RoadBikeReview.com's Forum Archives - General


Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )


Crashed with a car - need advice(14 posts)

Crashed with a car - need adviceMike Garrett
Aug 8, 2001 2:06 PM
So yesterday I'm riding my brand new Strong Racing Frames bike. I mean it just came in the mail the day before. Custom built steel frame, All Dura-Ace Grouppo, Reynolds Ouzo Pro carbon fork, Mavic Cosmic Elite wheelset, King Headset, (ok, ok, I'm bragging...)

So I'm coming down a long hill into an intersection - slowed from about 30 mph to 20 mph and saw the light turn Yello. Gunned for it and ~almost~ made it if not for the Honda Civic making a left turn from oncoming traffic in front of me. B-A-M! At the last moment I turned to the side, my handlebars hit her side view mirror and tossed it into the street, I flipped around, landed on the rear quarter panel, left my impression on the car and bounced on the street. The bike, amazingly, seems ok. The headset was loose indicating a hellacious impact and the bars were turned sideways. Can't seem to find any dimples in the frame and even the damn wheels are still true. But I need to take the fork apart and check for damages.

Anyway. Her insurance contacted me today asking about the accident. Apparently the claims person hasn't spoken with the lady I hit. He told me that it sounded as though she was at fault since I am essentially treated as a car and had the right-of- way. I know this. I don't think she intended to turn in front of me - just didn't see me. She was pretty shaken up. But I need to know what to do. I don't feel too badly, but I did smack a car on a bike. My ass is bruised all to hell, knee scraped and I'm sore all over. Has anyone else been in a similar situation? I'm not one to take advantage of a multi-billion dollar Insurance Conglomerate (State-Farm) but what if my back is twisted, or my hip out of whack and doesn't show up until three months from now? I'm in D.C. and don't know of any cycling attorneys.

Any advice would be most appreciated.
re: Crashed with a car - need adviceDINOSAUR
Aug 8, 2001 3:48 PM
I presume no accident report was taken by a police agency? If not, a report should have been documented. Any witnesses? People are good about twisting the facts around. Lastly, seek legal advice from an attorney. I know we have several that use this forum and advise is sure to follow. Don't sign anything in the meantime! Glad you are O.K. and your bike survived, sounds like a real nice bike...
Good luck
Dino
re: Crashed with a car - need adviceMike Garrett
Aug 8, 2001 4:20 PM
No, no police report was taken. I was pretty shaken up, pissed that I thought the bike would be trashed, etc. There was a witness who stopped and left her number and lots of other people saw the accident. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find witnesses if it came down to it. Like I said, her Insurance Agent told me that she was at fault.
re: Crashed with a car - need advicelook271
Aug 8, 2001 4:13 PM
It doesn't pay to be nice. I'm not suggesting that you be vicious or vindictive, but I've been there and I almost got scr$%d. Get checked by your Dr. 1st. You want to be absolutely sure that there is nothing wrong with you. Contact your insurance company, since you are essentially a vehicle. Depending on what state you're in, your insurance may have to pay for some costs(it's that way in PA). Wouldn't hurt to seek the advice of a lawyer, either. I didn't do this but fortunately got what was coming to me. Similar situation; not much damage to me or the bike but I made a real nice dent in the front quarter panel of her Lincoln towncar and broke her windshield!

Good luck!
Check in Bicycle Magazinewink
Aug 8, 2001 4:23 PM
There is a guy who advertises in the back of Bicycle Mag that is a lawyer who specializes in bike/car accidents. My recent copy is at my office, but if you can get almost any issue you will see this add. Hopes this helps!
re: Crashed with a car - need adviceMeDotOrg
Aug 8, 2001 4:32 PM
I just crashed my bike 3 weeks ago. Guess what I'm replacing it with? A Strong Road Frame! No offense, but I hope you used up all of the accident karma!

Sounds like you're lucky, and sounds like Carl builds a tough frame.

As to your conscience about the situation: I'm sure you're going to hear a lot of different things. You can fudge and say "the light was changing" or simply omit any reference to the light. As to what you should do, you're the one who what to live with the $$$ and your conscience.
Strong FramesMike Garrett
Aug 8, 2001 5:29 PM
You are in for a treat. This is the nicest riding bike I've ever had (Klein Quantum Pro, Seven Cycles Titanium, 1972 Schwinn Paramount converted to Single Speed - weight? Just slightly les than a 79 Mustang II).

Very nice ride and apparently indestructible! And his tubes are beautiful, beat only by the welds. It looks like the tubing was fused together rather than welded.
It's all truemike mcmahon
Aug 8, 2001 7:00 PM
Well, I don't know about the indestructible part because I haven't crashed mine. :-) However, it's the nicest riding bike I've owned.
Ouch!grzy mnky
Aug 8, 2001 4:40 PM
Seriously, sorry to hear about your accident. Been there, done that, it still sucks, right?

Don't sign off on anything with the insurance company - you could have delayed whiplash or some other injury that may not show up for two weeks or more! In any event you should still be covered for all crash related injuries, the trick is in proving that they came from the accident - document everything. Get the bike documented and appraised, then take it to a frame builder to have it checked. It may look straight to you, but something has to be tweaked - the weakest link will show the most damage, but there could be others.

The law is clearly on your side, but you're the one with the injuries - doesn't seem like a good deal. Chances are you won't try this again. Sorry for the sermon, but nothing good can happen when people push the limits at intersections. You absolutely can not trust that the driver of any car will always see you. I ride like I'm invisible and get eye contact before I put myself inextremis - a lesson learned the hard way, more than once.

I sincerely hope that you heal quickly and that you're bills are all covered. Get the name of every person you talk to on the phone and make a note of the time and date. Insurance companies have ways of making things get lost/forgotten - they like to get out of not paying. When they see the bill for your bike they're going to freak out and will try to chisel you down saying you were somewhat at fault then they will reduce your claim by that same percentage(if it works this way in your state). Signing and cashing the check is taken as you agreeing with the settlement. Don't do it unless you're 100% satisified.

You may get lucky and have everything go smoothly - my advice is based on the fact that it's never happened that way for me.
Do you live in D.C.? Did the collision occur in D.C.?bill
Aug 8, 2001 6:08 PM
(as opposed to the suburbs, that is). Do you have health insurance? Do you have automobile insurance (it is possible under certain circumstances for your automobile insurance to provide health insurance benefits in addition to your regular health insurance)? You may want to think about notifying your own auto insurance and, in case she turns the tables on you, your homeowners or renters insurance, which may provide you with a defense.
As others have said, make sure you're not hurt worse than just sort of banged up. Even getting banged up is worth some compensation, and obviously you want to make sure that the bike is okay, too.
In your dealings with State Farm, basically you want to convey that you're not out to soak anyone but that you just want to make sure you don't lose, either. Everyone understands that. Sometimes injuries take weeks to reveal themselves. Just take it easy.
I'm a lawyer in Arlington. If you'd care to, e-mail me, and maybe we can talk some more specifics. If everyone is comfortable that you're not hurt, or not hurt badly, it's probably not worth making a big deal out of it. Just get the bike fixed up and enough extra for maybe another set of wheels. If you are hurt, though, and you really won't know for awhile, you'll be glad you didn't do anything too soon.
If they already have taken a recorded statement from you, ask for a copy. They have to give it to you. If they haven't got one yet, don't give one.
Do you live in D.C.? Did the collision occur in D.C.?Mike Garrett
Aug 8, 2001 10:56 PM
I don't have health-insurance and I don't have car insurance. I'm screwed going that avenue. The State Farm guy was really open with me, but it could be a ploy to make me think they are on my side. He told me I had two options - claim under something called PIP and something else. He told me he was waiting to talk to the claimant to see if they would take liability. Knew a bit about bikes and the law and told me it was her fault. I'm more sore now that I was yesterday and it will probably get a bit worse before it gets better. I'm self-employed and work physical labor (window-washing) so I don't want to be screwed if three weeks or months from now I can't make it up a ladder. The bike seems fine (though a new set of Krysiums would be nice). I'm concerned about the carbon fork (it is ALL carbon) though there is no indexing or apparent cracks or fractures in the clear-coat.

Basically I just don't want to be screwed down the road. I' ve never flipped around and over a car onto the road. I used to be an Airborne Ranger and took my share of bumps and always came out fine, but being whipped around like a doll at 20 mph after a dead stop into the side of a car is something different.
I live in D.C. - it occurred in D.C. (nm)Mike Garrett
Aug 8, 2001 11:01 PM
Do you live in D.C.? Did the collision occur in D.C.?Mike Garrett
Aug 8, 2001 11:06 PM
I don't have health-insurance and I don't have car insurance. I'm screwed going that avenue. The State Farm guy was really open with me, but it could be a ploy to make me think they are on my side. He told me I had two options - claim under something called PIP and something else. He told me he was waiting to talk to the claimant to see if they would take liability. Knew a bit about bikes and the law and told me it was her fault. I'm more sore now that I was yesterday and it will probably get a bit worse before it gets better. I'm self-employed and work physical labor (window-washing) so I don't want to be screwed if three weeks or months from now I can't make it up a ladder. The bike seems fine (though a new set of Krysiums would be nice). I'm concerned about the carbon fork (it is ALL carbon) though there is no indexing or apparent cracks or fractures in the clear-coat.

Basically I just don't want to be screwed down the road. I' ve never flipped around and over a car onto the road. I used to be an Airborne Ranger and took my share of bumps and always came out fine, but being whipped around like a doll at 20 mph after a dead stop into the side of a car is something different.
Yes, the claims adjuster is being nice.Peetey
Aug 9, 2001 8:31 AM
But take it only at face value. I had a motorcycle accident in college. The circumstances were very similar, i.e., car turning in front of me. The claims adjuster was very, very nice to me. Kept saying that he was going to do the best he can for me, blah, blah, blah. He almost had me sucked in. Fortunately, my roommates father was a lawyer and kept me on the straight and narrow.

It is best to document, document, document your situation. Phone calls, letters, discussions with bike mechanics, should all be written down. Get a professional to look at your bike (maybe give the builder a call too.

Good Luck