Hit by a car, the driver is responsible. What to do?

by ronnyjowe   August 8, 2014  

I'm sorry if there is a default post for this ...

I got hit by a car this morning. Nothing serious; bruises cuts and a headache/stiff neck. A+E discharged me.

I was in the cycle lane, car was turning into a drive. Driver didn't check their mirror and pulled straight into me whilst i was cycling alongside it.

Police were driving by and stopped. Driver admitted they didn't look and were in the wrong.

Also, super kind eye-witness came up and gave me and the police his number and accounted for the fact the driver pulled into me / was in the wrong.

Took pictures of where the car hit me.

I'm waiting to get the drivers' insurance details from the police.

The driver has been in contact with me to try and arrange it outside of the insurance company and I don't know what to do / how to respond.

With regards to the bike: bent wheels, bent forks, bent front+bank derailleurs, bent handlebars

If anyone has any advice on how to proceed, I would really appreciate it.

This is in the UK.

28 user comments

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You can try and settle outside of insurance, but you'll need to get a few quotes perhaps from various shops to give them an indicator of price.
Don't forget to account for any damaged riding kit, or helmet too.

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posted by glynr36 [596 posts]
8th August 2014 - 12:51

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Don't settle outside of insurance. Your stiff neck indicates whiplash, so you may well be more physically hurt than you think.

Also, don't do final settlement on personal injury until you're a few months down the line at least.

The insurance company will fight you, regardless, but will pay out given the situation.

Get professional advice right now, before you agree to anything at all.

posted by jacknorell [772 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:03

7 Likes

Why would you even be tempted to settle it outside of insurance? Clearly you're a kind human being, but - also clearly - this driver is not, or he wouldn't have been using his vehicle in such a careless manner. If this means that his insurance costs go up then that's the way it should be.

I'll happily grant that this may make me appear belligerent, but in all seriousness, isn't bad driving treated more than leniently enough already?

Glad you're okay physically though, and lucky that the police were nearby.

Got milk? Doesn't fit in your bottle cage? Get a Carton Cage.

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posted by userfriendly [356 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:06

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Don't settle outside of insurance. I had a similar one last year that despite being relatively minor seeming at first ended up with me off the bike for six months, getting a new and much better bike along with a settlement for injuries. It took a few days for the full extent of the injuries to become clear.

Consult a solicitor, preferably one who specialises in cycle injuries (I can recommend who I used) to see if you have a claim before you decide to do anything.

If you have any evidence of his admitting responsibility, hold on to it.

posted by tonemonkey [9 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:10

4 Likes

jacknorell wrote:
Your stiff neck indicates whiplash, so you may well be more physically hurt than you think.

Your stiff neck MAY indicate whiplash...

posted by ct [89 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:10

5 Likes

Thanks for the support and advice.

I'm still not feeling okay and so it's probably right not to settle with the driver.

If anyone can recommend a solicitor, that would be fantastic.

EDIT: Oh and the admission of guilt was uttered to the police officer. Who I think has filed a 'driving without due care and attention' case.

EDIT 2: I'm currently looking at
http://www.slatergordon.co.uk/personal-injury/cycling/

posted by ronnyjowe [6 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:34

2 Likes

May be worth seeing the doc if you still aren't feeling ok. That way you will have documented evidence of the after effects. They might even be able to sort you out a bit.

Agree with others you should get quotes from more than one shop for fixing the bike up completely.

Hope you're feeling 100% and back on the bike soon.

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posted by DaveE128 [119 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:41

1 Like

jacknorell wrote:
Don't settle outside of insurance. Your stiff neck indicates whiplash, so you may well be more physically hurt than you think.

Also, don't do final settlement on personal injury until you're a few months down the line at least.

The insurance company will fight you, regardless, but will pay out given the situation.

Get professional advice right now, before you agree to anything at all.


This is good advice.

Remember that the driver made a mistake, he didn't wake up this morning looking to kill someone. His insurance is there to cover mistakes. Get professional advice from a specialist solicitor.

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

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posted by Gizmo_ [1069 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:45

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ct wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
Your stiff neck indicates whiplash, so you may well be more physically hurt than you think.

Your stiff neck MAY indicate whiplash...

Indicate is indicative, not definitive, so I'm not sure what you're being pedantic about here? (I realise my statement is pedantic).

Stiff neck is a symptom of whiplash, i.e. it's an indication of whiplash, which does not necessarily mean the bloke actually has whiplash.

Also, did you not see the 'may' in the second half of the sentence.

*grumpy mode off*

posted by jacknorell [772 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:48

3 Likes

ronnyjowe wrote:
EDIT 2: I'm currently looking at
http://www.slatergordon.co.uk/personal-injury/cycling/

Good, they're the ones working with one or more major cycling organisations (I think British Cycling) and I've heard good things.

posted by jacknorell [772 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:50

2 Likes

I agree with the others. Injuries can have long term consequences. Settling outside of insurance is a good idea if it's just bent metal. The driver would have to pay an excess anyway and might lose their no claims discount so it makes sense for them and if they straightforward about paying up for the damage then why involve an insurance company that might actually pay you less and after a lot of paperwork and aggro and cost the driver more.

but injuries are different. There are plenty of cycling claims management companies that advertise about the place. Why not talk to the CTC they have a service for members but can still help you.

http://www.slatergordon.co.uk/unions-federations-and-charities/ctc/ctc-a...

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [833 posts]
8th August 2014 - 13:57

2 Likes

It's worth bearing in mind that a lot of bike manufacturers say you should replace frame and forks after a crash (this may be more applicable to carbon frames/forks), so you should probably check with the manufacturer as to whether they deem the bike as still safe to use and also whether they will still honour the warranty. If you did have a frame issue at a later date failing to disclose the prior crash would be fraud I guess, so it's not a situation you want to end up in just because you are being kind.

I got doored by a car once and the bike seemed fine, but then developed a fork issue a few months later. Could be coincidence of course, but I kicked myself for telling the driver not to worry about it as there was no obvious damage.

Edit: I know it's a really frustrating thing, because you don't want to be fuelling the claims culture

Ride in Oxford? Come and join the Cowley Road Condors cycling club, Oxford's friendliest cycling club!

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posted by tom_w [126 posts]
8th August 2014 - 14:02

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I got taken out and the driver coughed up privately without any quibbles/hassle. I speak as a former lawyer here but do not expect a rapid resolution if you go down the legal claim route - you employ a lawyer to state your claim, the defendant is perfectly entitled to challenge every assertion you make, including what was said to the policeman. This takes time, sometimes a very long time.
OK, give it a few days and then see if you are carrying long term injuries. If not, you are being badly advised to take the legal route if your motivation is to get back on the bike asap, especially when you have someone willing to settle up straight away.
Bear in mind you have three years to decide whether to take legal action under the Statute of limitations so don't jump to conclusions.

posted by arfa [581 posts]
8th August 2014 - 14:19

2 Likes

I used a company called KLS law. Recommended by Pearsons (my LBS) who were excellent and organised everything from doctors examinations to Physiotherapy. Also told me I was lucky the driver was with direct line as they don't take ages to pay.

posted by tonemonkey [9 posts]
8th August 2014 - 15:20

1 Like

Yeah, I don't want to perpetuate the claim culture- I also want to get my bike sorted asap. But I haven't even heard from the police with regards to the driver's insurance company yet...

I'm guessing if she doesn't have insurance it's bad for her legality wise, and bad for me with regards to getting my bike fixed / a replacement.

posted by ronnyjowe [6 posts]
8th August 2014 - 17:15

1 Like

Would the MIB step in to cover the costs if she isn't insured?

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

posted by notfastenough [3572 posts]
8th August 2014 - 17:38

1 Like

ronnyjowe wrote:
Yeah, I don't want to perpetuate the claim culture- I also want to get my bike sorted asap. But I haven't even heard from the police with regards to the driver's insurance company yet...

I'm guessing if she doesn't have insurance it's bad for her legality wise, and bad for me with regards to getting my bike fixed / a replacement.

I know that quite often you need to make a formal request to the police for the details, and your solicitor may need to pay a fee.

If she's not coughing up the details, that's a sign that she's not going to do this outside of litigation anyway, so just go ahead with a suit.

Yes, may take a while, but you can probably sort out some other bike in the meantime (as much as that sucks).

posted by jacknorell [772 posts]
8th August 2014 - 18:38

1 Like

Hi Arfa,

Are you saying that if i settle outside of insurance, i could potentially still make an injury claim in the future?

posted by ronnyjowe [6 posts]
8th August 2014 - 19:16

2 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
Would the MIB step in to cover the costs if she isn't insured?

Hopefully the MIB do not need to get involved, but if this is necessary make sure any dealings or offers by them or any insurance company for that matter are done in writing. I learnt this one the hard way... after trying to sort the problem out without their insurance company. Their non-existent insurance company... F.ing lorry drivers, not only driving without looking where they are going but also without insurance Angry

posted by SideBurn [896 posts]
8th August 2014 - 19:16

1 Like

ronnyjowe wrote:
Hi Arfa,

Are you saying that if i settle outside of insurance, i could potentially still make an injury claim in the future?

If the defendant hands over the dosh and tells you it is in full and final settlement then you're done. If it is not in writing then you could make the argument otherwise.
My bottom line advice to you is this, if you are not seriously hurt, do the honourable thing and settle properly. Otherwise brace yourself for a potentially long period of litigation.
Good luck one way or the other

posted by arfa [581 posts]
8th August 2014 - 19:37

2 Likes

Don't respond, unless it's with a very large bill backed up by evidence. They're likely to be trying it on - "But it's only a toy bike and you've only got a few grazes". Play hardball if you want to go down this route, and I wouldn't advise it.

My thinking would be to contact a reputable solicitor - the ones above are reasonable and competent from what I've seen of their work. May also be worth approaching the insurer directly with evidence - quote from bike shop for repairs, details and photos of injuries. They're sometimes willing to settle quickly and not ungenerously to avoid the costs incurred by solicitors. Some of the larger insurers have specialised PI capture teams specifically for this purpose.

http://www.askmid.com/

To find out the car driver's insurer, if she hasn't advised them already.

posted by Argos74 [312 posts]
8th August 2014 - 20:06

3 Likes

arfa wrote:
I got taken out and the driver coughed up privately without any quibbles/hassle. I speak as a former lawyer here but do not expect a rapid resolution if you go down the legal claim route - you employ a lawyer to state your claim, the defendant is perfectly entitled to challenge every assertion you make, including what was said to the policeman. This takes time, sometimes a very long time.
OK, give it a few days and then see if you are carrying long term injuries. If not, you are being badly advised to take the legal route if your motivation is to get back on the bike asap, especially when you have someone willing to settle up straight away.
Bear in mind you have three years to decide whether to take legal action under the Statute of limitations so don't jump to conclusions.

This is how I would play it, again, if you're sure you've no lasting injuries, better all round.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [742 posts]
9th August 2014 - 11:17

2 Likes

Thanks to everyone again for the advice on this.

I ended up taking time off work which my current contract does not allow for, so contacting a solicitor was the right thing to do.

Also just got my insurance quote through and fixing the cost to fix the bike has resulted in slightly more than I paid for it originally - which is way beyond what she would have offered.

Just hope its not going to take months and months for me to be able to get a new one sorted. But then again I'm up north and winter is coming...

posted by ronnyjowe [6 posts]
3rd September 2014 - 9:22

1 Like

I missed this discussion earlier as I was in the same predicament as you and with advice from here and elsewhere came to the same conclusion. My bike wasn't too badly damaged but 4 weeks on and I am still in pain so accepting a payout for just damage to the bike from the driver would have been the wrong thing to do. Solicitors are now on the case and the driver's insurer has accepted liability thanks to witness statements and my own camera footage I guess.
Hope your recovery goes well and you are back on the road soon.

posted by Ants [27 posts]
3rd September 2014 - 9:36

2 Likes

Before anyone goes down the road of claiming PI for whiplash, they should be aware that insurance companies will subsequently attempt to exclude any back related claims from any insurance you may hold - income protection or the like.

posted by DrJDog [195 posts]
3rd September 2014 - 15:26

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As others have stated don't settle quickly just based on bike damage alone. You have been injured and the full extent of the injuries can take a while to be seen.

Keep a note and all receipts for anything relating to getting you and your bike back to how things were before the accident. This can include costs for written quotes for damage repairs, travel expenses if your bike was used for commuting on, any other journeys you had to pay for that you used the bike previously for. A solicitor specialising in cycle accidents will advise you much better than what we tell you here.
My payout from an accident consisted of 75% for injuries and 25% for damage and took a year to settle through insurance and the other driver tried all sorts to put the blame on myself.

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posted by Redvee [114 posts]
4th September 2014 - 0:05

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I got knocked off last year, took said new bike to LBS who quoted £592 for new wheelset, pedals and fitting, sent said quote with added extras like bus passes needed and taxi's to and from LBS to driver who then coughed up £652 within 3 days.

I wasnt injured so I had nothing to claim against except expenses and damage.

I would recommend getting a medical record, I called the ambulance and police at the scene and I got a call from the driver a few hours after asking if I would go down the private route, seemed a lot quicker and I got my bike back within a week or so (plus I recovered the old wheelset and flogged them)

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posted by Leodis [279 posts]
4th September 2014 - 13:47

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It's a bad idea to solve the issue outside. Just don't arrange it outside of the insurance company. Agree with jacknorell, I've also heard about SlaterGordon.

posted by Alfie78 [1 posts]
27th December 2014 - 18:56

1 Like