After Crash Tips/Suggestions

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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by Butcher

Greetings, I know this may sound greedy, but the weekend is here and I have no answer from the insurance company.

Couple of days ago, I went on a ride, within .25 miles, I crashed into a side of a car while he entered traffic without seeing me. I was going 30mph but I was able to walk away without any bones broken. The bike is not as well off.

If you were to hit someone, this person would be the one. Genuinely sorry for not seeing me and was willing to do anything to help. He does have insurance so I am covered on the repairs. He is liable so there is no question who is paying.

Fork is cracked, front wheel is not true, rear derailleur trashed, saddle, handlebar, and shifters damaged. Clothing/shoes also no longer new/damaged. Normal stuff considering the situation.

All I am looking for is no financial loss at all. Since I am ok [sore, scratched up, but nothing broken]. What did the insurance company do for you? Estimate the price of a New bike? Used bike? or fixed your bike bike? My bike is a '05 Tarmac with a Campagnolo Chorus 11 groupset, Easton SLX wheel with Powertap SL+.

I got an estimate from the shop and it is $1.8k. It's my rain bike so I am not picky on paint. The frame does not appear cracked, but the fork does. How did the insurance company determine that the frame is ok? Any pain/suffering they paid on?

Just curious and impatient. FYI, I live in the Seattle Washington.
Last edited by Butcher on Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Danza

Hasn't happened to me but everyone I know has had a friendly LBS estimate replacement value which they gave to their ins co

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by bura

Not exactly the answer you are looking for.
Just want to point out to get your frame really checked may be with some talk powder check inside and outside especially junction HT and DT after such a horrible crash. Cracks may be not visible at first inspection.
Hope you get it sorted out and get a new bike instead.
Kuota Kom Evo
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by djm

The insurance company I had to deal with last time I was hit was a b*tch.

It took a while and a lot of talking with a very persistent and obnoxious man on the phone until they finally refunded my losses. In short the insurance company was trying to limit their expenses by making all kinds of false claims about me having been negligent(!) - however the driver had admitted her guilt and there was no doubt about what happened. I was compensated in full for the broken frame, wheels, clothing and medical expenses. The company covered the price of a new frame.

Incidentally this is the same company where I have insured my bike, and when I ruined my race wheels last year my claim was obviously dealt with by a different department and I had a full refund of a new wheelset on my account within 24 hours...

Shop Owner
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by Butcher

Thanks for all the input and private messages.

Although the frame is most likely ok, I am not 100% ok. The insurance company indicated they were liable and would be paying. I new bike would be best, but there is not one with the components I like [Campy and Spec fan]. Since it is my rain bike, a new one would just be stupid.

One good thing, I turned in my EPS battery/computer pack just a few hours before [erratic shifting, rumor is that they had a bad batch with solder issues]. I would have been riding my good bike if it was not for that.

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by davidalone

happened to me before. got rear ended by a driver.

the process usually occurs as such: get your LBS to give you an estimate of your bikes cost, by individual parts ( i.e. quote the prices for individual wheelsets, gruppos, bars, seatposts, etc.) mine was an alu frame, and could probably have been ridden again ( it's actually on my trainer now) , but the bike shop said in their quote: " in our professional opinion, while no serious damage seems to have occured to the bicycle frame, such damage is dificult to detect and it is in the interests of the rider's future safety that the frame be enitrely replaced." then add on your medical fees and the costs of any helmets/shoes/clothing damaged (also quoted by the bike store) - you need an actual document for these quotes. submit them to the insurance company. they'll then make you an offer based on what they deem is fair value.

in my case, they refunded me a third of my bikes value ( which given the circumstances and that most of the parts could actually be salvaged and were still rideable) , which wasnt a bad offer.

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by Rick

You probably don't want to hear this, but you need to get a lawyer right away and get everything documented.

Remember that it has nothing to do with how "nice a guy" the guy who hit you was, or how "reasonable" he and the insurance company appears at first. In the end, the insurance company has only one goal: minimize costs. And they have a staff of lawyers who know every trick in the book to delay, niggle, find reasons to reduce your claimed value, etc....until you get tired of fighting and just settle for a small reimbursement.

I know this only from a couple of past experiences. No matter how reasonable you are or try to be the insurance companies are machines with only one mandate: control costs.

A personal injury lawyer will get you the full value of your bike and all associated equipment, with all medical costs and even a reimbursement for your time finding all the new components, etc. This is what they do and they can negotiate for you in a dispassionate way. You might feel embarrassed to ask for reimbursement for time assembling your new bike, etc; but an lawyer can just lay it out as full retail bike shop time with no personal involvement. You get paid and then you can still decide if you want a bike shop to do it or do it yourself.

Remember that cracks, small bends, damage to a power meter, etc are all extremely difficult to detect from external inspection. You will probably be best off to have the bike declared a "total loss" and get it replaced. No bike was ever designed to withstand impact from an automobile.

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by stella-azzurra

If there is no visible damage the other lawyers might argue that it could have been there before the crash.
So good luck with proving that.

Visible damage caused at the scene where by the item is damaged then you have a case.
I never took drugs to improve my performance at any time. I will be willing to stick my finger into a polygraph test if anyone with big media pull wants to take issue. If you buy a signed poster now it will not be tarnished later. --Graeme Obree

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by WMW

I was hit from behind on the highway 3 years ago. Miraculously, no broken bones... but lots of other stuff. Still plagued by back problems and left elbow.

The other guy's insurance company was super nice in the beginning (he got a ticket for careless driving). Paid for my bike no questions asked, and said they'd pay all my medical plus something for pain and suffering. That sounded fine to me. One year later they told me they were done... I was on my own.

Eventually I got a lawyer because I still wasn't healed, and didn't want to be holding the bag. Insurance company still wouldn't talk so we had to file suit. Now they are talking but refuse to even offer an amount that covers my bills, let alone lost work, time, pain and suffering, and the fact that I'll likely have to deal with this for the rest of my life. I actually offered to settle for an amount that just covers my expenses to date and they refused.

It's like a game of chicken now. The insurance company and my lawyer both want to avoid a trial because the cost/benefit ratio isn't there. That is unless I end up getting a hell of the lot more than I've been asking for. He thinks the insurance co will follow through anyway just to send a message to the industry that they are tough. It's a royal PITA.

Since you don't have medical expenses, they may be eager to settle, especially if the driver got a ticket. It depends a lot on the insurance co and what tactics they use to minimize their costs. Definitely do not assume they are nice because they are acting nice. CYA. Document your injuries and take pictures and document your recovery. Even if you just want to get your bike paid for you can use the injuries as leverage.

Good luck.
formerly rruff...

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