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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:06 am
Posts: 1246
Location: A Scotsman on rock in the pacific
Looking for a little input from fellow WW's on a legal bike vs car subject. I'm based in Hawaii, USA so laws from other countries aren't applicable. OK, here's my situation...

1) I was going through an interesection when an oncoming car entered the intersection after me, made a left turn into my path, resulting in my hitting the car and going flying.
2) The driver stopped, came over to see me, dialled 911, and waited for the ambulance to arrive.
3) Ambulance arrived, took me away.
4) Cops took 40mins to drive 0.9 miles from their HQ to the accident scene. By the time they arrived, the driver had presumably left.
5) I filed a police report the next morning as the cops didn't bother to come and get a report from me at the hospital
6) Had a few injuries which are healing... 8 stitches to a finger which now has some loss of feeling, and a painful hip that's getting physio.
7) Main bike damage is a 3-week old Cervelo R3SL with a cracked top tube. Looks like maybe it's only clear coat, but I guess there's still some risk riding it.

I don't have car insurance... Only covered by my work's insurance, presumably during business-hours only, and not while out training! No renters insurance either.

What would you guys do in this situation? I'm left footing bills for all of this, cops haven't been of any use getting my the drivers info from his 911 call. Supposedly they can get it but I'll have to hire a lawyer to sue them to release that info - Proving to be a little difficult to find a lawyer to do that.

Would appreciate any advice...

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Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:17 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:55 pm
Posts: 1898
Location: Vienna, AUT
Go to VeloNews and look for the articles from their bicycling legal advocate Bob Mionske. You can probably send him a message and ask for advice. Your story sounds like one he might respond to online for all of us to see.

I hope you get back to full health soon. Sorry to hear about your accident.

http://www.velonews.com/author/71301


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:19 pm
Posts: 1948
Location: On Pave
Hey sorry to here about your spill, and i hope that you make a good recovery soon.
Bikes are replaceable you aint! Period!
I had a similar crash, a year later i got a new bike, and 2 years later i was awarded damages to $10,000, not much but these guys are quite pedantic about injuries, Unless you loose a limb or damage your quality of life then you dont get beans.
Quite frankly i would rather be here to tell the sorry tale, a lesson learned, bikers are second class citizens when it comes to litigation.
Keep cool and be careful
jr

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:02 pm
Posts: 1940
Location: Getting dropped
mzagorski wrote:
Looking for a little input from fellow WW's on a legal bike vs car subject. I'm based in Hawaii, USA so laws from other countries aren't applicable. OK, here's my situation...

1) I was going through an interesection when an oncoming car entered the intersection after me, made a left turn into my path, resulting in my hitting the car and going flying.
2) The driver stopped, came over to see me, dialled 911, and waited for the ambulance to arrive.
3) Ambulance arrived, took me away.
4) Cops took 40mins to drive 0.9 miles from their HQ to the accident scene. By the time they arrived, the driver had presumably left.
5) I filed a police report the next morning as the cops didn't bother to come and get a report from me at the hospital
6) Had a few injuries which are healing... 8 stitches to a finger which now has some loss of feeling, and a painful hip that's getting physio.
7) Main bike damage is a 3-week old Cervelo R3SL with a cracked top tube. Looks like maybe it's only clear coat, but I guess there's still some risk riding it.

I don't have car insurance... Only covered by my work's insurance, presumably during business-hours only, and not while out training! No renters insurance either.

What would you guys do in this situation? I'm left footing bills for all of this, cops haven't been of any use getting my the drivers info from his 911 call. Supposedly they can get it but I'll have to hire a lawyer to sue them to release that info - Proving to be a little difficult to find a lawyer to do that.

Would appreciate any advice...


If the driver hit you and left before the police showed up that's a felony hit and run going by the letter of the law. Contact a lawyer and see what they can do for you. If you know who hit you, you certainly have recourse against them, even if the police are not helpful. There is always civil court.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:28 pm 
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Location: A Scotsman on rock in the pacific
Seems like my current problem is that hawaii has a tort threshold of $5000 and my medical bills aren't more than $5k as far as I'm aware... Looks like I need to create a lawsuit against the local police to get them to release the drivers info...

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:24 pm
Posts: 1569
Location: Center of the Universe
First- glad to hear you are doing ok.
I was told it is your Home Owners Insurance that would cover the bike. Put a claim in with your insurance, tell them the story, and let them go after the guy, (through the police) to recover the losses. Then after they find the guy which should take all of 30 minutes or so, get the info from your insurance company so you can settle up with all the other damages.
It will actually be his insurance company that you will deal with not him.
Good Luck
Hawaii 50 :evil: -cant believe they cant/wont help. I would call them back and work your way up the chain of command until some one will help you.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:06 am
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Location: A Scotsman on rock in the pacific
I don't have home owners insurance.

I've already communicated pretty far up the Hawaii 5-0 totempole with not much luck. Seems like I need to spent some $ to get info out of an organization that my tax dollars help pay for. So much for protecting and serving. Well, so far they are protecting the criminal... :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:25 am
Posts: 1140
Location: Tas, Aus
In America is there Motor Accident Insurrance Board insurance (MAIB)? A guy turned across me when I was doing 47 kph lasy year and stuffed me up a bit. I was in shock and went training instead (stupid) of getting his details so a similar situation in a way. Essentially don't think you'll get anything for your bike but you should be able to get some sort of coverage for potential loss of income if there's an MAIB type scheme where you are.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:52 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Wausau Wisconsin,USA
Get out the phone book and start calling personnel injury lawyers till you get one that will help you......Most will at least give you some advise on how to proceed.....Ask around with friends, relatives,friends of friends, etc.. somebody has to know a lawyer they can refer you to....

Also, I would if you haven't already, talk to or find out by asking nicely, who the shift supervisor was at the time of your accident...usually would be a Sergeant or Lieutenant on the police force and explain why you are calling and have them explain why no citation wasn't issued, etc.......Be professional and courteous I think as a rule they respond better to that.....

I've been hit 3 times by cars in 20 years of "sharing the road" and my wife was hit once......A few things to remember when it comes time to deal with lawyers and insurance companies: even if it's a small injury now it may develop into something else worse later...Even if your bike isn't necessarily visibly broken doesn't mean it shouldn't be replaced... it was brand new before you were hit by the bozo and you have no idea of its current structural integrity.....

just my 2 cents worth hope it helps and you're back on the road shortly


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:06 am
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Location: A Scotsman on rock in the pacific
well, I did talk to a chief of police within hawaii and didn't really make any progress. wrote a letter to the police commision telling them i wanted answer as to why it took them 40mins to drive <1 mile, and why they're telling me they can't get the drivers phone # from 911 records even though I've been told by a couple people in the cellular communications industry that it IS possible. I bet if someone had hit a cop, they'd have had all that info within an hour or two!

I know what you mean about the long term damage. It's been a month and I still have a burning pain in my hip.

oh well, time to call more lawyers.

i've been racing for 12yrs and I've been hit 3 times in 3 years. the first of those was a hit and run leaving me with an open fracture... that one still puzzles me as i was riding on a sholder beside a road with two lanes in each direction, with almost no cars. but some clown still manages to clip me from behind. second time was similar to the latest time... oncoming car, sitting in the middle of the road waiting to turn left, last minute then decide to go for it... whack. up the front of a minivan i go. that driver was pretty cool about it, stopped, traded contact info etc. the first and latest folks are... lets just say they don't make me too happy :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:51 pm 
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Formerly known as PezTech
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:37 am
Posts: 5698
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Zag,


please take this the right way as I purely mean to help.


1. Stop complaning to the cops about the cops... (giant bleeding mistake from the go...)

It will get you nowhere and honestly has probably hurt your cause in gaining their support. They get there when they can and absolutely nothing will come from questioning their performance and ethics but a head ache and a complete loss of willingness to help you... If anything (and this sucks but if it works, who cares) you may try and appologize for complaining to the same chief and ask him to get someone to help you...

The second that doesn't work.

2. Hire an attourney.

From the second the cops refused to replease the 911 driver info, you were in a legal dispute... Get someone that will work within the system or you'll get as far as you did asking the cops why they do a poor job.



I hope you get well and if you toss me an email I will lobby someone to try and help you with an affordable crash replacement, but your shop should also help with that...

I wish you luck, but luck won't help. You'll get what's comming to you but you're now needing to simply take the proper steps.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 6:05 am
Posts: 1011
mzagorski wrote:
Looking for a little input from fellow WW's on a legal bike vs car subject. I'm based in Hawaii, USA so laws from other countries aren't applicable. OK, here's my situation...

1) I was going through an interesection when an oncoming car entered the intersection after me, made a left turn into my path, resulting in my hitting the car and going flying.


http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum ... hp?t=38335

I had a similar scenario as you (just one month ago), hit a car that turned left in front of me at an intersection when I had the right of way. I was fortunate that there were witnesses that stopped and the driver also waited. But I wonder what would have transpired had there been no witnesses. Their word against mine might be a no win situation - they could have said I ran the light or something like that. My point being that even if you find the person you still have another battle. I suggest something someone else did .. it's a pain in the ass but worth it if you can find a witness, if you think there might have been one.

I remember someone with a sign on a local bike path where it crossed an intersection and the sign said "On such-and-such date there was a bike accident here. If you saw it please help." He was there for about a week every morning .. I finally stopped and asked him what happened. He said he knew someone witnessed it and he wasn't going away until he got some help. I assume he must have been successful because he eventually was gone.

Anyway, I feel for you, it was hard getting back on the bike (took me 3 weeks) and once I got on I felt some pains I wasn't aware of until then .. not to mention some of the trepidation one feels after an accident. But I got to keep riding!

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:24 pm 
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Location: New Zero Kanada 43° 40' 0" N, 79° 25' 0" W
Pez and bobalou offer good advice. My one piece of advice: if you ride on roads (and who doesn't?) get insurance. It won't help you this time, but there's often a next time. Particularly in the US, it's worth the $ every month to have your stuff protected and someone to cover the hospital bills if you get badly hurt. Plus, if your insurance company pays for a new bike, you better believe they'll recover the damages from the person who hit you.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:06 am
Posts: 1246
Location: A Scotsman on rock in the pacific
I do have medical insurance...

Meeting with an attorney tomorrow... Will see how that goes!

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Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:09 am 


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:19 pm 
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Formerly known as PezTech
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:37 am
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Location: Phoenix Arizona
Let us know how it goes Mike.

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