Proper procedure when getting hit by a car- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Proper procedure when getting hit by a car

    Like everyone else, I hope I never get tagged by a car, but I'm wondering what the proper procedure is. I'm guessing it would be something along the lines of getting contact info, getting insurance information, getting the driver's license #, license plate #, insurance number, and an ambulance if needed. Is a police report required too?

  2. #2
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    Proper procedure for me would be to get up, dust myself off, then yank the SOB out through the driver's side window and pound the snot out of him......

    (only half serious.... well, completely serious really, but yeah, I'd get the police there. You'd want it documented in case you suffered any injuries... and chances are likely you would.)

  3. #3
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    i've been hit on the way to school... b*tch hit me, realized what SHE had done and stomped on it... all i got was some major road rash, bike was fine surprisingly!

  4. #4
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    Yeah, get contact info - or plate # first

    I've been hit once. I let the guy go, chalking it up to accident since the guy was cool. I now know I was in shock. BUT the guy really was cool; he came back around after I let him go and gave me his info. I went to the E.R. got stitches and x-rays and asked that the guy pay my co-pay. He agreed and then filed with his insurance co., which I feel bad about since I had absolutely NO intention of suing him. I got a settlement which took into account medical bills and bike damage.

    BOTTOM LINE: get contact info even if you don't think you need it, FILE A POLICE REPORT ASAP (the police guy who showed up at the E.R. didn't want to fill out the paperwork, so I had to go to the station later and do it after the driver did - I was lucky our stories agreed) if there is any damage or injury. Finally, if you have anything approaching a real injury call the police and ambulance then and there - you won't have to pay if the driver is insured and it could help you immensely later on when dealing with insurance.

  5. #5
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    First thing: Make, Model, and License plate. They WILL run half the time. DO NOT get angry. DO NOT yell at them or strike their vehicle. It is assault if you do. Call the police ASAP. I keep the non-emergency police number on my speed dial. Do the same. Start getting insurance information and getting your story straight in your head and do not talk about what happened. Let them figure out what they want to do for a story when the police show up. Don't give them cycling laws that they can claim to have followed after the fact when talking to the police. The next stop is when making the insurance claim to say your totaled frame is vintage, priceless, you had XXX dollars in parts and profit. I had a friend get hit, bend his old frame he got out of the dumpster and get $1200 for a new bike. Another friend on a bikesdirect motobecane got the ******** MSRP for a new bike. $795 for a $300 bike. I made an insurance claim for the $250 of damage to my bike from crashing on an uneven curb on a private road and got the settlement without hassle. Our bikes are much cheaper than cars, especially if we require no medical attention so they'll be glad to pay out to get the paper work done.

  6. #6
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    I work for a major insurance company and this is what we tell our policyholders. Just like a car accident get the other guys vehicle(make, model, vin#), registration (license plate, drivers license, and vehicle owners name if different), insurance (company name, policy #, agent name and phone#), and personal contact info (name, phone#, and address). Take lots of pictures or draw a sketch of the scene to reference the location of everything and damages. Attempt to file a police report but know that in some cities that they will not come out unless traffic is blocked, or someone is hurt, belligerent, or uncooperative. It not necessary but itís definitely a classy move that depending on the cost of the damage feel free to offer to have the other party pay our of pocket for bike repairs or maybe just a simple doctors visit to make sure you are ok. If these go through the other parties insurance company they may see a huge surcharge depending on their companies rating structure filed with the state. Finally file a claim with your own auto insurance company. Depending on your state, company and policy your medpay coverage on your auto policy could possible pay for any doctors visits, copays, or deductibles with no surcharge to you because the coverage may extend to you while on a bicycle. Check with your company.
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  7. #7
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    been hit twice... luckily i wasnt injured either time, but one broke a wheel, and the other broke a whole bike. both drivers sped off without stopping, but the second time i got the plate and the ba$tard got nailed with reckless driving and leaving the scene, resulting in the loss of his license. luckily the second time (when i got the plate and the whole bike was wrecked) the insurance company bought me a brand new bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti2424
    Finally file a claim with your own auto insurance company. Depending on your state, company and policy your medpay coverage on your auto policy could possible pay for any doctors visits, copays, or deductibles with no surcharge to you because the coverage may extend to you while on a bicycle. Check with your company.
    Except for those of us that do not use cars and do not have auto insurance and are screwed because we can't get bicycle insurance to protect us from hit and runs and uninsured motorists. Worst case is those that do not have a separate health insurance policy.

  9. #9
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    My lawyer buddy, who incidently was hit 4 times while riding, gave me this bit of advice. Always get their info (or plate number if they take off), always call the police and file a report and always take a trip to the ER.

    Protect yourself from long term physical and financial problems. If you choose to pursue a lawsuit or not it helps to have all your options available to you.

  10. #10
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    I got hit just last Wednesday. This is valuable information. Thank you.
    -Greg
    Lynskey Ridgeline 29-SL, Truvativ Hammerschmidt, Cannondale Lefty 29er SL w/ DLR (Project321 adaptor). 26 lbs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnamin
    I got hit just last Wednesday. This is valuable information. Thank you.
    Hi Grnamin, hope you are doing OK. I saw your post about the driver's response ("I though I hit a deer") on the "lamest thing ever said" thread - WOW! I quoted you on "how was your commute today" because it was so amazingly dumb and scary, and we can all relate to that! Well, hope the healing goes well and that you have the driver info if needed.

  12. #12
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    Geez. I got hit once, got pissed and let the guy drive away. I don't want there to be a "next time" but if there is, I will definetely keep more level headed.

  13. #13
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    +1 on Mtbxplorer!

    Another tip: If you are hit (and we all hope none of us are), and land in such a way that a back injury is possible, then if possible (you are conscious and not in danger), do not let yourself be moved by any other than trained EMT or Medical people. Avoiding added damage using a back board to prevent more damage that could make you paraplegic or quadriplegic is very important. The first 30 seconds or so I was 'out of it' but I became VERY lucid as the adrenalin kicked in, and I dissuaded them dragging me off or making me sit up until skilled help arrived. One person complained to the EMT and they were promptly told I was right. As it turned out I could have sat up, stood up, and walked away, once I was examined, but there is no way to tell just by looking. Payoff for watching EMT television shows back then.
    Last edited by BrianMc; 10-18-2010 at 05:52 AM.

  14. #14
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    @mtbxplorer: Thank you very much for the kind words.
    -Greg
    Lynskey Ridgeline 29-SL, Truvativ Hammerschmidt, Cannondale Lefty 29er SL w/ DLR (Project321 adaptor). 26 lbs.

  15. #15
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    In addition to all of the excellent information above...
    One of my neighbors was recently hit by a city bus while riding in to her job and the accident caused her to miss several months of work; she's currently only back to part time with the same company. Her lawyer advised her to keep a log detailing her levels of pain daily (out of ten), summation of any doctor's visits, her rehab process, and anything else pertaining to the injury from the accident. If anything goes to court, a daily log is considered much better proof than a person trying to recall events from several months ago.
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  16. #16
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    When I was hit, I just laid there. There wasn't much more that I really could do, slipping in and out of consciousness. It took until I got the police report before I found out what happened afterward. Apparently, the guy started to try to take off, but his flat tire prevented him from doing so. He didn't have insurance, but between my car insurance (go figure), and homeowners I was covered. I still have some back/shoulder issues 8 years later though. I never did find out what/if anything happened to the guy, legally.

  17. #17
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    Got nailed on my back-up bike yesterday a block away from home. Banged a bruised but, thankfully fine. Old guy in a full size truck decided he needed to make a left turn into me. It was dusk I had my tail light on but front wasn't. Though, I had reflectors.

    I f'ed his truck up real good and he absolutely trashed my bike. Luckly, their were several witnesses to speak to the cops cause I was a little loopy. Took a ride in the ambulance and got a business card from the cops with case number. I don't think I ever spoke to the guy who hitme and I have none of his information as of now.

    I'll post up pictures of my bike later. The cranks actually bent so bad they went through the frame on the down tube. I loved that bike and put some serious miles on it. I'm a little worried cause the bike company Iron Horse isn't around anymore and I put on a ton of upgrades and only have half of the receipts to prove what I paid for said upgrades.

  18. #18
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    Wow, blacklab, that is very scary. It's hard to picture how you escaped without more serious injuries when your bike and the truck are so trashed - but thank goodness that was the case. Good luck wiith the replacement, insurance, etc., and hope you still feel OK. You may want to check the bike laws where you live to see if and when a front light is required. I think here the requirement doesn't kick in until half hour after sunset, which I think would mean you were legal, but only reflectors were required until recently.

  19. #19
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    When I got hit, I didn't have a cell phone, ID, or anything. It was a bad move. Luckily a nice lady saw the whole thing and let me use her phone after she had called the police. The driver of the car that hit me just sat there in the intersection until the cops came. I never spoke a word to him. I think he was embarrassed.

    I was not injured at all. I didn't go to the emergency room. I don't even think I had health insurance at that time. I'm lucky the situation played itself out for me. The driver's insurance paid my repair bills, no questions asked. I was shaken up, but definitely not injured. I bounced off his hood rather gracefully. Next time, I'll be more prepared.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacklab75
    Got nailed on my back-up bike yesterday .... I'm a little worried cause the bike company Iron Horse isn't around anymore and I put on a ton of upgrades and only have half of the receipts to prove what I paid for said upgrades.
    It has been a while since I had to settle with insurance for a wrecked bike. (May I never need to again! I insisted I get the money needed to have the bike I had before, and if I elected to spend it differently, that was none of the insurance company's business. The adjuster had a different view.

    My Raleigh It was a much modified stock bike (many Campy bits), also without receipts. I insisted on the cost to recreate what I had before the accicdent. (In your case you will need to find a frame you would accept and can defend as equivalent, or the same one on E-bay.) They objected that the replacement Raleigh frame cost more than a handbuilt double butted one in the bike shop, and I'd end up with a better bike than I had before. I pointed out that they could buy a new version of that model of Raliegh, swap out the parts and recoup what they could for the original ones, and they'd spend another $250 or more today's money, compared to buying the Ralieigh frame, to recreate my previous bike. The better frame was about $125 less in today's money, and was MY savings, not theirs. This was chicken feed as far as the settlement could have gone. So I pointed out I was not suing for any of the usual personal damages for the contusions, cuts, hospital trip, my wife's trauma, or the cost of my lost time, sleep, or loss of use of a bike for 2 weeks. No lawyers. Big savings to his company. He shut up and wrote the check for the bike and the torn jeans. I figured I wsa lucky that I had my life, my body as good as it ever was, and my bike ASAP, I was good to go.

    Hope this helps arm you to get a settlement you can accept.

    PS I ride lights in the day front and rear and wear bright clothing to help good drivers not make such a mistake. Many are my neighbors. The 'I did not see you' will be a condemnation of their driving, NOT an excuse. YMMV.

  21. #21
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    i almost got hit a few weeks ago, i hit the brakes and swerved to miss the car, i almost flipped i hit the brakes so hard. what if i did flip, hurting myself and bike. would it be the car's fault even though i wasn't physically hit by the car?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoppellStereo
    i almost got hit a few weeks ago, i hit the brakes and swerved to miss the car, i almost flipped i hit the brakes so hard. what if i did flip, hurting myself and bike. would it be the car's fault even though i wasn't physically hit by the car?
    That's a darn good question that I'd like to hear someone with some legal training answer.

    Legality aside, I'd say morally they are at fault. If their (implied) illegal or negligent behavior caused a chain of events leading to your injury, they were at fault. I'd be awfully surprised if the law said you had to take the direct hit to show their fault. One could likely argue by analogy that there are lots of times fault/liability is assigned when their is no direct action. Look at any number of cases where someone creates a dangerous situation (trip hazards, icy sidewalks, improper electrical work, etc.), does nothing to remedy it. Much later, someone gets hurt. The person hurt was never directly injured by the liable person, but was by the situation they created.

    Idle speculation there, but I know I'd go after a vehicle operator if I was injured in an attempt to avoid a collision they were about to cause.

  23. #23
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    I found out today that the insurance company of the driver who hit me wants me to make a statement about what happened over the phone. My lawyer is arranging the process.
    -Greg
    Lynskey Ridgeline 29-SL, Truvativ Hammerschmidt, Cannondale Lefty 29er SL w/ DLR (Project321 adaptor). 26 lbs.

  24. #24
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    May we all heal up as good as new.
    -Greg
    Lynskey Ridgeline 29-SL, Truvativ Hammerschmidt, Cannondale Lefty 29er SL w/ DLR (Project321 adaptor). 26 lbs.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoppellStereo
    i almost got hit a few weeks ago, i hit the brakes and swerved to miss the car, i almost flipped i hit the brakes so hard. what if i did flip, hurting myself and bike. would it be the car's fault even though i wasn't physically hit by the car?
    I am no legal expert. I suspect though, that this varies with jurisdiction.

    In one jurisdiction where I once lived, the driver needs to be charged and convicted of the driving offense in order to seek restitution from him or his insurance for any damages that resulted from his actions without having to file a separate civil action. No idea about where I live now.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnamin
    I found out today that the insurance company of the driver who hit me wants me to make a statement about what happened over the phone. My lawyer is arranging the process.
    i hope it goes well!


    as for the responses to my comment earlier, BrianMC makes a good point, i just hope most places would take the bikers side, but doubtful

  27. #27
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    I got side swiped by a mini van a few weeks ago. Honda Odyssey with huge side view mirrors. The guy was trying to pass me on my left side but didn't give me enough room. The impact broke his mirror off. Not sure what part of me or my bike it initially hit but I went down fairly hard on my left side. Kinda swiped the wheels right out from under me. I was riding my road bike. I escaped with road rash. My bike was fine. The brifter moved on impact and was already sort of beat up anyways. Bar tape slightly ripped and my seat has a tear. I got all of his info but didn't really need to do anything. I basically just lectured him and then rode home. Not something I want to happen again, but could of been way worse. I've been debating if I should of done more, but in this case I guess I handled it fine.

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