Car vs Bike

Car vs Bike

Postby by76 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:36 pm

Hi Guys,
Ran into a typical car vs bike and car wins situation coming home from a ride today - car decided that turning through an intersection when I had green light and was doing 35-40km/h would be a good idea. Can anyone give me a overview of how the bike fix / insurance game will play out. I am assuming that the driver will have to cover it, but not sure how I go about getting bike assessed when I want it repaired properly.
Cheers,
BY
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by BNA » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:18 pm

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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby wombatK » Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:18 pm

You need to be more specific. From what direction did you enter and leave the intersection, and what direction did the car enter and leave.

For example, if the car came from behind you, overtook you, then signalled a left turn, but you collided with it as it turned left, you could be at fault.

If the car was approaching from the opposite direction on a typical cross intersection, and turned right in front of you while you proceeded on a green light, the car driver is most likely at fault and you would be covered by their 3rd party insurance (if not by workers compensation should it be a commute to/from work, and you live in the right state).

All sorts of other possibilities too, you need to give some more details. Would also help to know whether you have other driver details, witnesses, police involvement, ambo's or medical treatment.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby Colin_T » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:41 pm

As mentioned by wombat above, but if everything is in your favour, ie: you are not at fault and you have the motorist's details, then the motorist is liable for all damages to you and your bike.

It's usually a good idea to report it to the police if they did not attend the scene. Go to your local cop shop and fill out an accident report form. Then it will be on record and the insurance company will have to take it more seriously.

If the frame is bent then most insurance companies will right off a bike and give you a cheque for a replacement. This can take several months before they do but if you get 3 quotes for a replacement bike, (or the damaged parts) and forward copies of the quotes to the insurance company, it will speed things up. Then ring the insurance company each week to push them along. And keep records of every time and every person you talk to at the insurance company, (ie: you rang 10:15am on Thursday 1 April 2010 and spoke to Mr Bloggs). You should be able to keep the old bike too and salvage parts (tyres, etc) if they are worth keeping. But don’t tell the insurance company you want to salvage the parts :)

If you suffered any physical injuries then the motorist’s third party insurance will cover that. When you go to the doctors for a check up tell them you got hit by a car and they will probably give you some forms to fill out.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby by76 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:57 pm

Thanks for the responses. Spoke to the police and had to give report etc - car is clearly in the wrong (turning right across intersection through a green light) so I guess now it is just an issue of how to get insurance etc done sharply. Bike is only a CRX4 so is not worth much ($599 bought only in January), but had a look over it and front fork is bent, gears and shifter thingy's (technical names) all bent and front wheel buckled. How do you know if frame is bent - I know its only a cheap hybrid but I still don't want to end up with a bike that is forever having problems because the frame looks ok now but the frame isn't as strong as it should be. Really take a few months for insurance??? - I ride the damn thing to work each day.
Body is a bit bashed up including a massive lump / bruise on my knee - hoping the swelling will go down overnight but will deal with it tomorrow if it doesn't. Ambulance gave me the once over at time of crash including noting the knee swelling so I am in not too bad condition - I think the driver was more shook up than I was!
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby wombatK » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:18 pm

by76 wrote:Thanks for the responses. Spoke to the police and had to give report etc - car is clearly in the wrong (turning right across intersection through a green light) so I guess now it is just an issue of how to get insurance etc done sharply. Bike is only a CRX4 so is not worth much ($599 bought only in January), but had a look over it and front fork is bent, gears and shifter thingy's (technical names) all bent and front wheel buckled. How do you know if frame is bent - I know its only a cheap hybrid but I still don't want to end up with a bike that is forever having problems because the frame looks ok now but the frame isn't as strong as it should be. Really take a few months for insurance??? - I ride the damn thing to work each day.
Body is a bit bashed up including a massive lump / bruise on my knee - hoping the swelling will go down overnight but will deal with it tomorrow if it doesn't. Ambulance gave me the once over at time of crash including noting the knee swelling so I am in not too bad condition - I think the driver was more shook up than I was!

What state do you live in ? Hard to advise you about procedures for insurance etc.,. - arrangements are different in different states.

You will need to get at least one quote for repairs from an LBS. LBS will check for bends in handlebars (pretty common in stacks) and bends in frame (probably less likely with an alloy frame). New forks and wheels won't come cheap, if shifters and or handlebars are damaged, could well be a write-off. Having proof of purchase will help a lot if it gets to the latter.

Note, you can put you location in your profile - it helps when answering this and other questions or comments you might post.

Make sure you ice-up the injuries. Compression garments or a tight bandage on knee after ICE will help. Also sleep with your knee elevated (e.g. resting on a pillow or cushion under the sheets) if you can - that will help (RICE injuries - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation); and keep it elevated while watching TV etc.,. tonight.

Hope you don't seize up overnight - gonna be hard finding medical treatment on Good Friday. You should nevertheless find a clinic with x-rays etc available or local hospital ED where you can get help if your are in serious trouble in the morning.

With a bit of luck, and good management (RICE), it will settle down overnight.

Cheers
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby by76 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:30 pm

Thanks Wombat - South Australia is home and yep, managed to dig out receipt for bike (woohoo). Body should be ok, just annoyed as I had a couple of longer rides planned over easter. It looks like I'll just have to drink over the weekend instead.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby brauluver » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:20 pm

by76 wrote: It looks like I'll just have to drink over the weekend instead.


:lol: Hard life aint it?

Sorry to hear about your stack/accident.
Nothing more annoying than having plans altered by others.
Let your injuries heal first any way.
What side of town do you live/commute on, and which intersection did this occur?

Heal fast,
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby donplush » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:28 pm

Sorry to hear about your accident.

I assume that you have all of the drivers details?

To get things started with the insurance you will need to get the driver to lodge a claim with their insurance company. They are not legally required to lodge a claim on their insurance for the damage. They could choose to settle the matter privately with you (especially if they have a high excess or are likely to loose their no claim discount). They have to lodge a claim, you cannot do it on their policy.

I would be contacting them to find out if they have lodged a claim and what the claim number is etc. Once you have this info start hassling the insurance company. Find out how many quotes they need (they may only need 1 quote) and then get them the info they require ASAP. Keep on to them. If they write the bike off they might be able to pay the money direct into your bank account or they might pay it direct to the bike shop. Talk to them about the options. As was mentioned earlier keep records of all conversations that you have with the insurance co and the driver of the car.

If the driver does not lodge a claim then you will need to approach him/her directly with a quote for the damage to you bike. You need to ask him to "pay up" or lodge a claim with his insurer. If he does not want to pay then you will need to write to him with a formal "letter of demand". Hopefully it does not come to this!

For the personal injuries you will need to contact the Motor Accident Commission in SA to lodge a personal injury claim. These are managed by Allianz in SA. You should be able to go to them directly a make a claim. Keep all receipts/records of medical expenses etc as you can claim these. You can do this without having to involve the driver of the car. Allianz will chase up the driver to pay his excess etc. As a matter of course you should visit a doctor for a check up to make sure all is ok and to get it on record that you have some injuries. That way if things get worse down the track you have a record of the original injuries etc.

Hope this helps and it all works out ok for you.

Cheers
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby gdt » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:28 am

This is exactly why I buy insurance for my bike. Then they do all of the hassle of getting the money from the motorist while I'm happily back on my bike.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby by76 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:49 pm

Cross Rd / Winston Ave intersection down near goodwood.
Heading down to LBS Saturday to get a quote done but suspect the repairs and replacement parts will probably come to similar value as bike itself, so may be better just to write off. If I was the driver I'd probably just settle privately to protect the no claim discount, but will talk to driver after I get the bike checked over.
Any advice on helmets - the thing looks pretty much unmarked but for a couple of scratches. Does it need replacing or is it good to keep using? Didn't get cracked on the ground to bad as the bike softened the landing (not much good for the bike though with 90kgs of human landing on it).
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby wombatK » Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:10 pm

by76 wrote:Cross Rd / Winston Ave intersection down near goodwood.
Heading down to LBS Saturday to get a quote done but suspect the repairs and replacement parts will probably come to similar value as bike itself, so may be better just to write off. If I was the driver I'd probably just settle privately to protect the no claim discount, but will talk to driver after I get the bike checked over.
Any advice on helmets - the thing looks pretty much unmarked but for a couple of scratches. Does it need replacing or is it good to keep using? Didn't get cracked on the ground to bad as the bike softened the landing (not much good for the bike though with 90kgs of human landing on it).

If the helmet hit the ground, bin it. The foam can be compressed or partly cracked or straps stretched without it being obvious, so the recommendation from safety authorities is to bin it. New helmets aren't very expensive compared to the possible cost of a head injury in future. You should claim the cost of the helmet replacement from the other party (either via insurance or otherwise should they prefer to settle directly with you).
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby Dahondude » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:10 pm

An interesting article in the Bicycle Victoria magazine this month. Basically, some lawyers are telling car drivers to simply ignore letters/calls from cyclists that they have hit, knowing that most cyclists would rather pay to replace their own bikes and other damaged equipment, than pay the large legal costs involved in taking the driver on in a civil case. BV mentioned something like $1500 just to lodge a claim in the civil court plus legal fees. Bicycle Victoria have cottoned onto this and have recently helped pay legal costs for a number of cyclists to take drivers to court, make an example out of the drivers/lawyers acting on behalf of the driver and so the cyclists can recoup costs.

You might get lucky with a nice driver/drivers insurance company, otherwise you might need to think about one of those "no win no fee" legal companies. Having said this, the compulsary third party insurance that is built into car rego these days should help you out too. If you are a member of BikeSA I would be talking to them too about your options.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby Colin_T » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:42 pm

Dahondude wrote:An interesting article in the Bicycle Victoria magazine this month. Basically, some lawyers are telling car drivers to simply ignore letters/calls from cyclists that they have hit, knowing that most cyclists would rather pay to replace their own bikes and other damaged equipment, than pay the large legal costs involved in taking the driver on in a civil case.

I'm not advocating violence or vigilanteism, but it's stuff like this that makes you want to take the law into your own hands and get retribution the old fashioned way.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby wombatK » Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:54 pm

Dahondude wrote:Having said this, the compulsary third party insurance that is built into car rego these days should help you out too. If you are a member of BikeSA I would be talking to them too about your options.

Compulsory 3rd Party Insurance companies are perfectly willing to go along with a customer who concocts the flimsies "contributory negligence" argument to deny a claim - figuring the cyclist won't take them to court. In one case I know of, the motorist claimed the cyclist he hit whilst driving on the wrong side of the road had emerged from the footpath. There was no evidence to corroborate the claim and the police had booked the motorist with neg driving for being on the wrong side of the road (there were witnesses to where the vehicle was at the time of the collision). The cyclist would have been out of pocket more for lost wages etc.,. than damages to his bike had he pursued it in court.

If the insurance company figures it saves them a dollar, they'll go along with any kind of crap. They're about maximising shareholder returns, not ethics or anything related to fairness. If the driver who hits you is a low-life a$$h0le (and lets face it, decent people tend to drive decently), you'll be lucky to get your costs covered.

Cheers
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby mm23 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:08 pm

Dahondude wrote: BV mentioned something like $1500 just to lodge a claim in the civil court plus legal fees. Bicycle Victoria have cottoned onto this and have recently helped pay legal costs for a number of cyclists to take drivers to court, make an example out of the drivers/lawyers acting on behalf of the driver and so the cyclists can recoup costs.
.


I'm not sure about Victoria but in South Australia for claims under $6000 this is not the case. A civil claim costs around $100 to lodge and "matters are dealt with without formality and parties are not entitled to legal representation except in special circumstances". I've been hit by cars turning out of side streets twice and in both cases the drivers refused to pay. In South Australia before lodging a civil claim you are required to serve a final notice of claim on the other party. This costs around $12 and gives you the right to file a civil claim and recover all costs if the other party loses. In the first case a few days after sending the final notice I had the drivers insurance company on the phone wanting to settle. In the second case I had to wait a couple of days past the 21 days on the final notice before the driver rang me wanting to meet and pay. The second accident I was only claiming around $350 so don't be afraid to pursue even small amounts.

There is lots of information on the process at the courts SA website http://www.courts.sa.gov.au/community/g ... ndex1.html

Even if you don't intend on taking the driver to court I would recommend always at least sending a final notice because it shows the driver you know your rights and will probably take it all the way.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby brauluver » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:17 pm

Good info mm23.
Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby 318ute » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:35 pm

I think all the car vs cyclist media talk which gets aired every so often, makes it harder for us and we need to stand our ground and do the hard yards to get what we are owed.
It's been a few years now, but I know there are things such as small claims court where the legal sharks are not allowed, its you and the other party. I have been down this road once over a motor vehicle claim where my old heap was rear ended by someone with no insurance, and I took them all the way to get payment. It takes time and requires some effort, but if you want your pound of flesh or whatever, but for me it was more the justice angle of making good on the other persons stuff up..

I must admit, if the day comes and I get wiped off riding by a motorist and I am 100% in the right with witnesses etc I will seriously consider suing via civil action if I am entitled, and I think the word would eventually get around to the wider motoring community to be carefull. People at work talk about cyclists especially post media chat and I say to them be careful as some of those bikes are worth substanital sums of money and some are that persons only form of transport! There is a price to pay aside from the physical injury side of an accident.
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Re: Car vs Bike

Postby by76 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:50 am

Interesting information in the previous posts. In this case I thought I might be heading a similar direction, but having a few witnesses and being very direct with the driver helped to get a decent outcome. Bike was confirmed to be more expensive to fix than replace, and I was lucky enough to still have the receipts from the purchase 3 months ago.
The information in these forums is brilliant for these type of instances. Realistically you hope to never have to use any of the info in here but at least we know it can be sourced quickly. Only advice I could offer if the situation occurred to others would be to communicate with the car driver as soon as possible after the accident and don't be afraid to be very specific with the outcome you desire - a lot of people think that it is just too hard to pick the phone up and have a difficult conversation, however the longer you leave it the harder it will become.
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