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hit by car door update(19 posts)

hit by car door updateck
Jul 13, 2001 6:06 AM
First, thanks to everyone for the advice and encouragement.

It is also a state law (here in PA) that the driver opening a car door into the flow of traffic is liable should someone/something hit the door. I spoke briefly with the driver yesterday (on the advice of my insurance co.), and he said he had spoken with "a few lawyers" who told him that it was a moving violation on my part. He also actually said this to me, and I quote: "I didn't even look in my side view mirror because I wasn't expecting a bike to be coming by."!!! I passed this info on to my insurance company, and they immediately took the drivers information and told me to file a claim with my home owners insurance, which covers all of my bikes with a $250 deductable. They will be handling it from here on out.

So, worst case scenario, I will have to shell out $250 for any repairs/replacement parts. But my ins. co. is going after the guy. As far as I can tell, the frame is fine (Easton Bianchi), but the wheels are toasted (not sure how the back wheel got messed up, but it's bad) and the carbon fork is all scratched up. The fork looks like it might still be straight, but I am VERY hesitant to continue riding on a carbon fork that has been in an accident. I also may need a new rear shifter/brake lever. My LBS is checking it out and putting together an estimate for me. It's not a huge claim ($700-800 or so?), but it is something I feel I should not be responsible for. And I guarantee it's more than what the driver and his insurance company will think it's worth, but as we all know, this stuff ain't cheap.

Wish me luck, and thanks again for all your help!

think twiceColnagoFE
Jul 13, 2001 6:18 AM
800 is NOTHING to an ins company. not to be greedy or anything, but I'd go for a complete replacement. After all...are you gonna trust that frame after an impact like that? I had a 6 month old Merlin XL that was in a crash and while it was only slightly out of spec I had them replace it entirely. are you hurt or could you be hurt and not know it yet? be sure you are covered before you sign anything. personally i'd contact a lawyer. insurance companies will try and settle this right away and stick you with anything they can. they are NOT operating in your interest.
Insurance company = money making = none for you...(I agree) (nm)Mabero
Jul 13, 2001 6:25 AM
Good luck...did you document with Police yet? (nm)Mabero
Jul 13, 2001 6:19 AM
OK, good luckET
Jul 13, 2001 6:25 AM
Please keep us informed. This door thing could happen to any of us. Glad you're OK.
Replace the whole bike!PaulCL
Jul 13, 2001 6:26 AM
I'm sure you can get your LBS to say the bike was "totaled". It's in their best interest to do so - they get to sell you a new bike.

At very least - do not use that carbon fork! If your wheels were destroyed, imagine the impact your fork absorbed. The fork will fail and that will make your car-door incident look minor compared to the crash with a bad fork. I've been there, don't use it!
Replace the whole bike!amflyer
Jul 13, 2001 6:45 AM
I was in a similar crash, and thought my alu. Kinesis fork was just fine too...until I got my new wheels/tires on and tried to ride. HUGE amount of toe overlap all of a sudden. Now how did that get there? Strange thing is, I couldn't notice the problem with the fork mounted or unmounted; I guess you just can't really tell by "eyeballing" it. Both legs were aligned and undamaged, so It must have set back at the steerer/crown weld a bit. Frame was and is OK (4 years) as was the headset.

Hope it works out.

re: hit by car door updateBQ
Jul 13, 2001 6:43 AM
How can it be a moving violation on your part? What a load of hooee! He's the one that opened his door into traffic! Have you considered that he may have been coached on what to say to you, i.e., "spin a yarn about how it's his fault -- maybe he'll go away."

I agree with the others that you should consider a new bike. You're putting your faith in materials that may have problems you can't see. This isn't like a car repair, where tolerances are higher, and there's a lot more between you and the rest of the world.

Also, there are reasons why lawyers and insurance companies have the reputations they do. No offense to the honest ones, but we've all heard the stories or experienced these problems first hand. You might want to keep that in mind as you evaluate what they tell you.

Please be very careful. This is your life and your bike. You can get another bike. You only get one life.
re: hit by car door updatejschrotz
Jul 13, 2001 6:54 AM
I think he's feeding you a load w/that bit about the lawyers saying that it was a moving violation on your part. You should get a lawyer yourself and ask to meet with this guy's "lawyers", and see what he says then. I agree witht he other posters regarding your bike. Alu bikes can't be repaired like steel frames can, and there's a very real possibility that you can't see the damage the frame has incurred. If the rear wheel is toast, I have a hard time believing that the frame could come out of it unscathed. Play it safe and consider it totaled. It's not worth getting into another crash due to a damaged frame that you thought was safe to ride.
What you can claimMeMyselfandI
Jul 13, 2001 8:11 AM
Anything that doesn't LOOK the same after the crash than before is claimable. Chances are what will happen, is that you will pay your deductable and then the offender's insurance company will reimburse you.
you sure about the deductible?ET
Jul 13, 2001 8:43 AM
If it's clearly the other guy's fault (which this clearly is), and especially for smaller sums (which this clearly is), they typically settle quickly. No need to dip into one's own insurance.

About 6 months ago, I was waiting in my car forat least 30 seconds for traffic to clear so I could make a left turn. Another car was waiting right behind me. Along comes a Ryder rental truck and plows into the guy behind me which then rear-ended me. I called my insurance company, which said to wait til notified by the truck rider's insurance company (fortunately the rider was working for bakery which rents trucks for deliveries, rather than a solo who was moving to new house). Fortunately, my car was rideable (otherwise, you're right, I may have had to do the deductible and/or per-day car rental fee thingy). In two weeks, I got a notice asking me to explain my version of events and to get a few estimates from body repair places. A few weeks later I got reimbursed. No laying out the deductible.
well, it was a car accident, but...MeMyselfandI
Jul 13, 2001 10:56 AM
A number of months ago my fathers car was backed into by a salt truck. Took out the side window, but some nasty dents in the door. He had to pay the deductable, and then the salt truck company reimbursed his deductible.
sounds like...Kristin
Jul 13, 2001 11:16 AM
...your dad was taken advantage of. Was the accident his fault? Did he do something wrong (other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time)? If not, the salt truck owners insurance should have covered the damages. What this company did was to con your dad into taking a claim against his own policy so they could keep the accident hidden from their insurance company--thus keeping their rates down. For them, the deductable was a nominal amount. They clearly came out victorious. Hope they don't back into a lot of doors.

This kind of claim filing practice makes it hard for insurance companies to identify costly/dangerous patterns of driving and keeps irresponsible truck companies on the road.
sue him in small-claims court for the $250 (NM)d_alex
Jul 13, 2001 8:45 AM
I posted something to the other thread too...Kristin
Jul 13, 2001 8:58 AM
...this is tragic. Who told you it was your fault?? Did you get the names of these "so-called" lawyers? Are you sure this guy is being square with you? Where I live, this is considered a motor vehicle accident and MUST be reported to the police. Please report it very soon! I thought getting a lawyer right away might be premature, but it sounds like the first thing this guy did get one (or some?) Perhaps you should consider that legal representation after all.
re: hit by car door updatespindry
Jul 13, 2001 11:57 AM
He is so full of it, he just doesn't want to pay for the damages. The fastest route is probably what you are doing now (going through your insurance co.), however, if the claim is small enough they might not bother fighting the other insurance co. for the money. You could also try to go directly to his insurance company and see what they say. I also agree with everyone that says you should claim the entire bike as totaled, no point in taking any chances, and he was being a prick.
re: hit by car door updateLC
Jul 13, 2001 2:44 PM
I wonder if he could claim that you were riding on the shoulder, and that's why you were committing a moving violation? In some states it is technically against the law to ride on the shoulder, but I don't know about PA.
lot of stuff flying around here. this is the scoop.bill
Jul 13, 2001 6:39 PM
With the understanding that I don't know anything about PA law and that there may be some sort of argument that you were at fault that I don't get from what you've said, this is the deal.
You were damaged by the driver's negligence. He should pay. But there is also insurance, yours and his. His insurance should pay. You shouldn't have to worry about a deductible.
But, if his insurance gives you a hard time, there are other ways to recoup your loss.
You could claim against your own homeowners for the damage to your personal property, which would be subject to a deductible. They would pay you the value of the bike, less the deductible, and then they typically would now "own" the right to go after the other guy's insurance (or the other guy). It's called a subrogated right, and, if they exercise it by pursuing the other guy's insurance, they're supposed to get your deductible back for you. Clarify that with them.
Now, if you didn't have homeowners or if the other guy didn't have car insurance, you are left with going after the other guy as a guy, or you may have a shot against your own auto insurance under the "uninsured motorist coverage." You were not driving a motor vehicle. But you were hurt by one. So, typically, you carry a policy against being injured by an idiot without insurance. It is not collision insurance; it is premised on the other guy's being negligent, and there's no deductible.
Your personal injuries as you describe them are worth a little something. Not a huge amount, but maybe a group upgrade. You don't necessarily need a lawyer; only you could be the judge of whether it's worth it.
My advice, if you decide to do it without a lawyer, is to get the other guy's insurance to help you. Yes, you read that correctly. They are under a heavy regulatory duty to deal with you fairly. That doesn't mean that they do everything for you or help you value your claim fairly (you have to value it), but they CANNOT lie to you. So, if you ask a lot of questions, get on their good side, be a good, reasonable joe, you will typically get a fair shake. Other than with respect to value, you pretty much CAN get them to do everything by not pretending to know what you don't know. They will have pity on you and will want to resolve the claim. That's what they do; resolve claims. They love to reduce their load. They have other people to be mad at, and they won't waste the energy f*cking with you if you play nice.
Are you sure you don't have whiplash :-) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Live Steam
Jul 13, 2001 8:51 PM
or some other malady that won't hamper your riding later on down the line? I know you probably just want everything to be the way they were before the crash, but make sure you are compensated for not only the bike but also for the trauma of the event. Flying through the bars is not a usual event. It has to be worth something.