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Pulled out on and slightly injured - advice?

Mr_K_DilkingtonMr_K_Dilkington Posts: 22
edited July 2014 in Commuting general
Commuting in today I got into an accident with a car and was looking for some advice on what, if anything I should do from here.

I was riding down an open bus lane with traffic moving slowly in the main road to the right of me, probably doing about 20mph. Slow cars to the right of me stopped and a large SUV coming from the opposite direction immediately pulled out in front of me to turn into a sidestreet to my left (her right). I managed to slam on the brakes, but still smashed into the side of her car near the wheel arch doing a fair bit of speed. I only saw her at the last minute because she had been let through by a large rubbish truck going in my direction.

She pulled over with me and we exchanged details (got her phone number and car reg) and I got the name and phone number of a cyclist who saw the accident too.

No immediately obvious damage to the bike, but I would like to get the wheel checked out in case it has been bucked or compromised. I have very sore ribs. Slightly painful to breathe and very painful when I cough or sneeze. No other injuries though luckily. She had a very small scratch on her car.

A couple of questions

- She is definitely at fault here right? I have right of way going straight and it is her responsibility to check every lane she crosses to make sure they are clear to cross? (regardless of whether visibility is obscured by trucks or not)

- Should I/can I take any legal recourse? I will definitely try to get something out of her insurance or her if my wheel is censored , but if it is not and I just have bruised ribs (or even a broken rib - should I go to the doctors to get this checked out?), is there any point in taking any action? I'm not particularly bothered about trying to seize the opportunity to make a quick buck, but I would like to take whatever action I am legally entitled to in an effort to make that point that you can't pull out in front of cyclists and injure them with impunity.

Thanks!

Posts

  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    There is no treatment for broken ribs, other than rest... So if you go to A&E it's unlikely they'll even X-Ray you to find out if they are broken or just bruised.

    If your bike is damaged send her the bill and get her to pay for it, if she won't send it to her insurance company. She's clearly at fault and there is an independant witness so I can't imagine there will be any problems.

    If you're not out to screw her for any injuries I'd imagine the insurance company will settle very quickly.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Accidents happen - that's why we have insurance - happy to concede with CtC's advice (although don't know anything about broke/bruised ribs - eitherway I believe the cure is rest).
    If your injuries are going to prevent you from working then you need to take any loss of income into consideration when going for an insurance claim - but I'd only claim for monetary loss.
    The wheel may be fine - but it's worth checking over the whole bike carefully - it may have damaged the headtube or forks too - but if she had just a very small scratch and no dents then it's less likely.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    This is why I joined British Cycling, so I can use their legal advice should such an incident occur. CTC are another option I believe.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
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  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    With cracked/broken ribs, try not to: laugh, cough, or sneeze.
    Apply ice and heat to the area; 5 minutes alternating. Some find compression a help.
    Location: ciderspace
  • I have right of way going straight
    It is a public road, you both have right of way ! However, you had priority.
  • Almost identical to the accident I had last year, except the woman in my story was driving the same way as me and cut across the bus lane in front of me to turn into side street.

    I used British Cycling legal team, and was awarded over £3000 for damaged ribs, shoulder and few other minor bits a bobs. like you, no damage to my bike. All settled and cash in my account in less than 3 months from the incident.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    If it's just the bike you want to claim for, speak to her nicely, get it checked out and offer to deal with her direct (remember to make sure they check the forks aren't bent back!).

    If you intend to claim for personal Injury she'll need to talk to her insurance.

    Busted ribs, no strenuous activity, laughing is bad as it tends to get hysterical as you try not to laugh and laugh more, sneezing is just one jolt of pain! Hot and cold doesn't aid bone repair!

    I bust 2 ribs with a front wheel washout on the MTB, was off the bikes for 10 days, then relatively gentle usage for 2 more weeks before I was back on the MTB, they take 6 weeks to heal properly though so there is a risk a minor 'something' could cause them to rebreak if you restart to early.
  • RedWheelsRedWheels Posts: 56
    I am always a fan of reporting an incident. Largely as it adds to statistics which will hopefully be used by campaigning groups and politicians to make our roads safer.
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    I am a big fan of sending petitions to Downing Street with millions of names on them.... Admitedly they don't work as well as direct action, but we all need a niche.
  • RedWheelsRedWheels Posts: 56
    I am a big fan of sending petitions to Downing Street with millions of names on them.... Admitedly they don't work as well as direct action, but we all need a niche.

    Sweet man. Have you tried out those on-line ones?

    Also if you like petitions you should give twitter bombing a go. . . granted it's not got the same satisfaction as scribbling your signature and postcode on a piece of paper, but you still get that kick when you see it starting to trend
  • Ribs have got progressively more painful and Cycle Surgery advised that I should get the carbon frame and handlebars replaced as a collision like this can significantly compromise its strength. I've reported the incident to the police and got in touch with a solicitor to make a personal injury and property damage claim.

    As the week has gone on I'm more and more pissed off about this. Because this woman couldn't be arsed to check before she pulled across a line of oncoming traffic, I've had very painful ribs, had to cut short my training and social life this week due to the discomfort, had extremely uncomfortable commutes and had to spend 5 hours in A and E on a Thursday night until 2.30am and also had the stress of riding on a potentially compromised frame. At first I was chilled out about the whole situation, but as I've thought about it and been more and more put out by this woman's awful driving, I'm more and more determined to push this as far as I am entitled to with the insurance and the police.
  • damocles10damocles10 Posts: 340
    I am currently nursing cracked ribs and it is a miserable existence. While it is slowly getting better, waking up and getting out of bed is the worst for me....I actually heard and felt one pop this morning.....aaarrrgh...

    I wish you a speedy recovery.
  • Doesn't relate to my case at all, but a general question:

    One of the things which the police and the solicitors asked me was "was I wearing a helmet". My natural defensive cyclist spidey sense tingled at this question (I wanted to say "irrelevant"). What does it matter to the police or the compensation claim whether I was wearing a helmet or not? I was wearing a helmet and always do, but if I wasn't, so what? Given wearing a helmet is not a matter of the law, why is this question relevant to them? If I wasn't wearing a helmet and the driver damaged my head (taking her liability for the accident as red), I fail to see how she would be any less liable for the full extent of my injuries than if I was wearing a helmet.

    Is there some nonsense victim blaming contributory negligence factor the courts/police take into account here if you're not wearing a helmet and get a head injury in an accident?
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    Simply - yes.

    Like a pissed person crossing the road and getting wiped out is likely to get less of an award than a sober person.

    There's no law that says you can't cross the road when you've had a bucket load of beer
  • Not really analogous because the drunkenness there would relate to who caused the accident, not the extent of injuries once the accident had been caused (or at least this is how it should be assessed). If the drunk pedestrian wasn't walking dangerously or erratically and the fault was completely drivers then the award should be exactly the same as if the pedestrian was sober. Anything less than that is victim blaming, as is contributory negligence for non-helmet wearing.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Unfortunately your comment

    "Anything less than that is victim blaming, as is contributory negligence for non-helmet wearing."

    is bang on the money, and that's the way it's perceived, unfortunately.
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    Doesn't relate to my case at all, but a general question:

    One of the things which the police and the solicitors asked me was "was I wearing a helmet". My natural defensive cyclist spidey sense tingled at this question (I wanted to say "irrelevant"). What does it matter to the police or the compensation claim whether I was wearing a helmet or not? I was wearing a helmet and always do, but if I wasn't, so what? Given wearing a helmet is not a matter of the law, why is this question relevant to them? If I wasn't wearing a helmet and the driver damaged my head (taking her liability for the accident as red), I fail to see how she would be any less liable for the full extent of my injuries than if I was wearing a helmet.

    Is there some nonsense victim blaming contributory negligence factor the courts/police take into account here if you're not wearing a helmet and get a head injury in an accident?

    I had something similar happen and was asked the same thing, i was even asked if i had lights and reflective clothing on even though it happened in the daylight. Luckily I did (i had set off quite early so it was darker when i left the house) i just answered all the questions but did feel the same as you. It's not really worth arguing the point, it will only affect your claim in a bad way I fear.
    www.conjunctivitis.com - a site for sore eyes
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    For the Police I suspect it's as much (if not more so) about filling in forms to be used for statistics as it is about the actual event in question.

    Contributory negligence is something any court making a finding has to quite rightly consider, whether or not they consider in any particular case that not having a helmet was such is a matter of fact for that court to decide on the evidence of that case. the solicitor will want the answers up front because he won't want it to get to court and doesn't want an insurer to start thinking up reasons for paying less that MAY be found to be relevant in court.
  • Chris Bass wrote:
    ... it happened in the daylight.
    How many lumens is the sun?? Should be sufficient I would think? :D
  • The resolution to this is that her insurance has settled to pay for a new frame for my bike and the labour to fit it as well as a sizeable amount as personal injury compensation.

    Police report was filed a week and a half ago. Haven't heard anything from them yet, but I am going to chase up on Monday. I'm not sure what the likely outcome will be. Any ideas? I think a suitable response would be a compulsory education course with a focus on vulnerable road users. No idea if that is possible or likely though.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    You have the best result you can. I would not fret about the outcome for the other road user to be honest. Leave that to the authorities and get on with life is what i did..
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