advice after a major incident

Bennoz
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advice after a major incident

Postby Bennoz » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:50 pm

Hi All

I was very VERY luckily to walk away after a major incident 2 days ago, with only a few cuts and bruises. Im trying to navigate my way through the whole legal / insurance landscape for the first time and wanted to hear peoples experience that have gone through it before.

-Rang my private health insurance and nothing is covered if a vehicle is involved. Plus a hospital stay wasnt required either.
-Ambulance, medical and physical injuries are through CTP 3rd party
-havent spoken to home and contents insurance yet Re: property (bike) damage to see if im covered
-am a member of Cycling Aust (ride+), and do plan on calling them for advice
-spoke to shine lawyers (through Cycling aust) and unless there is a physical injury i dont know how much help they will be, but i did call because the truck driver apparently said in his statement that i hit him...

my story:
was on my morning ride (6am), on the left hand side of the left lane, on the princess highway, through Engadine NSW. Its dark and i had my lights on (front and rear) and wearing my red jersey. Im coming up to anzac ave (for those that know it), where the ave enters the highway and becomes a slip lane on my left.... basically a 3rd lane

i can see a car coming up this slip lane, and its clear they havent seen me. Im now in the left hand side of the middle lane and want to move across but this car has made no indication to slow and im basically being squeezed between 2 lanes of traffic as cars are going around me on my right (hindsight it would have been better to own my position in the middle lane and not be squeezed in the 1st place).

anyway out of nowhere i flip my handlebars at 50km/hr and into the 3rd lane (left). Turns out i was "nudged" by a semi that was too close (i didnt know this at the time). i land on the edge of the 3rd lane (behind the car) and i remember hearing screeching tyres - i look up and see a red car get rear ended by a ute, and i managed to roll out the way as they both went past me.

lots of people stopped and helped me off the road. police, fire and ambos all turn up. xrays at hospital show nothing broken. I had full recollection of the incident, gave my statement to police and confirmed alot of their details, and was released from emergency at midday.

Reason i went to see the lawyers was one of the policemen seemed a bit of a "d!ck", asking me why i was on the road, in the dark, what my clothing was, anything reflective, took some photos of my helmet and clothing, if i was going to give up cycling. All reasonable questions but it just seemed to me he didnt like cyclists much. The other policemen as really good. He took my statement and we chatted afterwards, which was when i found out the truck driver claims he was already past me and i hit him somewhere to the back of the truck. I told him there was nothing in my peripheral vision and the lane to my right was clear.... so conflicting version of events.

i went home, gave my kids a hug, had a few beers and thanked my lucky stars !

Still early days - havent heard from police yet (dont know how long to give them before i follow up). Still havent decided if i'll get back on a bike - i want to and i do love it, but i just dont know yet. Bikes a write off. Will upload a few pics when i get home

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Thoglette
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby Thoglette » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:08 pm

First thing: see a doctor and get checked out. Tell the doctor this is for a road accident.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

CKinnard
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby CKinnard » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:02 pm

yep, see a doctor and if you have any aches and pains see a physiotherapist.
often you can develop ongoing issues up to a month later - shoulder cuff tears, neck vertebra sprains, knee menisci tears..that you were not aware of until you get significantly active again. in fact, it would be a good idea to get out and 'stress test' your body to unmask injuries from that accident.

get a copy of the police report under FOI as well, and make sure they wrote it as you explained it.

contact your state's third party insurer for advice on how to proceed.

In qld, if someone else damages your 'vehicle', you send them a letter of demand for covering the cost of repairs/replacement of your vehicle (bicycle) and any health care required. In your case, I'd recommend you see a solicitor to write the letter to the truck driver (and his insurer). If you send it to the driver only, he's likely to mess you around or ignore you.

human909
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby human909 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:12 am

Sounds like you had some ninja skills and survived mostly unscathed from quite a significant incident. Glad you are ok.

One thing that hasn't been touched on is the potential for the other vehicles insurers to come after you or the truck driver for damages.

Also it should be noted that the truck driver should have never been overtaking you in your lane. You need to change lanes to pass, something police seem to ignore.

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jules21
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby jules21 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:32 am

my advice is to be very clear and specific in your police report. specify precisely what happened, in step-by-step detail. leave no doubt about anything, which lane you were in, direction of travel, who you saw, what they did. don't be vague like "I was just riding on the highways and I got hit from behind". make it clear you know exactly what happened and that it is pressed into your memory.

given that the truck driver is making his story up, it's harder for him to do that and he'll probably be a bit vague. you can make your version more credible.

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ValleyForge
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby ValleyForge » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:25 am

On what you have describes so far, the standard level plaintiff lawyers are not going to be too interested as there is no personal injury payment obvious.

I'd suggest either of two courses of action - one "do nothing" and the other "get a good lawyer".

Do Nothing - as the incident involves a truck and cars which will have insurance, they will likely chase each other and put you (the uninsured cyclist) in the "too hard basket". The police likely don't have the evidence/motivation to raise a charge against you or the truck driver. Your good luck may hold.

Get A Good Lawyer - the truck driver's company will fall in line with what their truck driver says and use their insurer to chase you. They will not accept a claim from the car drivers and fend that claim to you, as based on what they "know" from their driver.

If - as I think you said - you went to Emergency after the accident, this report will be the only one that will hold any weight with the insurers. No fractures, no head injury and only a few hours in medical care will mean no prospect of a personal injury settlement. Hence the plaintiff lawyers will not be interested I suspect.
Ha ha ha! Cookies on dowels.

uart
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby uart » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:50 pm

Bennoz wrote:my story:
was on my morning ride (6am), on the left hand side of the left lane, on the princess highway, through Engadine NSW. Its dark and i had my lights on (front and rear) and wearing my red jersey. Im coming up to anzac ave (for those that know it), where the ave enters the highway and becomes a slip lane on my left


Street View: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-34.063 ... 312!8i6656

Image

I totally hate intersections like that one, but unfortunately for cyclists the cycling lane ends at the little traffic island at the beginning of the slip lane!

If you are in that road position then unfortunately you have no through path other than stopping and giving way to all merging traffic on Anzac Ave. You can ride straight through if you take the (traffic) lane, but from the left hand position of the road then you have no other option but to stop and give way to everything, even though you are going straight ahead.

Like I said, I hate it, but sadly that is how it is. :( The car coming up on Anzac Pde was under no obligation to give way to you. The truck driver could rightly have expected you to stop and give way (or stop and cross Anzac) before continuing.

human909
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby human909 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:36 pm

uart wrote:I totally hate intersections like that one, but unfortunately for cyclists the cycling lane ends at the little traffic island at the beginning of the slip lane!

If you are in that road position then unfortunately you have no through path other than stopping and giving way to all merging traffic on Anzac Ave. You can ride straight through if you take the (traffic) lane, but from the left hand position of the road then you have no other option but to stop and give way to everything, even though you are going straight ahead.

Like I said, I hate it, but sadly that is how it is. :( The car coming up on Anzac Pde was under no obligation to give way to you. The truck driver could rightly have expected you to stop and give way (or stop and cross Anzac) before continuing.


Absolutely correct.

Mind you that lane is a death trap for cyclists and deliberately design in a manner that would be knowingly be a death trap who anybody who care to consider the position it puts cyclists in. Quite frankly that piece of infrastructure is negligently designed.

If you end up with costs not being paid I'd try sending the bill to the council. (At least try to get action so other cyclists don't meet the same or worse fate.)

Bennoz
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby Bennoz » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:35 pm

Thanks All - am off to the doctors tomorrow. limp and swelling has eased and i made it through the weekend fine.

still no news yet from the police. will call them tomorrow.

After speaking with the lawyer, seems the only claim for damages i "could" receive is from the truck driver. The red car managed to maintain a safe stopping distance and the ute that rear ended the red car was too close so they should sort it out between themselves.


uart wrote:
Street View: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-34.063 ... 312!8i6656

I totally hate intersections like that one, but unfortunately for cyclists the cycling lane ends at the little traffic island at the beginning of the slip lane!
...


thanks for that image - It was about there where i could clearly see the car coming up anzac ave, and could tell he hasnt seen me as he's made no attempt to change speed or position in his lane.

Also if you step back along the highway 50m, you'l see that its actually 2 lanes and what youve shown is actually an exit lane. In the below link i was in the left hand side of the left lane, in the lane, and as i said in my 1st post, in hindsight i should have been more "in" the lane to stop the truckie thinking he had any chance of trying to slip past me

Street View:
https://goo.gl/maps/z95KhShpWCp

here are some after pics from when i got home that day
Image

Image

CKinnard
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby CKinnard » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:19 pm

Bennoz wrote:Also if you step back along the highway 50m, you'l see that its actually 2 lanes and what youve shown is actually an exit lane. In the below link i was in the left hand side of the left lane, in the lane, and as i said in my 1st post, in hindsight i should have been more "in" the lane to stop the truckie thinking he had any chance of trying to slip past me


If you step back 50 meters before the Anzac Ave merge, there's a "watch for cyclists" sign.
about 400 meters further back, the speed limit is posted as 70kph.

That looks like a rubbish piece of road to navigate for a cyclist.
Any shoulder is constantly interrupted by left hand turn only lanes and merges....and the two lanes that constitute the Princess Hwy are very narrow for a major arterial that no doubt carries a hell of a lot of heavy vehicles.

Either way, the truck is at fault for hitting you.
I often ride a 70kph major arterial in peak hour, but I use two higher powered tail lights, one on my helmet....and put my 700+ lumen headlight on flash mode when on the most dangerous bits.
You can't underestimate the vision, attention, cognitive faculties, and life stress of some motorists. If they suffer sleep apnoea, drink, smoke, eat cr#p, and do shift work, they are living in a zombie realm.

As for the police attitude, in Qld the police culture is you put yourself in harm's way cycling on narrow arterials..... I've had that from at least a dozen Brisbane north side cops, some have been patients, and others social contacts.
It's a pity many of them don't comprehend their code of ethics as it relates to keeping their personal opinions and work separate.

BJL
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby BJL » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:26 pm

uart wrote:
Bennoz wrote:my story:
was on my morning ride (6am), on the left hand side of the left lane, on the princess highway, through Engadine NSW. Its dark and i had my lights on (front and rear) and wearing my red jersey. Im coming up to anzac ave (for those that know it), where the ave enters the highway and becomes a slip lane on my left


Street View: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-34.063 ... 312!8i6656

Image

I totally hate intersections like that one, but unfortunately for cyclists the cycling lane ends at the little traffic island at the beginning of the slip lane!

If you are in that road position then unfortunately you have no through path other than stopping and giving way to all merging traffic on Anzac Ave. You can ride straight through if you take the (traffic) lane, but from the left hand position of the road then you have no other option but to stop and give way to everything, even though you are going straight ahead.

Like I said, I hate it, but sadly that is how it is. :( The car coming up on Anzac Pde was under no obligation to give way to you. The truck driver could rightly have expected you to stop and give way (or stop and cross Anzac) before continuing.


Sorry but I disagree. The most primary rule on the road is that ALL vehicles MUST AVOID a collision using whatever REASONABLE means at their disposal. Whoever is in the 'right' comes a DISTANT second. If a vehicle can avoid a collision, then they are under EVERY obligation to do so.

And looking back that that intersection, there's NO bike lane for some distance. What would motorists prefer, that cyclists change lanes into 'their' lanes to get past such intersections? Or stay to the left?

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Thoglette
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby Thoglette » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:51 pm

human909 wrote:Quite frankly that piece of infrastructure is negligently designed.

If you end up with costs not being paid I'd try sending the bill to the council.

(Highlight mine)
That word should be music to your lawyer's ears.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

human909
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby human909 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:20 pm

BJL wrote:Sorry but I disagree. The most primary rule on the road is that ALL vehicles MUST AVOID a collision using whatever REASONABLE means at their disposal. Whoever is in the 'right' comes a DISTANT second. If a vehicle can avoid a collision, then they are under EVERY obligation to do so.


I'm sorry. :| But... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Your are quite correct, and I completely agree with you. But the police and insurance companies won't.

AdelaidePeter
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:47 pm

BJL wrote:
uart wrote: If you are in that road position then unfortunately you have no through path other than stopping and giving way to all merging traffic on Anzac Ave. You can ride straight through if you take the (traffic) lane, but from the left hand position of the road then you have no other option but to stop and give way to everything, even though you are going straight ahead.

Like I said, I hate it, but sadly that is how it is. :( The car coming up on Anzac Pde was under no obligation to give way to you. The truck driver could rightly have expected you to stop and give way (or stop and cross Anzac) before continuing.


Sorry but I disagree. The most primary rule on the road is that ALL vehicles MUST AVOID a collision using whatever REASONABLE means at their disposal. Whoever is in the 'right' comes a DISTANT second. If a vehicle can avoid a collision, then they are under EVERY obligation to do so.


I don't think that makes the car driver at fault. Bennoz's options in approaching the slip lane were to claim the non-slip lane, or give way to the car in the slip lane. I think it is asking a lot of the car driver to anticipate that (a) the truck driver would fail to take evasive action to miss to the cyclist, and (b) the cyclist, who would normally be required to give way before the lane change, was going to change into his/her lane to avoid the truck. Of course a defensive driver should anticipate it, but that's not the same as being legally obliged.

But the truckie is at fault no matter how the collision actually occurred. Even if the truckie's version is correct and Bennoz hit the back end of his truck, the truck driver is guilty of failing to give 1.5 metres passing distance. (Speed limit according to Google maps is 70, so 1.5 metres is required). Unless the truckie's story is that Bennoz moved 1.5 metres to the right (!), and hit the truck.

I'll also add that in surviving a hit from a truck, Bennoz is either extremely lucky, or extremely skilled, or both. I'm very glad this wasn't much worse!

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ValleyForge
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby ValleyForge » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:00 pm

Bennoz wrote:Image

Has to be one of my favourite photos here.
Ha ha ha! Cookies on dowels.

uart
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby uart » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:21 pm

Bennoz wrote:thanks for that image - It was about there where i could clearly see the car coming up anzac ave, and could tell he hasnt seen me as he's made no attempt to change speed or position in his lane.

Also if you step back along the highway 50m, you'l see that its actually 2 lanes and what youve shown is actually an exit lane. In the below link i was in the left hand side of the left lane, in the lane


Ok thanks Bennoz, that definitely changes my assessment. In that case then there's no question that it was the truck driver's fault, he clipped you while trying to pass in the same lane.

What made me misunderstand and think that you were trying to continue in the far left lane (the one with no through passage at the intersection) was where you said that the car coming out of Anzac didn't look like slowing or giving way. If you are in the other lane (separated by an unbroken white line) then technically he doesn't need to do anything - other than stay in his lane and not drift across into your lane of course.

Like I said above though, that road design is just awful. It's pretty much a big FU to cyclists. :(

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Mububban
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby Mububban » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:33 pm

Bennoz wrote:...i found out the truck driver claims he was already past me and i hit him somewhere to the back of the truck...


Yes, there's nothing we cyclist love more than to ram ourselves into the back of trucks for a bit of fun. So invigorating!
Hope no police etc believe his BS.

Glad your helmet cracked and not your skull. Quick reflexes and a bit of luck/ninja skills seem to have saved you, glad you're mostly well.

Is the bike a write off or does it just need new forks?
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

AdelaidePeter
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:38 pm

A few posters have commented on the horrible design, but there is actually a lane in place for cyclists to cross the slip lane:
Image
It's not perfect - for instance, the bicycle icon is half erased, and there should be crossing lines so that turning vehicles give way to cyclists (and pedestrians) - but at least there is something cyclists can use. So the "risk minimisation" approach would be to cross the slip lane there.

However it's not a bicycle lane by the legal definition, therefore Bennoz did nothing legally wrong, and the truckie is still at fault.

human909
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby human909 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:16 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:A few posters have commented on the horrible design, but there is actually a lane in place for cyclists to cross the slip lane:

Which isn't really evident on approach nor is it practical for cyclists who are cycling at a decent speed. Whats more it requires continuing cyclists to give way to entering traffic. Its absurd.

uart
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby uart » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:38 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:It's not perfect - for instance, the bicycle icon is half erased, and there should be crossing lines so that turning vehicles give way to cyclists (and pedestrians) - but at least there is something cyclists can use. So the "risk minimisation" approach would be to cross the slip lane there.


One problem with that crossing is that it doesn't even link to a bike lane or bike path. Remember that cycling on the footpath is illegal in NSW. So it reduces the cyclist to crossing as a pedestrian (with no crossing) at that point, and then just dumps them back (at low speed) into a lane of potentially high speed merging traffic. It's very bad really.

AdelaidePeter
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby AdelaidePeter » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:41 pm

uart wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:It's not perfect - for instance, the bicycle icon is half erased, and there should be crossing lines so that turning vehicles give way to cyclists (and pedestrians) - but at least there is something cyclists can use. So the "risk minimisation" approach would be to cross the slip lane there.


One problem with that crossing is that it doesn't even link to a bike lane or bike path. Remember that cycling on the footpath is illegal in NSW. So it reduces the cyclist to crossing as a pedestrian (with no crossing) at that point, and then just dumps them back (at low speed) into a lane of potentially high speed merging traffic. It's very bad really.


It's not quite that bad: it does in fact link to a pseudo bike lane; i.e. on the left hand side of the slip lane there's a white painted line marking an area intended for bicycles, though if it's not a "bicycle lane" as defined by the road rules.

I'm not saying it's perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but an improved version of that (i.e. with a proper crossing) is the best way I can think of to handle a merging slip lane. I suspect the real problem is that a slip lane is a bad solution except for high speed roads (such as freeways, where bicycles aren't allowed anyway).

human909
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby human909 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:52 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:I'm not saying it's perfect by any stretch of the imagination

The thing for confident and fast cyclists it is WORSE than no bicycle infrastructure. A cyclist should be claiming the lane well before the intersection.

AdelaidePeter wrote:but an improved version of that (i.e. with a proper crossing) is the best way I can think of to handle a merging slip lane....
The only other alternative I can think of is to not have a slip lane - which is probably preferable in many or even most situations.

There are a bunch of alternatives, including a well marked bicycle lane, bicycle sharrows, etc....

fat and old
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby fat and old » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:42 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:I'm not saying it's perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but an improved version of that (i.e. with a proper crossing) is the best way I can think of to handle a merging slip lane. I suspect the real problem is that a slip lane is a bad solution except for high speed roads (such as freeways, where bicycles aren't allowed anyway).


From what I saw in NSW, that design; the one you see here; is pretty much how they deal with slip lanes on freeways (which you can use there).

human909
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby human909 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:56 pm

fat and old wrote:From what I saw in NSW, that design; the one you see here; is pretty much how they deal with slip lanes on freeways (which you can use there).

Its also in VIC on the freeways you can use here. But freeways are different. Much faster speed differentials and cyclists are not using lanes on the freeway they are using the shoulder. Also fewer entries and exits.

Bicycles have as much right to safe and continuous through travel on our general regular road system as other road going vehicles. Freeways are a bit different and are much more regulated on what vehicles can travel on them.

For example here:
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-37.932 ... 312!8i6656

(Which also happens to be the Princes Freeway a continuation of the same Prices Highway Bennoz was on. :mrgreen: )
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princes_Highway

Scintilla
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Re: advice after a major incident

Postby Scintilla » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:02 pm

OWN your lane!! The road rules across Australia are very clear that you are NOT required to keep to the left on any multi-lane road with a speed limit of 80 kmh or less.


https://vimeo.com/38295907


BTW, IF the truck driver's account was correct and you hit the rear of his truck....... how did he know that there had been a collision :?: :?:

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