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Got hit by a car tonight(15 posts)

Got hit by a car tonightpeloton
Jun 20, 2002 8:11 PM
Man- this seems like it is getting talked about a lot lately on this forum, but here I go anyway.

I got hit by a car tonight only a few miles from my house. I don't know if I should go into details here, but I'll say that the car more or less just drove into me as I was riding along. I made it out of the situation with roadrash, bruises, and some soreness. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to get checked out further as my foot is pretty sore now. My bike didn't do so well in the crash, and I'm afraid the frame may be gone now. There is a lot of damge to the components at any rate. I'm bummed because I built this bike by hand only a couple of months ago with every component chosen by myself. It was pretty sweet, and it doesn't look like it got many miles before it's end. I really hope the insurance company doesn't give me the runaround about this. I just want my bike fixed or replaced fast so that I can get back on the road. Anyone else had to deal with this? What advice might you throw my way in dealing with insurance companies? I don't want anything other than my bike fixed, and maybe injuries dealt with if my foot is a problem.

What a bummer is this season has become. I had a great race season last year, my best ever really, and I can't get healthy this year. Now this too. I think some force is conspiring against me. At least I was wearing a helmet I guess. Be careful out there.
re: Got hit by a car tonighttj90
Jun 20, 2002 8:40 PM
Bummer about the accident. If you have any head injuries or soreness see a doc tonight! Ive been hit by a car and I found that the insurance company is more than willing to fork over the cash (think about how expensive a car is to fix) to replace the bike. They will do anything to insure that youll not sue them so they fork over extra cash to make sure your happy. I claimed X amount of damage but State Farm gave me X + $500. They are also going to try to get you to sign a release - dont do it. If you find later that you have internal injuries youll be screwed.
outta curiousitykomatiite
Jun 21, 2002 5:46 AM
you say that you have insurance thru State Farm for your bike; i am going to be getting a litespeed here soon (hopefully) and am looking to get some coverage on the bike. what kind of coverage, policy-wise, do you have on the bike?
outta curiousitytj90
Jun 21, 2002 6:40 AM
State farm was the insurance co of the idiot that hit me. I did not have any insurance on my equipment other than the standard homeowners.
Glad You Are Okayjose_Tex_mex
Jun 20, 2002 8:43 PM
Glad to hear you are well - too bad about the bike. Any accident you can walk away from is a good one.
Scroll down the threads and check out my two cents and everyone else's and I am sure you will be set.
Basically, I advise that "IF AND ONLY IF" you are okay - 100% healthy, I would go to two of the most expensive LBS (tomorrow) and get estimates for damage. I expect you already know what the damage is going to be. Say your ride is worth 3K. Call the insurance people up Monday morning and tell them you had the shop look at it and there's 3K worth of damage (you may not even need an estimate). Tell the insurance company that you were hurt and are seeking medical treatment. However, if they cut you a 3K check before the end of the next week then it's settled.
This approach works well when you are fine and want to get back on the road fast. In my experience they are more than willing to get you to sign away your right to sue for personal injury - JUST MAKE SURE YOU ARE OK. Once settled, c'est la vie.

Right now time is on your side. Do not wait to get an estimate and see a doctor if need be. If the ins co screws you around for a week or more - go to the doctor, see a laywer, and go the normal route. It's important to see a doctor soon after the accident if you ever need to make a personal injury case. Either have this deal done by the end of next week or go it the hard way.

If I were a lawyer I think I would hang out on this board all day. With that said, if you can avoid them - you're making money.

As for your pain - start checking out the new rides and I am sure that will help.
Hope you're ok.djg
Jun 21, 2002 6:29 AM
I'm glad that you're on your way to the doc's; it's always best to get checked out early and thoroughly.

Dealing with your own insurance company should be relatively straightforward, although all companies handle claims differently. I certainly hope that you were able to ID the car/driver that hit you. In the end, it may be difficult to deal with the driver's insurer on your own and, if it proves problematic, you may want to have someone (a lawyer or your own insurer) do the heavy lifting for you.

Incidentally, when someone runs you over you should be made whole. And while it is wrong (fraudulent) to cook up bogus claims, you are under no obligation whatsoever to recapitulate months of bargain component hunting in replacing your bike, supposing it's trashed. They should replace the ride promptly with something at least comparable (identical or better).

I'm not in a position to advise you, but if it were me I'd be careful and thorough in having myself checked out, and I'd be careful to document everything in the way of treatment/therapy or any other expenses I incurred (including things my medical insurer covered). And I wouldn't rush into anything. If I were having a hard time, I'd consult an attorney.

Good luck.
be very careful when talking with their insurance companyTig
Jun 21, 2002 6:35 AM
First, the insurance company may attempt a few things to pay as little, or none at all to you. They like to record phone conversations to possibly use against you later. They could ask well rehearsed questions that are designed to get you to admit that their client was not at fault, or that you were. Listen carefully, and think about how you will answer their questions. If things start to look bad, simply tell them that your lawyer will handle the matter from here on. All medical expenses should also be added to the claim.

I know that all sounds a bit paranoid, but I know of a few people that were screwed over in the same situation. Thanks to them, I went strait to a good lawyer and he handled the negotiations when I was hit and injured. Otherwise, I doubt I would have received the full liability amount. It was worth giving the lawyer his 33%. My replacement bike was a nice upgrade from 105 to Record!
Don't Answer Any Questions - Keep It Hypothetical IF, SUPPOSEjose_Tex_mex
Jun 21, 2002 9:50 AM
I agree with Tig. However, I would not answer any questions. Just make statements. You could say:
1) I was hit by your insured who was at fault.
2) There is property damage in the amount of xK.
3) I am seeing a doctor.

If they ask to record - say no.
If they ask you any questions - I defer to my lawyer.
What's you lawyer's name - I'll get back to you.

Basically, if you are just going for the property damage you might settle fast. I would call them Monday and ask them for 1.5 times the cost given to you by the LBS. If they give you any crap at all, go the lawyer route. BUT DON't ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS. Just give them blank statements. OR BETTER YET - you could always ask them a hypotetical:

IF someone were in a situation identical to mine and there was$4500 damage to the bicycle and that person agreed to settle for both personal and property damage - could you have a check cut within a week.
hire a lawyer! (nm)merckx56
Jun 21, 2002 7:12 AM
Jun 21, 2002 10:59 AM
Funny how everyone jokes about lawyers until they need one!

Seriously, if you are NOT hurt, you really don't need a lawyer.

If you are happy with what the insurance company offers, you don't need a lawyer.

Getting hit is NOT winning the lottery.

Getting hit does NOT entitle you to a bike worth twice your current bike.

I'm directing this to the original poster, but insurance companies are not out to screw people over. I had some hail damage to my car that was barely visible, and my own insurance cut ME a check for $1500 (it looked even less visible afterwards ;) ).

Save the lawyers for serious injuries... anything that affects your ability to work or function. Most insurance companies are well aware that there is a difference between a custom road bike and a Walmart Huffy.

Your "run-around" may involve you digging out receipts, or getting an estimate, but if you expect the insurance company to play fair, they will expect the same of you.

Finally- even if you are injured, get back to work ASAP. I knew an acquaintence that was in a minor car accident, and attempted to milk it out for all it was worth. Her lawyer told her not to go back to work (referred her to doctors that supported this idea), went to at least weekly chiropractic sessions, etc.... she kept talking about waiting for her settlement, and her lawyer dragged it on as long as possible, with the idea that the longer she was "hurt" the more money she would received. She was relatively bored and depressed, she obsessed over the settlement details, was financially strapped, and she spent a ton of emotional energy worrying that she would be screwed over by the settlement. By the time the settlement rolled around, she didn't even have enough to pay of the credit cards she had been living off of for months. She would have come out much further ahead by just getting on with her life. Her lawyer, of course, had his tidy cut. There is no free lunch... at least not one you can count on (even though everyone knows anecdotal data to refute everything I just posted ! )
Sounds nuts.djg
Jun 21, 2002 11:48 AM
I gather your "acquaintance" got bad advice. That's too bad, but I don't think anyone on this board suggested that the rider contact a bad or irresponsible attorney. Frankly, I cannot imagine that a responsible counselor would suggest grand "lottery" winnings based on some mild abrasions and a scratched bike (or even a ruined bike). The rider reports being banged up--contusions and a still sore foot at least; for all we know (and none of US knows), a fracture or some longer-running soft-tissue damage to deal with. People have generally suggested that the rider see a doctor, first and foremost (which appears the plan in any case, not to mention very sane advice) and that the rider might do well to consult an attorney. You respond with a rather bizarre story and the opinion that the rider is not entitled to a settlement sufficient to purchasing a nicer bicycle (seems like a harsh judgment, not knowing the range of the person's injuries). The guy got run over by a car. Without knowing the details, we might at least be sympathetic and, failing that, we might at least give the person the benefit of the doubt regarding possible future claims.

I'm not trying to drum up business here--I'm not a personal injury attorney and I have no stake or interest in this rider's situation. But while I've generally found my insurance company to be pretty good about handling MY claims (on policies I held with them), I've not always seen quick, straight-up check-writing for non-covered persons.
no lottery wantedpeloton
Jun 21, 2002 3:32 PM
Just to clarify my intentions here. I'm the last guy who would sue anyone, or look for an accident to get me rich. The only thing that I want is my bike fixed. I got checked out at the hospital today, and my injuries don't appear to be long term. That's good, although the doc ordered me off the bike for a while to heal one small injury. My bike is junk though. It's a nice ride I built myself a couple of months ago part by part. Dura-ace, TCR team frame, the works- I just don't want to get the shaft on getting it replaced. I'm also hoping the whole process will be quick as my bike is my link to retaining sanity and a well adjusted demeanor to society.

I certainly don't want to take advantage of the system here. I'm just looking for the best way to get this situation dealt with quickly and without getting taken. I do appreciate all the advice given. Any other suggestions would also be great. Thanks.
that was my point....merckx56
Jun 22, 2002 5:25 AM
I'm not saying to try to screw the guy who hit you or to try to get yourself a trust fund, but just to protect your interests and get what you DESERVE! insurance companies see an invoice for a $4000 bicycle and scoff, thinking that you are indeed trying to rip them off. instead of you having to argue and go back and forth, an attorney will do it for you. insurance companies make money by NOT paying out. my wife is the director of corporate communications for a large insurance company and they didn't want to pay ME! motorcycle accident attorneys are a good idea and i'm sure that someone in the group you ride with either is an attornay or knows one. not all attorneys are scumbags. some actually haven't had their hearts surgically removed.
a good attorney will charge you a flat rate for his services. stay away from the contingency whores!
Call the Motorcycle Lawyersniteschaos
Jun 21, 2002 7:46 AM
There are guys out there that specialize in this sort of 4 versus 2 wheel violence out there. Call them up and see if there are any local names they recommend.
Above all, keep the story simple and bulletproof.Leisure
Jun 22, 2002 3:30 AM
Get checked out with your doc, decide what your story is, keeping it really simple, as you just did. "Your client hit me." Hopefully you won't encounter any of the stuff Tig's talking about, but I think it depends on the kind of insurance company you're dealing with. State Farm I think is pretty fair, I've heard that some companies will dump money all over you, and others will do any dirty thing they can to screw you. I think Tig's on the money if you get the feeling something funny is going on in the phone conversation. Perhaps they'll try to drag you into irrelevant details to distract from the other guy being at fault. End the conversation, and contemplate getting a police report just to have some documentation, maybe even take pictures of your bike and where it happened, catching scrapes on the road, etc, as part of the evidence. All that part is free while giving you some sort of leverage and the insurance company more to go on than the word of you and your assaillant. It may have been better to call the police when it happened, as they would have clearly indicated who was at fault in the report, and they would hopefully have more experience documenting such. It's not to be an ass, just to cover yours. Whether or not to get a lawyer is your financial prerogative. Just two more cents. Tell us what happens.