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Got in a car accident sunday - future cycling problems?(13 posts)

Got in a car accident sunday - future cycling problems?aliensporebomb
Dec 19, 2003 6:14 AM
Sunday night my wife and I were on the way to meet some
friends of ours for dinner when a driver ran a red light
and hit our car whilst we were in the middle of the
intersection.

Was a young guy under 21 driving a car owned by his
father on his fathers' insurance - more on that later.

Our car was declared a total loss. The guy admitted he
ran a red light and just wasn't paying attention.

Anyway, needless to say we're pretty stiff and sore. I
was about 23 miles away from meeting a pretty significant
mileage goal and am probably done for the year as a
result of the accident (seeing doctors again today).

The kicker? The kid had the nerve to call us at home
later because "he'd been in a few of these incidents
before, not too many, but a few and his experience
was that getting insurance involved "screwed"
everyone".

He wanted to pay us above blue book but not reimburse
for medical. We kindly told him to take a hike and are
letting our insurance company go after his since he has
as of yet not reported the accident and his dad's
attitude is "talk to my son, it was his accident."

The bottom line: has anyone been in a serious auto
accident and resumed cycling? Did you have medical
issues and how were they addressed? Were you able to
continue cycling to the level you were before?

Bottom line - I'm sort of worried about it. It was
an accident we shouldn't have walked away from yet did.

Ideas?
re: Got in a car accident sunday - future cycling problems?treebound
Dec 19, 2003 6:27 AM
#1. Get a lawyer, now.
#2. In many states, not reporting an accident and filling out a police accident report if the cost of repair exceeds $500 for the vehicle is a crime. So file the police report now, if you haven't already done so.
#3. Get to your doctor now and get fully checked out and document every concern and pain you have, and document every contact the perp has with you and everything he/it says including everything his daddy says as well.

Sounds like the kid is spoiled rotten and daddy is irresponsible, screw them both.

As far as the future cycling goes, time will tell. Take it easy and recover properly, and don't get caught riding your bike by the punks attorney. Almost guaranteed he already has one and is already taking instructions from his daddy's lawyer.

Your future in cycling will depend on the extent of your injuries, and soft tissue damage can take months to appear before you really notice it.
agreegtx
Dec 19, 2003 7:16 AM
and I assume you have a police report?
What's with the lawyer talk?Mel Erickson
Dec 19, 2003 8:29 AM
Maybe you'll need one but it's too early to tell yet. The other advice is well put. I assume you made a police report. Hard to believe the police weren't on the scene if the accident was as severe as you described. Nonetheless, make sure a report was made. Document your injuries. Report it to your insurance company and find out the insurance company for the guy that hit you. The father may seem aloof because it's just another knot in the string of accidents for his son. Doesn't matter whether it was his son or George Bush driving the car. It's his car and his insurance, he's involved but only through his insurance. Don't sign off on any settlement until you're sure you're fully recovered. This could take awhile depending on the extent of your injuries. If you and your partner have any complications or there's a prospect for longer term medical problems it may be advisable to contact an attorney at that time. Insurance settlements can get complicated when medical issues cloud the picture.

You don't say what your injuries are so it's impossible to comment on your future recovery and ability to ride. Follow the advice of your medical professionals but also use your own judgement. If you're not improving or don't like the pace of your improvement discuss it with them. If you don't like their answers see someone else. Take responsibility for your recovery but be realistic. Some injuries can take a long time to heal. I tore a rotator cuff in a MTB mishap two years ago. Had surgery in February and am still not right. I'm not sure I'll ever be back to normal and sometimes that's the way it is. In 1983 I was hit from behind by a young driver and sustained bad road rash on my entire back and shoulder and numerous other soft tissue injuries but made a full recovery. Your chances are better if you're young. Us old guys don't heal as well.
Sorry to hear about the accident...PEDDLEFOOT
Dec 19, 2003 6:32 AM
....I hope you get well.I agree with the previous reply.Get a lawyer and document every little problem you may have.I don't have experience in this matter but do feel bad about it.

I also hope your wife is doing well.Make sure she doesn't have any lingering effects.I wish you both a speedy recovery.Keep us informed on the matter.
you walked away from it?climbo
Dec 19, 2003 7:05 AM
if you could walk afterwards, I don't see how you shouldn't be able to resume cycling. I don't get it...people come back to sports after having much more serious problems than what it seems you are infering. i.e. broken legs, necks, busted knees etc.
Accident late SeptLO McDuff
Dec 19, 2003 7:51 AM
A woman crossed the centerline and hit me on September 30th this year. My truck was totaled. I had some initial stiffness in my neck, but two days later I had some lower back pain and soreness/tingling/weakness in my right leg. There is a slight impingement on the nerve at L5 in my lower lumbar. I was prescribed PT, stretching, and some core-strengthening excercises. It helped.

I have just now (this week) resumed swimming and have been riding a spinning bike at the club. No road work yet. I found the first 15 minutes can be a new adventure in pain, but after the "ride" my back and legs feel great. The back specialist says that the pain/tingling should go away in about another month. All of this activity was cleared through my doctor and physical therapist. I would recommend talking with a doctor just to get the go-ahead.

Other stuff - NOBODY IS YOUR FRIEND. Not the insurance companies (his or yours), not the other driver, not the doctors, not the PT. Seek representation; NOT to sue the pants off the other driver, but rather as a sounding board and advisor. He will help with how/when to give statements, what you should and should not do.

Good luck.
re: Got in a car accident sunday - future cycling problems?Chris T
Dec 19, 2003 9:34 AM
Well, it's good that you were able to walk away from it. Several others have already given good advice with regards to dealing with the accident. I can tell you from my own experience. I've been hit twice commuting, once was really minor, during the first incident though I was broadsided by a pick-up truck that ran a stop sign and thrown across the intersection. Nothing broken, and at the time, seemed like a bad case of road rash was all I had. However, after a few days I had a very sore shoulder and lower back, all soft tissue damage.

For my treatment, I went through several months of physiotherapy, massage therapy and painkillers. About three years later, I still get twinges of pain in my shoulder, a lifelong reminder of my accident. However, it doesn't really affect my cycling, more of an annoyance.

As for dealing with isurance and settlement, as someone pointed out here, neither his or your insurance company will be on your side. They make money by paying out as little as possible. I was lucky in that I never had to resort to a lawyer as the case was clear-cut (the driver was quite cooperative) and the insurance offered me a reasonable payout (you can look-up paid settlements for similar injuries at law libraries, insurance companies don't make their settlement amount public). If you're running into problems, and your injuries are serious enough, it can be worthwhile to get a lawyer. Even in my case it was stressful to go through.

My other word of advice is to not rush into a settlement. The insurance company will pressure you to settle as soon as possible. Politely tell them to bugger off until you really feel you're ready to settle. Generally, once you've signed off on the settlement documents, that's it even if there are injuries down the road.

As a last reminder, I'm telling you this from my perspective (I live in B.C., Canada), so your local laws, etc. may be slightly different.

Good luck recovering!

Chris
Don't take their calls53T
Dec 20, 2003 5:45 AM
You really have nothing to discuss with the kid or his dad. You have an insurance agent, talk to him. Let your agent get you an adjuster, let your agent contact his insurer. If agent does not apear to be bending over backward for you, have your lawyer call your agent.
You're right, no need to talk to the kid or dad, butMel Erickson
Dec 20, 2003 7:08 AM
Your insurance agent has little to do with the matter. It's not your insurance that you're dealing with. It's the dads company. Any adjuster your agent gets will be useless because it's the dads company that may send out an adjuster. Your agent may help in contacting the insurer but, unfortunately, it's not your insurance company's job to go to bat for you. That only happens if it's an uninsured motorist case. It's really between you and the dads company. If you're getting the run around or feel the dads insurance company is not treating you fairly it's time to get a lawyer to represent you.
Don't ride in public.................Len J
Dec 20, 2003 5:53 AM
until the following:

1.) You are sure that you know the extent of your medical damage &

2.) You have settled with the insurance co. (assuming that you have medical problems)

If you have very little in the way of medical problems (and time will tell), then riding as soon as you are able presents little risk. Unfortunatly, if you have any lingering spinal related injuries, riding may reduce your insurance settlement. The ins co will argue (if they have an investigator document your riding, which they will) that you were OK enough to engage in a strenuous activity like cycling, obviously you were not injured.

Use the nest couple of months to rest & recover.

Otherwise, great advice so far in this thread.

Sounds like you dodged a bullet, glad you're OK.

Len
re: Got in a car accident sunday - future cycling problems?aliensporebomb
Dec 20, 2003 5:07 PM
Thanks for the recommendations, people.

My wife and I both had varying degrees of whiplash (and my wife's
legs are black and blue all over the place) and I'm still limping about
I think it will be a while before I'm back on the bike.

That being said, our insurance company is going after them rather
aggressively which is good - so far it sounds like we're going to be
getting more than we thought for the car, the medical issues are
being discussed now.

Here's hoping I'm back on the road this spring. Bummer. I was so
close to my mileage goal.
Good for your insurance companyMel Erickson
Dec 21, 2003 12:20 PM
Mine won't do that. Who do you insure with?