How do I claim for a damaged bike following car encounter?

by SPAM Naval   July 4, 2014  

Hi folks,
I was hit from behind by a car while cycling home from work in Canary Wharf yesterday evening. Luckily I was uninjured but the car put a fairly significant buckle in my rear Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL and also damaged the carbon fairing on the wheel. I have the driver's reg, name and address and phone number as he stopped and gave me his details.
I'll be paying a trip to my LBS tomorrow to see what can be done with the wheel. Its not looking too bad and I'm assuming that the fairing can perhaps be re-bonded to the aluminum rim?
The frame luckily is undamaged.

whats the best approach in terms of getting the costs of the wheel repair covered? Do I go through my home insurance company or approach the driver directly (although i'm not sure how far I'll get there), or should I just suck it up?

I've completed a Road Traffic Collision Met Form 206 and will get it stamped by my local nick.

any suggestions would be great.

Thanks
Brendan

15 user comments

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Dunno, but don't assume your frame is OK. You need someone to look at it in detail. I wouldn't trust a frame that had been smacked from behind, no matter whether it "looked ok" or not.

Beekie

posted by beekie1 [7 posts]
4th July 2014 - 13:05

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I wouldn't trust the wheel or frame to a repair. If the wheel gets repaired then fails completely a couple of months later, you'll find it difficult to go back to the insurer or driver and prove that they should be paying for a new wheel/frame. I'd be looking for replacements.

That said, I'm not sure I'd be using Cosmics for a rush-hour city ride.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3063 posts]
4th July 2014 - 13:19

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Get the frame checked out by a LBS - maybe even Condor as you're in London. IMHO your wheel is a write-off. I had far less damage than you describe to mine and Mavic replaced it (crash insurance). If you LBS is sensible they'll send it back to Mavic to verify this. If you took out their crash insurance (which is very good!) then provided it's still in date, you've got the receipt for the wheels, serial nos (by the valve stem), then they should replace it. If not I'd start chasing the driver for a replacement wheel, and they're not cheap! If you're with BC/CTC contact their legal dept for better advice.

posted by GrahamF [11 posts]
4th July 2014 - 13:53

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Got hit by a BMW a few weeks back, luckily??? the dealer whose driver was driving it at the time has been very helpful. I do wish I could have been there for the conversation, sorry sir our driver has put a dent in the front of your 12 month old 5 series...

Anyway

I spoke to the CTC solicitors and they sent me all the forms for a small claims if need be. Because no injury not really much point going any other way. Police aren't interested and don't consider it an accident unless the driver does a hit and run, or someone ends up in hospital. or the road gets shut.

First contact the driver, he caused the damage he should pay. Then start on small claims if he gets funny. Do you have anything written down? any admission of guilt by the driver, although driving into someone tends to be looked at as guilty by stupidity as I understand it.

mrmo's picture

posted by mrmo [1064 posts]
4th July 2014 - 15:04

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Some months ago I was hit head on by a driver who had been drinking and completely cut a t junction and was fully on my side of road when he hit me as I was proceding to turn right. (can of Bud in the drinks receptical) . He also fled the scene.
I had to pay Scottish Pilice, to find out his insurance company, who refused to discuss the claim in any way until the court case, which took months, but they changed the claim from road accident to personal injury without reference to me. He eventually pled guilty to a plea bargain of dangerous driving reduced to reckless driving.
My solicitor is now fully in charge of the claim. I have road rash to arm and leg, and a continuing pain at top of my leg, otherwise I am ok thankfully, although mentally my joy of riding is degraded.
The rear mech and front mech were damaged as well as frame scratches, and gouge on saddle.
I took the bike to my LBS last week and they have discovered in addition that the carbon fibres are damaged and stretching in the off side chain stay. They have, stated that the bike is dangerous and should not be ridden and should be replaced by the insurance company.
God knows how long this will take to sort out.
I recommend you have your bike carefully checked.

posted by thefatcyclist [584 posts]
4th July 2014 - 18:52

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duplicate post deleted

posted by thefatcyclist [584 posts]
4th July 2014 - 18:54

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If you've got BC membership (Ride or Race Silver or Gold) they will represent you but my first port of call would be the driver. Ask if he wants to sort it out without involing his insurer. he might be happy just to write you a cheque and forget about it. If he doesn't want to/can't afford to or claims he was not at fault just go direct to his insurer to persue a claim. Rear-end shunts are usually dealt with quickly as the liability is presumed to be with the shunter rather than the shuntee.

As others have advised though make sure you have identified any and all dammage as once you've settled a claim they won't take kindly to you suddenly realising your frame is broken. Also, avoid making any repairs until you've sorted it. If you've got another bike I'd be inclined to ride that until it's resolved.

The good news is that you're not hurt and the guy actually gave you his details. All too often drivers will refuse because 'you're only a bike' and they don't seem to realise that the law still requires them to give their details.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
4th July 2014 - 19:16

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Thanks everyone for all the helpful advice and tips. I did bring the frame to my LBS on Saturday like a number of you recommended and they did find a crack in the chainstay as well. So frame and rear wheel now officially write offs. My LBS will provide a letter confirming and a valuation for replacement.

So thanks all for that very sound advice which may have saved me further pain (literally) as I doubt I'd have found that cracked chainstay on my own.

I have BC (Ride) membership and as Matt eaton suggested (thanks Matt), i'll call them to pursue the driver. I have phoned him a number of times to inform him of my trip to the LBS and requesting his insurance details (which he didn't provide at the time), and funnily enough, no response......

posted by SPAM Naval [136 posts]
8th July 2014 - 15:32

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Its a reportable RTC and by law it has to be recorded within 24 hrs at a Police station. If the bloke isnt playing ball then, once recorded, the cops can give you his insurance details to pursue a claim via his insurance company.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2696 posts]
9th July 2014 - 10:04

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One thing I have found out, the insurance company of the driver are saying that despite communications to the driver, he has not responded, and until he says yes, they cannot enter into negotiations, and that we have to sign a paper which effectively says we are suing him via them. And as he has not communicated with them his policy is invalid.
My lawyer has responded stating that a guilty verdict in a law court should mean no consent is neccessary. Also the insurance policy was valid at the time of the accident, and all the pussy footing about is affecting my "suffering" caused by the crash.
She says they are just trying to wear us down.
Apparently as I have no insurance apart from bike covered by household contents, we have no recourse to ombudsman or british assocoation of insurers.

posted by thefatcyclist [584 posts]
9th July 2014 - 20:08

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Errr your lawyer is the one to progress your claim against the other party. If they don't know or care then you are stuffed.

Airzound

posted by Airzound [267 posts]
9th July 2014 - 20:22

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The problem for cyclists in these non-injury crashes is obtaining drivers insurance details; perhaps we should offer our contents insurance companies name or our British Cycling membership number to drivers and perhaps it would seem reasonable to drivers to provide insurance details at the time of the crash. Perhaps.

This driver appears to be trying to avoid losing his no claims bonus, however it is a reportable crash under section 170 of the RTA, so the police will obtain his insurance company details and then their stats department will charge a fee to you to provide that information. That fee can be recovered from the drivers insurance company.

The position taken by the insurance company that the policy is invalid is interesting. Why is this? Policy holders are required to report any crash they are involved in, even if they say it is for information only. Failure to report could invalidate the policy, but that would be after the crash, leaving them still open to a claim. Otherwise they could avoid paying out whenever they wanted to.

posted by WiznaeMe [4 posts]
10th July 2014 - 10:25

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Wiznae, it is not a non injury crash, I was injured. It cost my solicitor £98 to obtain the insurance details like you say, and we had to wait 2 months.
However we probably picked the bones out of this from my point of view, and this is not my thread.

posted by thefatcyclist [584 posts]
12th July 2014 - 11:15

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Sorry, thefat cyclist I was responding to the original post rather than yourself.

The reason I posted was to see if anyone had a cunning plan to get motorists' insurance details, such as exchanging business cards or something, but no one has commented!

One last point here; If you report a crash to the police ask who is assigned the enquiry. It is possible that the officer will give you the insurance details before completing the paperwork. (Injury crash or not). My experience is in Scotland, I appreciate that this may be different in England and Wales.

posted by WiznaeMe [4 posts]
13th July 2014 - 13:30

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Hi Wiznae, no probs regards my misunderstanding. The police refused any info once they had left the scene, and apprehended the driver the next day.I tried contacting the officer, but unable to give any details. That is why we had to apply for details via Police Scotland.

posted by thefatcyclist [584 posts]
13th July 2014 - 13:43

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