Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Moderatus Puisne
Joined
·
15,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all,

Today I was hit by a car while training. Hit-and-run, actually, but she returned to the scene a few minutes later when she noticed a helpful witness had followed her home. Driver was cited by police, etc, so there's no question of fault.

I'm beat up, but no broken bones.

My bike, however, is completely totaled.

Anyone else have experience with dealing with insurance companies willing / unwillingness to replace bike and gear? It was a handbuilt steel frame from a company that's no longer in business, so I'm concerned that I won't get anywhere close to its value;

Also destroyed were some nice Castelli shorts, an Atmos helmet, my cell phone, gloves, glasses, etc.

I'm pretty grumpy about this, but mostly I just want to get back on the road and can't really afford to buy another ride untill I get paid back for this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,047 Posts
My experience with insurance companies has been great- it is the drivers who are the problem (as you have already noticed).

What is the true replacement value of a steel frame if it isn't new? My commuter has a lugged steel frame that was pretty high on the tree back in its day- how much is it worth now? Maybe a few hundred at most... I don't know what you are talking about in your case, but you need to be realistic if it is an older bike.

How did the accident happen? What kind of bike was it? Details?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Bummer Argent., but glad to hear you are not hurt too bad. I'm not lawyer and may not be of much help. The only advice I have is know what the statute of limitations are for when you can sue, and don't sign away your right to sue the driver/ insurance company when you settle.

Depending how old you are and the actual damage injuries can show up later and you may be hurt worse then you think. Obviously there are a ton of people who don't have real injuries and would exploit a situation like this. BS frivolous lawsuits are horrible. However, IMO anyone who would run from an accident, good Samaritan involvement or otherwise, is a real creep and deserves little sympathy. For all she knew you could have been hurt badly.

I sincerely hope that you are okay and I wish you a speedy recovery. But again, on the off chance that something pops up in your future you deserve the right to be compensated for legitimate bills and suffering.

Many of us would be interested to know what legal action is taken against the driver and how you make out.
 

·
Moderatus Puisne
Joined
·
15,882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Briefly --

The frame is an 853 steel Match-built Paramount from 2000, just repainted and built up last year. It was $1450 new. Match isn't in business anymore; I'd think I'd have to go with a Strong or Vanilla to get something of the sort. Built up with all campy Chorus -- at least I had training record / OP wheels on, nothing fancier.

The accident happened about noon. I was heading straight, and a driver turned left straight in front me. I thought she'd made eye contact and slowed, but I guess I was incorrect, and she started going just as I was approaching. I hit the front of her car, slammed against and over the hood, and onto the asphalt. I stood up (sort of), pointed at her and shouted "hey!" She slowed down a moment, then sped away. Like I said, one of several witnesses followed her to her home less than half a mile away, which she'd driven to. The cops showed up a few minutes later, and I don't know exactly what they cited her with but the cop told me that he'd cited her in the accident, made sure I was okay enough, and I got a ride back home.

Took some pictures of my injuries and stuff, and the broken bike, etc.

As much as I think this lady deserves her car to get eaten by gremlins or something, mostly I just want to get back on the road, and I'm really hoping it's not a months-long drawn out procedure to get that happen, and I'd hate to not get the "real replacement" cost for this bike. I paid about $1700 for the build kit for the bike, in addition to the frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,047 Posts
That fact that she "hit and ran" would preclude me from ever giving her or her insurance the benefit of the doubt.

If you have no injuries, most insurance companies love to quickly close the deal. Your bike has a fixed cost. If you were injured, the sky would be the limit. I would contact her insurance company to get things moving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
Argentius said:
Hey all,

Today I was hit by a car while training. Hit-and-run, actually, but she returned to the scene a few minutes later when she noticed a helpful witness had followed her home. Driver was cited by police, etc, so there's no question of fault.

I'm beat up, but no broken bones.

My bike, however, is completely totaled.

Anyone else have experience with dealing with insurance companies willing / unwillingness to replace bike and gear? It was a handbuilt steel frame from a company that's no longer in business, so I'm concerned that I won't get anywhere close to its value;

Also destroyed were some nice Castelli shorts, an Atmos helmet, my cell phone, gloves, glasses, etc.

I'm pretty grumpy about this, but mostly I just want to get back on the road and can't really afford to buy another ride untill I get paid back for this one.
ov vey. my suggestion: quickly get an estimate of total replacement costs for everything at retail price from your bike store. chances are the insurance company will want to ask for some discount - and they will probably try to depreciate your bike. that's life, unfortunately. hopefully you have receipts, payment records, or cancelled checks. you can go to your bank and ask them to dig through your files and print up a check image - hopefully. I think you should get started on that even before you call the insurance company.

you say you're "beat up," but you don't know the extent of your injuries. go see a doctor, also ASAP.

my experience with an insurance company was that the adjuster assigned to me for personal injuries tried to stonewall my lawyer. the adjuster for property damages accepted the inflated claim my bike store helped us assemble at face value. the two offset each other. no one was exactly overjoyed, but everyone walked away satisfied. in my case, the police didn't even cite my driver ... yours did, so it sounds like you have a pretty strong case. always negotiate tough - I can be a wimpy negotiator, so I'm glad I had an attorney doing it.
 

·
Just one more switchback
Joined
·
237 Posts
Full replacement cost

When I was hit a few years ago the old man's insurance company ponyed up full replacement cost for a comparable frame and full cost for components. Although it was few years old, there was no discount because I was going to have to purchase all the stuff new. We settled quickly (about 2 monthes) for the bike but waited a year before settling the personal injuries (mine were a little worse than yours). In SC, you have I believe three years to bring suit.

Don't be in a hurry to settle, you have nothing to gain and everything to loose from rushing into it. Get a good estimate and tell the insurance company to pay the bill, no discount. Go see a doctor and then wait a month or three before even talking to the insurance company about your injuries. If they ask about the injuries, be vague and say that you are seeing your doctor about them. They are not your friends, be cordial but don't waste time in idle chit chat.
 

·
tofurkey hunting
Joined
·
4,733 Posts
another step

glad you are okay. also, the advice above sounds great. i just wanted to throw one more idea in the mix. do you have the name/address of the witness that followed the driver? if so, send that person a nice note. that is truly admirable of him/her.

that's where the niceness ends. go for full replacement cost. she ruined your ride. you deserve another one. keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
First its good to know that you'r ok

about the insurance thing I really dont experienced, but claim all the way. She ran away from the scene, I dont believe that any judge can help her.

In Israel from the start of the year, already 5 cyclist was killed.
We the Israeli cyclist with you.



Argentius said:
Hey all,

Today I was hit by a car while training. Hit-and-run, actually, but she returned to the scene a few minutes later when she noticed a helpful witness had followed her home. Driver was cited by police, etc, so there's no question of fault.

I'm beat up, but no broken bones.

My bike, however, is completely totaled.

Anyone else have experience with dealing with insurance companies willing / unwillingness to replace bike and gear? It was a handbuilt steel frame from a company that's no longer in business, so I'm concerned that I won't get anywhere close to its value;

Also destroyed were some nice Castelli shorts, an Atmos helmet, my cell phone, gloves, glasses, etc.

I'm pretty grumpy about this, but mostly I just want to get back on the road and can't really afford to buy another ride untill I get paid back for this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Glad to hear it wasn't worse. First, don't expect the insurance company to concede fault. "The police cited her" but for what? Maybe for leaving the scene of the accident? Maybe for not having her driver's license, registration, etc? Did the responding officer make a full accident report, get the names of the witnesses, etc?

Second, don't assume you are "OK." See a doctor. Document the bumps and bruises. The injuries may or may not be major, but you deserve to be compensated in either case.

You should write down everything you can remember about the accident; road conditions, weather, relative positions of the vehicles, your speed, every detail you remember. If you didn't get the names of the witnesses, I hope the police did. If you haven't heard from her insurance company within a day, you should call them to report the accident. If she left the scene, there's a strong possibility that she won't call it in. Gather up any receipts you have establishing the value of the bike. Have a shop look at the damaged bike to give you a damage estimate.

Some people on this board had good luck with insurance companies trying to make things right. My experience has been otherwise (this despite knowing they were dealing with a plaintiff who happened to be an attorney). This may be something you can handle on your own or you may be better served by hiring an attorney. The biggest mistake people make is settling in a hurry. Its tempting to bring it to a resolution, but if you can afford to wait, you are usually better off. Good luck.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
349 Posts
Hit and Run is CRIMINAL.

You have a suit.

Hire an attorney. Most will do "personal injury" on a contingency. That means they take a portion of your settlement as payment. Usually about 33% is standard. Any more than that and you should shop around.

DO NOT deal with the insurance company yourself !!! Their objective is to minimize their loss and settle your claim, close the door on your compensation.

You need an attorney to represent your interests. An attorney will deal with the claim, the insurance company, legal matters on property settlement, criminal matters on hit and run, etc.

Trust me here . . . You're over your head trying to settle this without an attorney. You'll get taken advantage of.

You have a strong case.

You should also get checked out by a doctor and get that on record.

Keep track of your injuries and healing in a journal. Photos are good.

ALSO, keep track of the time you lose riding as a result of this accident written down, in a journal -- times, dates, specifics, training and racing missed, trips to compete, awards missed because of your loss, aches, pains, bad dreams, depression, etc.

I got hit by a car while doing graduate work. It cost me some class time and a scholarship. The atty got compensation for that.

You need compensation for "pain and suffering" -- and that resulted from being hit by a car in a hit and run accident.

Attorneys these days get about $150 to $200 per hour to deal with a case. Usually that take a deposit of like $500 and then bill you monthly for their work. In a case like this the billing might run $200 / mo. Maybe more, maybe a lot less. There's not a great deal of work to do in this case. It's pretty cut/dried.

If you can afford to pay as you go, that's typically less cost than "contingency." But it means paying for an atty before you settle.

It might take you a year to settle this case. But I wouldn't be at all surprised at a settlement in the $20 K range, plus replacement of your bike and all your gear, plus medical bills.

You shouldn't try to deal with the insurance company yourself. They represent the driver who hit you, and their objective is to minimize their loss on this claim.

If you have a home owners insurance policy, you should contact YOUR insurance about your losses. Your insurance may want to handle your claim against this driver.

When you hire an attorney, you have them working for you. Then you can relax and stop fretting about all the issues that arise from this accident -- and they're numerous, extensive, complicated, and involve legal matters that you need an attorney's counsel for.

Hit and Run is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE, and she's been cited. You need an atty.

I'm not an attorney, but I've been represented in accident suits by one on a couple of occaisions. My g/f is an attorney.

You have a civil and a criminal complaint here and need legal counsel to protect your interests. The driver's insurance company has an attorney. You don't want to deal with him on your own. You want YOUR attorney to take care of that.

Not simple, sorry . . . But that's why you need legal counsel to sort it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Hardy Cyclamens said:
Hit and Run is CRIMINAL.

You have a suit.

Hire an attorney. Most will do "personal injury" on a contingency. That means they take a portion of your settlement as payment. Usually about 33% is standard. Any more than that and you should shop around.

DO NOT deal with the insurance company yourself !!! Their objective is to minimize their loss and settle your claim, close the door on your compensation.

You need an attorney to represent your interests. An attorney will deal with the claim, the insurance company, legal matters on property settlement, criminal matters on hit and run, etc.

Trust me here . . . You're over your head trying to settle this without an attorney. You'll get taken advantage of.

You have a strong case.

You should also get checked out by a doctor and get that on record.

Keep track of your injuries and healing in a journal. Photos are good.

ALSO, keep track of the time you lose riding as a result of this accident written down, in a journal -- times, dates, specifics, training and racing missed, trips to compete, awards missed because of your loss, aches, pains, bad dreams, depression, etc.

I got hit by a car while doing graduate work. It cost me some class time and a scholarship. The atty got compensation for that.

You need compensation for "pain and suffering" -- and that resulted from being hit by a car in a hit and run accident.

Attorneys these days get about $150 to $200 per hour to deal with a case. Usually that take a deposit of like $500 and then bill you monthly for their work. In a case like this the billing might run $200 / mo. Maybe more, maybe a lot less. There's not a great deal of work to do in this case. It's pretty cut/dried.

If you can afford to pay as you go, that's typically less cost than "contingency." But it means paying for an atty before you settle.

It might take you a year to settle this case. But I wouldn't be at all surprised at a settlement in the $20 K range, plus replacement of your bike and all your gear, plus medical bills.

You shouldn't try to deal with the insurance company yourself. They represent the driver who hit you, and their objective is to minimize their loss on this claim.

If you have a home owners insurance policy, you should contact YOUR insurance about your losses. Your insurance may want to handle your claim against this driver.

When you hire an attorney, you have them working for you. Then you can relax and stop fretting about all the issues that arise from this accident -- and they're numerous, extensive, complicated, and involve legal matters that you need an attorney's counsel for.

Hit and Run is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE, and she's been cited. You need an atty.

I'm not an attorney, but I've been represented in accident suits by one on a couple of occaisions. My g/f is an attorney.

You have a civil and a criminal complaint here and need legal counsel to protect your interests. The driver's insurance company has an attorney. You don't want to deal with him on your own. You want YOUR attorney to take care of that.

Not simple, sorry . . . But that's why you need legal counsel to sort it out.
Thanks for that very informative response.

I, too, was hit by a car -- last Sept. I had some injuries, but my 5-week-new custom bike that I waited MONTHS for was totalled.

I started out trying to deal w/her insurance company on my own but quickly realized the adjuster was not someone I needed to be dealing with. He wanted to take a recorded statement from me over the phone, and he was calling my husband asking him questions, too. Luckily, an attorney/cyclist buddy of mine caught wind of everything that was going on due to a thread on another cycling forum, and he volunteered to assist me. One of the things I know he told the adjuster was he would only allow him to take a recorded statement from me if he (my attorney) could take a recorded statement from the driver. I haven't heard from the adjuster once since my buddy took over. It sure has made my life less complicated, to say the least.

There are so many ways to dig yourself into a hole, even if you think you're being careful about what you're saying to her insurance company. We are NOT attorneys (are you?) -- we don't know all the tricks the insurance companies play. Her insurance company is NOT ON YOUR SIDE -- remember that.

And like others have said -- my attorney friend advised me not to get in a hurry to settle... see how the injuries worked themselves out... or if any injuries were in hiding only to pop up later. I reluctantly agreed, although I was really bummed not to be able to replace my beloved bike right away. It's 4 1/2 months later, and I'm still waiting -- but now I feel confident enough that I won't need further medical care, so this should be fnalized in the near future. I think waiting was the smart, albeit not easy, thing to do in my situation.

Document EVERYTHING. Keep a daily journal. Take pix of your bruises, swelling, anything on your body. Document every inconvenience this has caused you. Memories really do fade over time about this stuff -- trust me. Start that journal TODAY if you haven't already done so.

Good luck to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
That's tough man, I guess you could try finding a simalar bike to what you 'had' on ebay or get someone reliable to help price what you had to prove to your insurance company you lost money so that you can claim it. I also had horrible crash this past summer, luckily I didn't loose anything other than my $100 fuji steel bike I train with. Good luck geting your self back together.
 

·
Self-Banned
Joined
·
16,905 Posts
Speaking from experience

Argentius said:
Hey all,

Today I was hit by a car while training. Hit-and-run, actually, but she returned to the scene a few minutes later when she noticed a helpful witness had followed her home. Driver was cited by police, etc, so there's no question of fault.

I'm beat up, but no broken bones.

My bike, however, is completely totaled.

Anyone else have experience with dealing with insurance companies willing / unwillingness to replace bike and gear? It was a handbuilt steel frame from a company that's no longer in business, so I'm concerned that I won't get anywhere close to its value;

Also destroyed were some nice Castelli shorts, an Atmos helmet, my cell phone, gloves, glasses, etc.

I'm pretty grumpy about this, but mostly I just want to get back on the road and can't really afford to buy another ride untill I get paid back for this one.

If you have home owner's or renter's insurance they may be able to help depending on specifics. Just talking to the agent who sold you your policy could yield some solid advice.

I sure hope you went to the hospital to get checked out.

I recommend you use the search feature on this general topic because I know there has been many threads that relate and have lots of good info.
 

·
Self-Banned
Joined
·
16,905 Posts
more speaking from experience.

Argentius said:
Briefly --

The frame is an 853 steel Match-built Paramount from 2000, just repainted and built up last year. It was $1450 new. Match isn't in business anymore; I'd think I'd have to go with a Strong or Vanilla to get something of the sort. Built up with all campy Chorus -- at least I had training record / OP wheels on, nothing fancier.

The accident happened about noon. I was heading straight, and a driver turned left straight in front me. I thought she'd made eye contact and slowed, but I guess I was incorrect, and she started going just as I was approaching. I hit the front of her car, slammed against and over the hood, and onto the asphalt. I stood up (sort of), pointed at her and shouted "hey!" She slowed down a moment, then sped away. Like I said, one of several witnesses followed her to her home less than half a mile away, which she'd driven to. The cops showed up a few minutes later, and I don't know exactly what they cited her with but the cop told me that he'd cited her in the accident, made sure I was okay enough, and I got a ride back home.

Took some pictures of my injuries and stuff, and the broken bike, etc.

As much as I think this lady deserves her car to get eaten by gremlins or something, mostly I just want to get back on the road, and I'm really hoping it's not a months-long drawn out procedure to get that happen, and I'd hate to not get the for this bike. I paid about $1700 for the build kit for the bike, in addition to the frame.
I wouldn't be surprised by a wait of six to eight weeks. Even if you file a claim with you own home owner's or renter's policy for your property it will most likely take three or four weeks. You should be able to demand "real replacement" cost. You'll have to prove you own the bike and it's value with receipts. Ask them if they want the damaged bike inspected by a professional bike mechanic to verify the value, damage and replacement/repair cost and ask them where you should go to. I'd be very surprised if they tell you not to and I'd be very surprised if they can tell you which shop to go to which leaves the ball in your court. That's when you take it to the most high-end shop in the area to get a supporting statement regarding the value, damage and replacement/repair cost. Even if the shop charges you $50 to do the inspection it will be worth it. You should even be able to get the insurance company to reimburse you for the inspection on the property portion of your claim.

Keep the bodily injury portion of the claim as separately from the property claim as you can. You don't want a single settlement check for the wholewhole kit and caboodle/property, bodily injuries/med. bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Don't sign away your rights because you may have health problems and associated expenses in the unforeseen future.
 

·
Self-Banned
Joined
·
16,905 Posts
mtpisgah said:
When I was hit a few years ago the old man's insurance company ponyed up full replacement cost for a comparable frame and full cost for components. Although it was few years old, there was no discount because I was going to have to purchase all the stuff new. We settled quickly (about 2 monthes) for the bike but waited a year before settling the personal injuries (mine were a little worse than yours). In SC, you have I believe three years to bring suit.

Don't be in a hurry to settle, you have nothing to gain and everything to loose from rushing into it. Get a good estimate and tell the insurance company to pay the bill, no discount. Go see a doctor and then wait a month or three before even talking to the insurance company about your injuries. If they ask about the injuries, be vague and say that you are seeing your doctor about them. They are not your friends, be cordial but don't waste time in idle chit chat.

This is spot on form my experience.

This is why I filed a claim with my renter's insurance to replace my property. The value of doing this is that it expedited the replacement of my property under the favorable terms of my own insurance policy. It provided extra leverage against the other parties insurance company because my insurance company then sent their lawyer hounds to get the money and assoc. expenses back from the other insurance company which is reletively easy for them to do. My insurance company in essence did the hardball work for me. Of course my insurance company was fully reimbursed by the other and my rates went up very little because of the claim. It was well worth it from my experience.
 

·
Self-Banned
Joined
·
16,905 Posts
ampastoral said:
glad you are okay. also, the advice above sounds great. i just wanted to throw one more idea in the mix. do you have the name/address of the witness that followed the driver? if so, send that person a nice note. that is truly admirable of him/her
Good tip. The name of the game here is to stack the deck in your favor as much as you can and hang tough. Get as many facts and supporting information as you can. Try to be cordial with the claims adjusters but be firm and hang tough. If you don't piss them off and they know you know your business then they're more likely to settle with you favorably and move on to the next claim where that person isn't quite as together. It's a battle of attrition.

Much like a hard fought 110 mile bike race.
 

·
Self-Banned
Joined
·
16,905 Posts
loosecannon said:
Glad to hear it wasn't worse. First, don't expect the insurance company to concede fault. "The police cited her" but for what? Maybe for leaving the scene of the accident? Maybe for not having her driver's license, registration, etc? Did the responding officer make a full accident report, get the names of the witnesses, etc?

Second, don't assume you are "OK." See a doctor. Document the bumps and bruises. The injuries may or may not be major, but you deserve to be compensated in either case.

You should write down everything you can remember about the accident; road conditions, weather, relative positions of the vehicles, your speed, every detail you remember. If you didn't get the names of the witnesses, I hope the police did. If you haven't heard from her insurance company within a day, you should call them to report the accident. If she left the scene, there's a strong possibility that she won't call it in. Gather up any receipts you have establishing the value of the bike. Have a shop look at the damaged bike to give you a damage estimate.

Some people on this board had good luck with insurance companies trying to make things right. My experience has been otherwise (this despite knowing they were dealing with a plaintiff who happened to be an attorney). This may be something you can handle on your own or you may be better served by hiring an attorney. The biggest mistake people make is settling in a hurry. Its tempting to bring it to a resolution, but if you can afford to wait, you are usually better off. Good luck.

A full accident report must be filed with the local police by both parties. This is the law in many if not all states.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Hardy Cyclamens said:
Hit and Run is CRIMINAL.

You have a suit.



You are confusing criminal liability with civil liability. Punishment for actions deemed criminal is the province of the state/gov't. It results in a fine, imprisonment, loss of privileges. It does not result in an award to anyone injured by the criminal act. It is possible, though unlikely, that one may be guilty of "hit and run" and not at fault for an accident. (I am not suggesting that is the case here).

I doubt the driver's insurance company will agree that liability is "cut and dried".
 

·
Lexicon Devil
Joined
·
961 Posts
In order to help you out, these are just the three things you need to do.

1. Hire an attorney.

2. Buy a beater bike for $100 so you can stay in shape until the case is settled and you get full replacement cost for a new bike.

3. Take your time.

Anyway, good luck with everything and make sure you keep records/receipts.
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top