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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Riding on the sidewalk(no bike lane), I saw the traffic light was green, and the pedestrian crossing ok to cross(white). As I started to cross- a Honda Accord T-bones my left side. I fly on the hood of the car, and gets pitched about 10 feet forward, landing exactly on my left shoulder first, then my head......and the rest body-slams down. I just injured my collarbone two months ago. I am bummed- and pissed, now.

As I stagger up- the first thing I inspect is my 2005 Cannondale F2000SL mtb. The new Mavic wheelset is toast. My brand-new Cannondale racing jersey is shredded. The left side of my Giro helmet is shattered. Then, I inspect myself(I know.....it should be the OTHER WAY around!!!) Meanwhile, the young chick who hit me is totally freaking-out, apologizing, and repeatedly asking me if I am ok. I have not answered her yet....I just got serious wind knocked out of me. The first thing I ask is if she has insurance. She does. Within five minutes, the police is on the scene(thanx, 911!). Even though her light was green- she tells me she never saw me, while making a right turn. She never saw me because her cellphone was in her right ear- blocking her view of me!! I did not tell the Police about this, when the report was filed. However, I will tell her insurance adjuster, when they come see me this Monday. The bike is un-rideable, So I walk it 1/2 mile back home. When I got home, my entire left shoulder is ON FIRE. I can barely remove my shredded jersey, with one arm. As I crouch down to slide my shorts off- an intense, sharp, throbbing pain envelops my entire left shoulder. I call my mom for a ride to the Emergency Room. While I wait- I call the driver's insurance and begin the claim process.

After 5 hours in ER- I have good news, and bad news. First, the good news. My healing clavicle(collarbone) did not break again. However, it was stressed, because I fell on the exact same spot that broke it the first time. Nevertheless, it's sore as a mofo. Now the bad news. X-ray results came back showing a new scapula(left shoulder blade) crack, and a new third rib fracture, on the left side. This explains the throbbing pain that almost brought me to tears, earlier. I get a scrip for Vicodin, and get sent home. The next morning- my neck is as stiff as my Hollowtech crankset. I can barely move it. I call the ER doc about it and she says get a neck brace and put it on ASAP, and come back to ER again. I go back to ER and it's now a 9 HOUR WAIT(Friday night). I tell them I'll be back on Monday- when it's slower.

I tell work about my mishap, and they give me a week off. Yesterday, I took my untampered bike to the LBS, for a damage assessment. Like I mentioned earlier- the upgraded wheelset is tacoed toast. My Specialized Phenom SL saddle is bent- as well as the Shimano Hollowtech II crankset, Candy SL pedals, and SRAM X-0 rear derailleur. The LBS recommended I also replace the Ritchey WCS Carbon bars too. They say carbon becomes compromised, in a high-impact accident. Finally, my Cannondale Optimo frame has a 3mm bend, at the left rear seatstay.... but is still rideable. When hearing about all this damage.....I am almost in tears. I tell them to write-up a total loss quote, of the bike's fair market value BEFORE the accident:

Repair/replacement Quote(w/ labor):
$1600.00

Bike fair market value(w/ existing gruppo):
$1400.00

I have all this in writing, now. The driver's insurance adjuster is coming on Monday. The damaged bike, helmet, is available for inspection- with written documentation. The ER medical records are ready too. So now I have a broken left shoulder blade, cracked left rib, shoulder and leg road rash and possible whiplash. I am not greedy(just hurting) and does not want to deal with a money-grubbing attorney. I want this over with ASAP.....and get on with my life(and ride again). I'm thinking about asking for a $15,000.00 settlement. Is this figure too low, or too high.... given the information you just read? Feedback is most welcome.
 

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No offense, but if you're not greedy, why $15,000? Do you have insurance and/or is the drivers insurance covering your injuries (I'm assuming so, or you'd need much more to cover bills)? If the insurance is good, your lost time at work is covered, your medical bills are covered and your bike is covered, why do you need more? I get that you could be injured later and need monetary assistance, but if that's the case, how is $15k the right number?
 

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based on your comment about your calling your mom i assume you are young meaning your time off from work is unpaid. your injuries lead to less riding now and maybe problems and/or less riding in the future. youre bike is toast (you should also get the figure for the brand new 2008 replacement cost of the bike). 15k is probably on the cheap end. get a good lawyer and go for whatever he/she recommends(and tell him you want as much as possible). it will probably be for a lot more than 15k, especially if she was on a cell phone (more sympathy). either way, an insurance company is paying for it, not the girl(even though she should have to for hitting someone in a crosswalk...idiot). and before anyone comes back with the clever "thats immoral/its cases like this that raise insurance costs/blah blah blah" yea, we get it, you are saints. the bottom line is insurance companies are businesses that make money hand over fist and incidences like these are the reason people have it and pay for it. if its really that big of a deal to pay for it move to a state where its not mandatory to have auto insurance or dont drive. if people want to really btch about insurance btch about their spending habits (ever see an insurance office that couldnt moonlight as a palace?). if you can get 150k out of it than that is what youll get and whats wrong with that. there is no fair/just amount. everyone is just making up random numbers anyway, you might as well get as much as you can. it could pay for bike stuff, college, part of a house, whatever. youre not screwing anyone over but yourself by not asking for as much as you can. insurance prices rise because they are businesses, not charities, so ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First of all, I have no insurance. I am a bike commuter, strictly. The $15k is a figure somebody else suggested I seek. I will obviously need physical therapy, additional tests(more X-rays, CT scan, MRI, for whiplash, etc.) I was told whenever an automobile comes into contact with a pedestrian/bike.....it's automatically $5,000(damage-wise, the car wins every time). My ER visit and treatment is already at $2,500. I still need my bike replaced, too. I'm not set on that $15,000 figure. However, I just cannot afford any more missed time from work. I am wage-dependent(rely on worked hours, to live). I have no idea how much the future medical costs will be. I'm just trying to play it safe, and not get screwed. I understand once I accept their settlement- I cannot make her insurance company liable for incurring additional medical costs. Now back to my original question- is asking for $15k TOO MUCH??? Based on your experiences, what can I reasonably expect to receive?
 

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15k??? Are you crazy. You could have well died and you're trying not to be greedy? Give me a break man. I'm not saying take advantage of this situation(even though I would) but I definately would hire an attorney and sue the insurance company. All that 15k would probably barely cover the hospital bills. I say take them for as much as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I realize that I SHOULD ask for as much as possible. However, I am already at a major disadvantage by missing work, and keeping up with doctor visits, etc. I hate attorneys, and only want to end this as quick as possible. I will not deal with numerous court appearances, because my time is already stretched. When I see the adjuster- they will probably make a settlement offer, that day. Chances are I will accept it. I am just wanting to know what my ballpark figure is for. If their offer is below 5k I will definitely counter-offer, because 2x medical costs barely covers what I already incurred. If their offer is between 5-10k I will strongly consider it, because my bike replacement will be covered, and medical costs may be too. Furthermore, I still have maybe 6 months to a year of therapy to regain movement of my gimp left arm- which is already stiff as a tree log. How much is pain and suffering worth? Because these injuries hurt something fierce. I am popping Vicodin and Percocet like it's candy right now.

I could wait a year and get maybe 50-100k- only to give a third of that to a freakin' land shark(lawyer). I would rather settle fairly and get riding again. That second poster sounds like he works for the insurance industry.....
 

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Riding on the sidewalk = do not want to go to court. Don't get greedy or you may get nothing.
 

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about the sidewalk comment-yea you should probably make sure that it is legal to ride your bike on that sidewalk, however there is no way you would get nothing, even if you were riding on an illegal sidewalk. common law is that if you have any guilt at all (ie riding illegally on a sidewalk) you get nothing, however statutory law (different in every state) usually states that you must only have less guilt than the party you are suing. your state statutes would tell you more about this, but either way you would get something pretty substantial. i would get an attorney. yea, they are expensive, however they are worth it in the end if you get a good one. just to take 5-10k because you dont want to hassle with a lawyer is fine, but youre only hurting yourself. look up some good lawyers in your area, explain your case and most likely they will let you pay them with your winnings if it is a strong case. yea, you may pay a higher percentage, but youll get way more. i would talk to an attorney and get one before you start doing anything further. its really not going to be that much of a hassle for you at all-once you get a lawyer he/she deals with everything and only tells you whats going on. you may miss a few days for court but who cares. if it were me, and i am greedy but dont believe in suing and clogging up the legal system over nothing, i would ask for as much as i could get. you got hit by a car when you were in the crosswalk by an inattentive driver....this is what laws are for-use them.
 

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First remove any and all emotion from the equation. Easier said than done.

Calculate:
- Repair / replace the bike
- Medical bills and continuing treatments
- Lost wages and how this injury will impact your work. ie not as productive.
- If you need to get lawers involved then calculate their rate as well.

Now you have a more accurate idea of what your actual loss will be. I would not mention the phrase of getting legal involved as everyone knows this will be an option. Work with the adjuster and be open and honest sticking to the facts of the impact.

See if they will make an offer effectivly buying you off. If it is way under your calculated figure to make the situation whole again then you need to negotiate.

For example if she hit your car then it would need to be repaired 100% back to what it was prior to the accident. Same should go for cyclist as well. It is unfortunate that a 20# bike is no match for the 2000# autos.
 

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pinkheadedbug said:
Riding on the sidewalk = do not want to go to court. Don't get greedy or you may get nothing.
You'll want to check into that. In New York state, riding on the sidewalk is illegal. I was hit by a driver once when I was riding across a crosswalk and the police officer that arrived at the scene did nothing, because we were both in the wrong. Riding the bike is illegal, but walking it is not.

Check the cell phone laws in your state. If it is illegal to talk on the phone while driving, then you may have some leverage. If you go to court, you can subpoena her cell phone records which should show that she was on the phone when she hit you, should she deny it. A lawyer is probably advisable, as they will do this footwork for you and/or tell you where you stand legally.

$15k seems like it was pulled out of the air. Calculate the cost of your medical bills, bike fixes, lost wages and if possible, future medical bills. There's how much to ask for.
 

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Zachariah said:
I'm thinking about asking for a $15,000.00 settlement. Is this figure too low, or too high.... given the information you just read? Feedback is most welcome.
first of all you weren't on the sidewalk when you got hit, so that point is moot.

rule number one... dont say crap to their adjusters. their job is to look out for the insurance agency and to try to pay out as little as possible and drag out the payout for as long as possible. they dont give a gnat fart in a hurricane about you, your bike, your medical and/or other problems generated from the actions of their insured.

having been in this situation a few times already, trust me and go get a lawyer. now. dont say squat to the adjuster. interview lawyers and find one with a great track record. look for the biggest ad in the phone book, cuz those suckers are expensive and any decent personal injury lawyer will work on contingency.

dont assume its a slam dunk because of the mitigating factors. in '98 a dude pulled out in front of me and i t-boned him on my motorcycle at about 40mph. the guy was stoned (at 8 am) and on the cell phone and there were tons of witnesses, and it still took years for me to get a settlement.

imho, 15k is way too low. have your lawyer go in asking for about 3x-5x your total expenses/lost wages/medical bills/disability because unless you ask too little you will not get it without a fight. its all part of the game. your lawyer submits a figure and they tell your lawyer to go pound sand.

then you will go into arbitration, where the lawyer will haggle with the insurance company to avoid taking it to trial. you dont want it to go to trial unless there is serious damage on your part because then youre at the mercy of a jury or judge. then if/when you win the insurance company will immediately appeal and drag it out a few more years and it will be a loooooong time before you see a penny.

so when you reach an agreement in arbitration you get less than you generally will taking it to trial, but you get it years sooner. but whatever figure your lawyer initially presents you will most likely get about 1/3 - 1/2 what you start off asking for with the lawyer getting between 1/4-1/3 of that off the top. then you pay all other costs (medical/bike/misc. bills/etc.) from your share.

good luck man. ive been in your shoes and it sucks. the last one was just last feb and i got totally screwed on that one because a campus cop who witnessed it lied and the dipstick city cop ignored the broad who wiped me out as well as all the witnesses who said it was her fault and instead faulted me. and because of this no witness information was collected so by the time i got out of the hospital there was nothing i could do.

just remember rule number one and you'll be fine.
 

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Berkley said:
$15k seems like it was pulled out of the air. Calculate the cost of your medical bills, bike fixes, lost wages and if possible, future medical bills. There's how much to ask for.
typically the first demand is for 3x-5x that amount.
 

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monogod said:
first of all you weren't on the sidewalk when you got hit, so that point is moot.
Not really. It is unclear whether or not the OP was in the crosswalk from his post, but his reference to the white pedestrian crossing suggests that he was. This too is illegal (at least where I live, remains to be seen where the OP is located).

I'm not saying he shouldn't get compensated, but I am saying that when you ride on the sidewalks and crosswalks, your odds of getting hit increase. $15k seems greedy, especially when the motorist had a green light.
 

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Berkley said:
Not really. It is unclear whether or not the OP was in the crosswalk from his post, but his reference to the white pedestrian crossing suggests that he was. This too is illegal (at least where I live, remains to be seen where the OP is located).
yes really.

the accident didnt happen on the sidewalk, it happened when he was in the crosswalk as he started to cross. by his account he was in the middle of the lane (got t-boned) so there is no way he was on the sidewalk (unless the chick was on the sidewalk too). thus, whether or not he was riding on the sidewalk is wholly, utterly, and completely irrelevant.

the laws regarding riding in the crosswalk are another issue entirely; and are wholly, utterly, and completely relevant. and like you said earlier, that should be checked into.

and yeah, if it is illegal i wouldnt be quite so aggressive but i would still have a lawyer handling it for me.

Berkely said:
I'm not saying he shouldn't get compensated, but I am saying that when you ride on the sidewalks and crosswalks, your odds of getting hit increase. $15k seems greedy, especially when the motorist had a green light.
imho 15k isnt greedy simply because the motorist had a green light. the meat wagon ride alone was probably a grand, and and e.r. visit aint cheap either. not to mention time off of work, bike replacement/repair, and reasonable compensation for pain/suffering.

also, traffic in the crosswalk with a crossing light has the right of way. period. well, unless his state is an exception, but to my knowledge there are no states which require the crosswalk traffic to yield to people making right hand turns. if there are, i stand to be corrected.

plus, the broad was on a cell phone and wasnt paying attention so that will generally carry more weight if it goes to trial since he would have been in the crosswalk either way (riding or walking).

i dont advocate misusing the court system by any means, and 3-5 times actual medical/repair/wages/etc. is pretty standard.

to the o.p. - keep us posted.
 

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Free Advice

Zachariah:

I am an attorney, and I also commute to work on my bike. I have had some near misses, but so far, I have been lucky enough to not get hit. The advice people have given you over this board may be well intended but much of it is off the mark. You should no talk about the accident over this public board. These messages could come back and be used out of context by the insurance company lawyers. Although I am, as you put it, "a money grubbing attorney", I will help you out with some free advice if you e-mail me at [email protected]. For your own sake, I recommend that you not continue to post messages about the accident on this public board. Be well.
 

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for the people that say this is greedy: you are forgetting the most important thing about it-THE AMOUNT IS BS ANYWAY. no matter what the amount is, it is BS. if they award you 100 or 100k, its all made up and not accurate at all to anything. just a number. if it were perfect (to the saints out there), they would pay for all your bills to the exact penny, they would pay for lost wages, if you paid for your bills initially out of pocket they would pay you the interest that you would have gotten had that money been sitting in a bank or interest you will pay on your credit card if you didnt pay it off right away, and they would pay you the depreciation value of your bike (which is exact...riiight) per day for every day that your bike was out of commission because it was being repaired. then there would be no monetary value put on pain and suffering because thats not costing money. and what about the monetary value of the joy of biking per day that you are losing out on(yes, different than pain/suffering). and who figures out what your pain and suffering is worth anyway-machines? why is this even been debated? its all just random numbers that you will either work out with a lawyer and the insurance or a judge/jury will decide for you based on their mood that day. get a lawyer, ask for as much as possible, period. whats the debate?

also, there is criminal court and civil court. the person who hit you has probably been dealt with in criminal court via a ticket already..you are suing in civil court-meaning blame is assessed and then the monetary value will be worked out. clearly if he was in a crosswalk (legally allowed to bike or not) and got hit, more blame will be given to the driver, allowing him to sue. the rest is irrelevant. OJ Simpson was found innocent in criminal court but in civil court lost the case and had to pay millions to the family....dont confuse facts that are relevant to criminal court with facts that are irrelevant in civil court.

agree with mono-do not talk to the adjuster without a lawyer-worst mistake you can make
 

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unclesam said:
Zachariah:

I am an attorney, and I also commute to work on my bike. I have had some near misses, but so far, I have been lucky enough to not get hit. The advice people have given you over this board may be well intended but much of it is off the mark. You should no talk about the accident over this public board. These messages could come back and be used out of context by the insurance company lawyers. Although I am, as you put it, "a money grubbing attorney", I will help you out with some free advice if you e-mail me at [email protected]. For your own sake, I recommend that you not continue to post messages about the accident on this public board. Be well.
Holy [email protected]! For once I agree with an attorney!! Sorry..couldn't resist;)

This is sound advice. It seems like you are really just confused on how to proceed. I don't blame you. Take unclesam up on his offer and do what is best and FAIR for you. Settling outside a courtroom will save you lots of headache, and with a good attorney, it will most likely end that way.
 

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hospital bill

i had to go to the ER, 5 weeks ago for my bike accident. i was there for 7 hours, it cost 15k, 2 CT scans cost 5k each, the meds were like $750. i know because i got my bill today. i can't wait to see my next bill from the trauma center, i stayed at for a week.

get what you can, kid.

~db
 

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Absolutely- get every penny you can. When you are 50 and you have arthritis in your shoulder so bad you can barely stand it, you will be cursing the day you decided to be a "nice guy." My wife, riding with her parents, was hit in a head-on accident. She decided not to pursue it because of the hassle. Now she is constantly dealing with neck pain.
 

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i suggest you dont be a douschebag

ask for actual medical bills
actual lost wages
and a new bike of your choice

dont be a ***** and ask for anything else.
**** happens
even if she was on a cell phone, how do you know she would have seen you?
 
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