Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
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Cycling home from work on the 14th of Jan this year.
Clear day, around 1620 in the afternoon.
Crossing a major Eastern Suburbs (Sydney) intersection with the lights, I was T-boned by a driver who ran the red.
Hit me hard, I certainly heard it, even if it went by in a blur of a millisecond.
Next thing I'm lying flat on my back in the middle of the intersection, staring at the sky thinking " I wonder where all those cars are that were driving behind me.
I was then surrounded by passers-by and other drivers, I sat up looked at my left wrist and thought "now that's not right".
I walked under my own propulsion to the side of the road and sat down, someone made a makeshift split out of newspaper and bandages for my arm.
The ambulance arrived not long after and straight into a neck bracke, a stretcher and off to emergency for me.
The hospital were really worried about head and neck injuries since my firsst attempt to fly went so poorly and I landed so hard flat on my back. Exaserbated by the fact that my nice Rudy Projects helmet was in three distinct pieces jammed between my knees.
CT scans and lots of worried looking doctors looking down at my morphine filled body is quite disconcerting.
These all came up fine. My wrist however is a mess. Took 2 weeks to locate an orthopedic surgeon who was game to take on the case. The wrist bone that connects the index finger to the wrist was forced back with such certainy that it was rammed through one of the forearm bones (think guy shooting an arrow through another one on a taget, splitting the first arrow). Considerable rework was required.
This has gone OK and is now out of the cast, but still very sore, swollen and quite stiff. The range of movement is also very limited at present. Physio starts tonight, which having broken my hip in another riding incidfent years ago - is not a pleasant hour. Regardless of the scented oils and soothing music being played - physio hurts.
I'm fortunate in that I have great private health and income protection insurance - both of which are taking a hammering at the moment.
I forgot to mention, this is a hit-and-run, the driver never even broke pace and was never to be seen again; despite best efforts of the Police, no-one got the number and there were no cameras in the area which record.
Therefore there is no 3rd party property and personal injury cover that I can claim against.
My hand will probably be OK eventually but am up for some serious arthritus later in life in this joint. Quoting the Orthopedic surgeon after the surgery "It was pretty banged up in there and you're going to know about it later in life" Oh the joys.
This leads me to the next part of my little story; my bike.
There is a scheme called the nominal defenants which all insurers in the country pay into in the case that the at-fault driver cannot be identified. It is like a 3rd party insurance safety net for hit and run etc.
This will - as far as I can tell, cover my medical bills but what about my bike, helmet and other bits which were destroyed in the collision? Does anyone know whether this scheme helps with those not insignificant costs (noting it was a 2012 full CF areo racer)? and this will cost around 4K to replace.
I contacted my insurer as as the item is a 'portable' item under house and contents, it is insured. BUT only if you specifically nominate it on your policy. Bit rude and a note to all of you out there for future. If your bike is under 10K, nominate it as 'Bike" under your contents and it is insured. over 10K, you have to specify the bike.
and the final part which I will need to probably transfer to another forum: hydro rim brakes for road bikes, anyone got em, how are they? I need the increased mechanical advantage these give so I can actually stop with my newly developed, severely limited hand strength.
Really sorry to hear about your crash and all the best minimising the long-term negative outcomes with your wrist.
With respect to the bike insurance: I know this is too late for you but for others please READ THE PDS before you purchase the insurance; don't assume you are covered. A lot of household content insurance polices will not cover in use, so at least on that front you might be okay. I have done a bit of a summary of the polices I was aware of that cover bicycles ... a bit dated now but still a good starting point.
That is truly awful. You have it about right - the nominal defendant will be required to pay for the damage to you personally, not only medical bills, but also lost wages etc. It may be that you are able to establish that your hand injury necessitates a modified bicycle & thus the cost is part of your personal damage.
Sadly as you have discovered it does not cover the damage to your property.
How are you apart from your wrist ?
I'm Ok ish now. Couldn't walk for about two weeks the 'deep tissues contusion' from where my back-pack ended downwards was something to behold.
Still a little bruised, but negligble in the bigger picture.
Of note!! The back pack I was wearing (along with my helmet) almost certainly saved my life. It is a specific riding backpack with a level of body armour built into it between the wearer the contents. I was completely OK in the neck and spine and back because of this. Where it was just me through cycling shorts contacting the road at speed - this was a very different story.
Good to know about the modified bike too, I have my bike in to be looked at the shop I bought it from. See if it is OK ( front wheel and handlebars (including my left hand)) took the full force of the collision. Shifters are buggered, wheel had the slightest ripple in it which has been fixed. Bell is broken.
Need to have the CF frame looked at by a specialist though; don't want that failing when I finally get off my trainer.
Sorry to hear this... The number of big crashes on this forum is a bit frightening at the moment!.
Hope the wrist heals up well... Cast will be off soon I expect?.
Horrified to read this. It upsets me considerably.
So glad to hear you're on the road to recovery.
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Oh wow, that is really terrible. Glad you're on the mend.
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“Lexa”: 2012 Trek Lexa S; “Bluey”: 2006 Trek 7.0FX
 arr you covered the 'nominal defendant' bit .. skipped that bit??... usually the major thing to worry about is the medical. And on going impacts to your life. [/edit]
Go talk to a lawyer. You may be able to sue the 'nominal defendant' .. where the driver/vehicle is unidentified the 'nominal defendant' takes the place .. and the insurance companies (as a group) pay out on that? Talk to a lawyer and find out if you have a claim that can be successful.
 Where you need special things on your bike/car/house or whatever .. that becomes part of your third party claim. Don't forget to include replacing those bits as they ware out in the future - together with inflation and labour cost of their replacement. [/edit]
Last edited by Warin on Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
very sorry to hear about your crash mate.
talk to them first
That is awful. Good luck.
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You are so lucky in this instance, all the best for recovery.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Really scary story! Great to see you are on the mend... Good luck as your rehab continues,
Sorry to hear about the injuries, though sounds like it could easily have been so much worse.
I presume you were the first vehicle into the intersection, and very quickly after the light went green...otherwise I presume the offending vehicle would have hit something other than you. It's another reason for cyclists not to be in a hurry to take off from the lights, nor exploit momentum to be the first through lights. A mate who has been commuting for over a decade rides his commute as if he is 30 years older, rather than a CCR segment. It's prevented many hits.
Bad luck. I hope the driver gets the karma they deserve.
So many responses to answer.
Am out of the cast now, since late Feb, was in it for just under 4 weeks.
Wrist is stiff. Have started physio which is brutal, movement has increased but still very limited in all axis'.
In answer to Stefan_A: I had green, yes. I was hit on the far side of the intersection. So.. There was nothing to my right as I crossed that lane, there was then quite a wide (say 5 - 10 metre ) median strip and the a right turn lane, which had a lot of cars in it, waiting for their Green to turn and head the way I came.
The first car waiting in this RH turn lane was a large van like an F100. I couldn't see past it. As I continued through the intersection, past the cars stopped in the right hand turn lane, a car hit me from the left. my speed was 13 k / hour and my heart rate never got above 82. I was commuting and in no real hurry. Love Strava for the detail it presents.
I never even saw the car coming. i'm the guy who won't even cross at lights on foot unless he sees all the cars have stopped. In this case I was completely blind and it cost me big.
It's those momentary lapses that get you.
I faced a similar situation with the 5th metacarpal in my right hand after getting taken down by a deliberate punishment pass where the driver then swerved left to try to punch me from owning the lane into the gutter where he thought I belonged.
I went down and shattered that part of my hand on the bar end. Seven screws and a plate. The carpenters cut right through the tendon sheaths to get access to all the bits of bone to try to package them back together.
Like yours, the physio was brutal. I had to start before the bones had started knitting lest the tendons.stick to their sheaths.
Persevering paid off though. It took awhile (quite awhile) but I got full functionality back. Stick at it, do the homework they set for you and you'll get there.
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Terrible to hear tailgumby. That's my problem as well, cutting through the tendon sheaths and the scar tissue forming on the making my hand cease up into a claw. Obscene pain at the physio.
The other awesome thing is the connective tissue between the Radius and Ulna has been torn all the way up the forearm from wrist to elbow inside so there is the scar tissue internally there to deal with every day, three times a day I have to tear the scar tissue so that I can rotate my wrist. Holy smoke - that hurts.
I hope they got your guy.
When I tore a bunch of stuff on my ankle many years ago, the physio had me dunk my ankle into a bucket of ice water till it was numb then do the set exercises. It sure got a lot of extra movement out of me. Not sure now I think about it if this is more damaging or not.... it's a possible solution to the pain though. I'd check with your doctor/physio first.
p.s. ICE cold / numbing pain is almost as painful as physio pain until it does eventually go numb Choose your pain!
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