We have the other driver's name and phone number but no other information yet.

    The bike was purchased late summer of this year and Ultegra Di2 was added, Doubt that this can be replaced in the same color scheme. Just to make sure my wife gets reimbursed for everything, I wanted to seek advice from others who may have been through this process before.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    been in this situation twice in the last two years.

    hire an attorney, specifically one that deal with cycling accidents.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  3. #3
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    If there is injury, you definitely need to talk to a personal injury lawyer ASAP. They work on contingency and typically take 1/3 of your pain and suffering settlement.

    For the future get a camera. It's the cheapest insurance policy I ever bought.

  4. #4
    Banned forever.....or not
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    The bike should be replaced completely, 100%, as it is now. Injuries should be replaced 100%.....Do not agree on "pain and suffering" compensation until ALL the pain is gone. PS. Make sure you are there in court when the people who hit your wife go to court. If you don't go, and the cop doesn't show, the case might be dismissed. You will then have to file a civil suit then. If you play it right, the "pain and suffering" settlement can be very large. I was hit 10 years ago in an accident that kept me off the bike two days (never told the adjuster that), and collected $8000 for my pain and suffering.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  5. #5
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    I've been hit three times so I ahem; have some experience with this!

    Save everything in it's current state; bike, clothing, helmet, etc. .
    Start a diary documenting all time off work, time and money spent on phone calls, doctor's appointments, who you called, when, etc. . Include time you must take off from work to care for your wife, drive her to doctor's appointments, etc. .

    Keep copies of all bills.

    Do NOT permit yourself to be recorded should the other party's insurance company call to interview you.

    Do NOT cash any check sent to you by the other party's insurance unless you agree the amount is a final settlement. Signing that check is usually legally construed as releasing the other party from any further costs.

    In the case of back or neck injuries, such as your wife's, secondary pain will sometimes not show up for weeks or even months (which was true in my case). When insurance companies see these types of injuries, they are interested in settling QUICKLY, to absolve themselves of long cases and high payouts. Keep that in mind.

    Contact YOUR insurance company to ask their guidance in how to best handle your situation.

    Most lawyers will give you an initial consultation for free. Many will handle the case on a contingency basis if they expect you to prevail. Ask at local bike shops for a lawyer that has experience representing cyclists; many are cyclists themselves or have established a reputation through bike shops.

    In most cases, the insurance company will depreciate the price of the bike. Either insist the bike not be depreciated, or let the lawyer go to bat for you. Always include any labor costs to transfer parts, even if you're performing the work yourself.

    Get a copy of Bob Mionske's book, Bicycling and the Law. He devotes an entire chapter to the subject with very detailed information.

    I handled my three accidents myself and while I didn't lose any money in the process and my injuries were minor, it was clear the other parties' insurance adjusters were out to minimize their cash outlay. I'm no expert but I was lucky in my outcomes. In the future, I'll go the lawyer route to better protect my interests, and I recommend that to all but the most savvy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    been in this situation twice in the last two years.

    hire an attorney, specifically one that deal with cycling accidents.
    This. ^^^^ Says it all really. The sooner you act the better.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback. The bike has officially been declared totaled.

  8. #8
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    Get A Lawyer, Do not discuss the case on social media
    Dr. Cox: Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowonder View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. The bike has officially been declared totaled.
    focusing on property damages is an indicator that you need legal representation.

    if you aren't familiar with what elements are eligible for inclusion in a pain/suffering award, then that's another indicator.

    on my last accident, without my atty's help, I would have left $52K on the table. he was well worth the fees he charged.

    dealing with insurance companies is a complicated and time-consuming affair...it's really not a DIY project. hire a professional.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  10. #10
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    Do you have uninsured/underinsured coverage? Hire a lawyer.A good one, from a reputable firm.Do your homework. Some info here: I Do Not Want to Be Your Lawyer

  11. #11
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    I've recently been through this.

    Do not attempt to deal with insurance companies on your own (yours OR theirs - neither are your friend - they both want to pay as little as possible).

    Hire a lawyer with experience in cycling accidents. They will help you with maximizing your entitlements.

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