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Hit By Taxi - Legal Advice Needed

ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
edited March 2017 in Commuting general
Morning guys...

Well last nights commute was eventful!

Cycling down Wandsworth Bridge Road in the cycle lane.

Stationary traffic (rush hour).

I'm doing about 35kph when all of a sudden a taxi door opens directly in front of me and BANG.

I hit the side of the door not the flat / face of the door.

Go flying in the air, hit kerb, tree and land in a pile on the floor. Helmet defo saved my life!

Bike is somewhere down the road in pieces.

Loads of witnesses and police turn up 20 mins later.

I'm still on the floor not moving since my right arm and right leg don't feel right.

Lots of neighbours come out to ask if I need anything. I did take a blanket off one lovely old lady since it was freezing. Lucky I was in my winter bib tights and jacket!

Ambulance turns up TWO HOURS after the incident and they carry out first and secondary surveys on me and manage to get me up on to my good leg and into the back of the ambulance.

First checks were soft tissue damage to right forearm and right knee. X-rays to follow.....

Anyway, I can heal, but I'm more concerned about my bike which is worth on paper about £5k....

The police have given me paperwork and said the taxi driver is 100% at fault since he never made an attempt to pull over to the kerb to let his passenger out.

How do I go about claiming and getting my bike fixed? Do I just speak to the taxi company he works for?

The driver was a proper tool as well, he was arguing with me as I lay on the pavement in a tangled mess. If I could have stood up, he would have been the one needing an ambulance.

Anywho, any help / advice will be greatly appreciated.

Stay safe guys,

Ryan
'17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
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Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Ouch. Glad you aren't too badly hurt - that could have been a lot worse. You were flying.

    http://www.bikeline.co.uk/

    I know they've done good work for friends of mine. You do need professional help.

    In the meantime - photos of everything and the injuries and damage and keep all your paperwork.
    Heal well.
  • Engage a lawyer and take him for a very large amount of money.
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    Jeez that sounds nasty - I still have the scars from the time I was doored. Glad you are ok - for a limited definition of OK. And damn shame about the cervelo - that's just wrong.

    If you are member of British Cycling - then they should be first call. Otherwise Lawyers - hopefully specialist cyclist claim.

    1. Notes of all phone calls (time/date/names/scribble what is discussed).
    2. Keep all receipts
    3. Do not do anything precipitate - but, on the other hand, do not let the other side sap your resolve with delays
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 403
    As the third party is at fault and this is documented, I'd just deal direct with their insurer. Make a call to any insurance provider you have to ask advice and keep them in the loop.

    I'm no expert (so please let me know if I'm wrong), but I have had to deal with insurers in the past for car incidents that haven't been my fault. General advice I have received is to go straight to third party when liability isn't being disputed.

    The third party insurer will want to keep things as smooth as possible as they will ultimately have to pay out.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    imatfaal wrote:
    Jeez that sounds nasty - I still have the scars from the time I was doored. Glad you are ok - for a limited definition of OK. And damn shame about the cervelo - that's just wrong.

    If you are member of British Cycling - then they should be first call. Otherwise Lawyers - hopefully specialist cyclist claim.

    1. Notes of all phone calls (time/date/names/scribble what is discussed).
    2. Keep all receipts
    3. Do not do anything precipitate - but, on the other hand, do not let the other side sap your resolve with delays


    Just spoke to BC who are getting their solicitors to contact me.

    Thanks for the heads up, didn't even know my Silver membership had this cover.

    Will keep you informed of the progress.
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,372
    benws1 wrote:
    I'd just deal direct with their insurer.
    Not wise in my experience - I was fobbed off for ages until I called in lawyers, who quickly got their "offer" tripled.
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    Last century when I was at university I got hit by a taxi outside the train station and so I went to the student health place and the doctor called the police and got me taken to a mental hospital! My parents went mad, my department went mad, the nurses queried wtf I was doing there and there were some really serious cases there! I stayed in (locked in) overnight and the consultant asked me if I wanted to top myself - I explained that I wanted to go to my maths class and then we had a chat about why some people are good at maths and some are not and I taught him how to calculate the definite integral of e**x**2 using a really clever trick and he released me. I don't think he was to impressed with the university doctor. (or integral calculus).
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 403
    FishFish wrote:
    Last century when I was at university I got hit by a taxi outside the train station and so I went to the student health place and the doctor called the police and got me taken to a mental hospital! My parents went mad, my department went mad, the nurses queried wtf I was doing there and there were some really serious cases there! I stayed in (locked in) overnight and the consultant asked me if I wanted to top myself - I explained that I wanted to go to my maths class and then we had a chat about why some people are good at maths and some are not and I taught him how to calculate the definite integral of e**x**2 using a really clever trick and he released me. I don't think he was to impressed with the university doctor. (or integral calculus).

    Five little monkeys jumping on a bed. One fell off and banged his head. Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said, 'no more monkeys jumping on the bed.'
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    Mummy should have called the vet rather than waste NHS resources. Name and shame please.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,495
    benws1 wrote:
    FishFish wrote:
    Last century when I was at university I got hit by a taxi outside the train station and so I went to the student health place and the doctor called the police and got me taken to a mental hospital! My parents went mad, my department went mad, the nurses queried wtf I was doing there and there were some really serious cases there! I stayed in (locked in) overnight and the consultant asked me if I wanted to top myself - I explained that I wanted to go to my maths class and then we had a chat about why some people are good at maths and some are not and I taught him how to calculate the definite integral of e**x**2 using a really clever trick and he released me. I don't think he was to impressed with the university doctor. (or integral calculus).

    Five little monkeys jumping on a bed. One fell off and banged his head. Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said, 'no more monkeys jumping on the bed.'


    Four little monkeys ....

    Three little monkeys ....

    Two little monkeys ....

    One little monkey ....

    No little Monkeys jumping on the bed, they are jumping on the sofa instead!! ;)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    I'm not sure this is 100% the Taxi drivers fault to be honest, I foresee the taxi's insurer stating its the passenger who opened the door's fault and they aren't liable. Hopefully you have their details.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    It's up to the driver of a vehicle to make sure it's safe.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,534
    Defo solicitor. British cycling help with this because they underwrite any costs if you dont win and point you at someone reputable.

    The drivers insurance company may choose to debate liability regardless of what the driver/police say. And I am guessing the police said this to you verbally rather than providing written statement of liability? They may well not contest it but you never know.

    Certainly dont deal with his insurance direct. They wont respect you and will always lowball you, may even refuse to deal with you unless you appoint a solicitor.

    Oh - and dont expect anything to happen quickly - I got knocked of (by a taxi) on 19th Feb last year. It was a few months before they made an interim payment out for the trashed bike and clothes etc and am still working on the injury part...
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    Just back from hospital.

    I've got a broken radial bone in my right arm and in a sling.

    Right leg has a possible break (specialist waiting to confirm) and MCL is f**ked... They've got me in one of those Robocop leg braces at the min.
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,534
    Sorry to hear that but all too common to think you are OK after the accident only to find out later that you are not, once the adrenaline has gone down and the inflammation has gone up! I had broken collarbone and knackered ligaments in my shoulder - now a year later am about 80% healed but who knows if I will ever reach 100%. Be careful with the sling - what happened to me is that keeping the arm totally immobile (as I was instructed to do!) meant the capsule for the shoulder closed up around the joint and I needed an operation 6 months later to open it up again to try and get proper movement back.

    Deffo needs solicitor without a doubt now. They will want all sorts to document everything. Start keeping a daily diary of what you can/cant do each day, when you need help from someone as a carer, costs for parking/taxis/lost work etc. Documenting everything is key.

    There is a book which is hard for normal people to get hold of but the solicitors and insurance companies have it - this lists the range of payouts for different injuries. They wont tell you but they will know immediately what you are likely to get. But that is now secondary to you unless you are living on the breadline - all you will want is to get your body working again. Keep working hard towards this - there will come a time a few weeks or months in, when motivation may start to flag but if you stop the exercises/stretches etc then you will stop clawing back functionality and plateau at that point often. Swimming has been my saviour for when I was not able to cycle - as well as giving me an outlet, its a great way to loosen joints, get stronger and regain mobility.
  • apreading wrote:
    Be careful with the sling - what happened to me is that keeping the arm totally immobile (as I was instructed to do!) meant the capsule for the shoulder closed up around the joint and I needed an operation 6 months later to open it up again to try and get proper movement back..

    give or take the odd bone this is exactly what happened to me... keep that arm moving. Hopefully they told you to do a pendulum motion.. if so do it relentlessly as you do not want a frozen shoulder.
    http://www.healthline.com/health/fitnes ... houlders#2

    apreading did you get the frozen shoulder added to you claim or did insurers dispute the accident was the cause?
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,534
    apreading did you get the frozen shoulder added to you claim or did insurers dispute the accident was the cause?

    Hopefully - I went to see an independant shoulder expert before the operation in October and they wrote a report saying it was. I am going back for a review with them in the next few weeks and then we are hopefully, finally sending it all off to the insurers to see what they say. I think the broken bones trumps the shoulder in the book though, and from what I understand it is the value of the most notable medical issue which is the primary driver around payout. Aviva will be hoping they dont dispute the frozen shoulder though because they paid for the arthroscopic capsular release surgery an subsequent physio and will expect to claim it back from the insurers in addition to my payout.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    Cheers chaps.

    I've had 3 reconstructive shoulder operations on my right shoulder, so know all about that! Lol

    Luckily the shoulder didn't take the brunt of the impact, it was all my forearm (radial head), hence the fracture.

    Solicitors are on the case (British Cycling have been excellent).
    I've been told that I need to take the bike to a LBS and get them to write a report on it noting all the damage etc.

    Will get some pics up when I'm rested, front carbon wheel is smashed (£1,700 wheelset), frame is warped / twisted along the top tube. Full write off. On paper it's around £5/5.5k. Bloody hope it gets sorted!
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    cooldad wrote:
    It's up to the driver of a vehicle to make sure it's safe.
    No, its upto the person opening the door to make sure its safe, the driver could have a contributory negligence, but the primary responsibility clearly lies with the person with their hand on the door.
  • apreading wrote:
    apreading did you get the frozen shoulder added to you claim or did insurers dispute the accident was the cause?

    Hopefully - I went to see an independant shoulder expert before the operation in October and they wrote a report saying it was. I am going back for a review with them in the next few weeks and then we are hopefully, finally sending it all off to the insurers to see what they say. I think the broken bones trumps the shoulder in the book though, and from what I understand it is the value of the most notable medical issue which is the primary driver around payout. Aviva will be hoping they dont dispute the frozen shoulder though because they paid for the arthroscopic capsular release surgery an subsequent physio and will expect to claim it back from the insurers in addition to my payout.

    I only broke an acroniom so in sling for 6 weeks. The 6 months of freezing followed by god knows how many months of rehab has to be worth more?

    I am with AXA and they gave me the lawyer as they want their costs back.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,534
    apreading wrote:
    apreading did you get the frozen shoulder added to you claim or did insurers dispute the accident was the cause?

    Hopefully - I went to see an independant shoulder expert before the operation in October and they wrote a report saying it was. I am going back for a review with them in the next few weeks and then we are hopefully, finally sending it all off to the insurers to see what they say. I think the broken bones trumps the shoulder in the book though, and from what I understand it is the value of the most notable medical issue which is the primary driver around payout. Aviva will be hoping they dont dispute the frozen shoulder though because they paid for the arthroscopic capsular release surgery an subsequent physio and will expect to claim it back from the insurers in addition to my payout.

    I only broke an acroniom so in sling for 6 weeks. The 6 months of freezing followed by god knows how many months of rehab has to be worth more?

    I am with AXA and they gave me the lawyer as they want their costs back.

    Do you have a solicitor representing you in the claim too? Normally the insurance company just get your solicitor to claim their costs back for them - thats what is happening in my case.

    And in the book the possible knock on effects of the break needing follow on rehap etc are factored in. Thats why there is a band. I think in my case for broken collarbone the band is between £4K and £10K, with the lower end being with no real complications and all sorted in 3-6 months. I think that in my case (and yours) we will be at the top of the band for our broken bone because we have suffered most of the likely complications.

    Was your rehap just stretches and physio? or did you have the keyhole surgery like me? I had plateaued after 6 months of rehab alone and without an operation to cut away the tissue causing the frozen shoulder then all the stretching in the world wasnt going to solve it. Been going swimming 5-6 times a week, which has been a great help and got me a long way, the best thing (apart from the operation) was the acupuncture that the physio did regularly to release the constantly tightening muscles. I now finally have 50% of the lateral rotation that I was lacking and hopeful that will get more over the next few months but probably never 100% again.
  • apreading wrote:
    apreading wrote:
    apreading did you get the frozen shoulder added to you claim or did insurers dispute the accident was the cause?

    Hopefully - I went to see an independant shoulder expert before the operation in October and they wrote a report saying it was. I am going back for a review with them in the next few weeks and then we are hopefully, finally sending it all off to the insurers to see what they say. I think the broken bones trumps the shoulder in the book though, and from what I understand it is the value of the most notable medical issue which is the primary driver around payout. Aviva will be hoping they dont dispute the frozen shoulder though because they paid for the arthroscopic capsular release surgery an subsequent physio and will expect to claim it back from the insurers in addition to my payout.

    I only broke an acroniom so in sling for 6 weeks. The 6 months of freezing followed by god knows how many months of rehab has to be worth more?

    I am with AXA and they gave me the lawyer as they want their costs back.

    Do you have a solicitor representing you in the claim too? Normally the insurance company just get your solicitor to claim their costs back for them - thats what is happening in my case.

    And in the book the possible knock on effects of the break needing follow on rehap etc are factored in. Thats why there is a band. I think in my case for broken collarbone the band is between £4K and £10K, with the lower end being with no real complications and all sorted in 3-6 months. I think that in my case (and yours) we will be at the top of the band for our broken bone because we have suffered most of the likely complications.

    Was your rehap just stretches and physio? or did you have the keyhole surgery like me? I had plateaued after 6 months of rehab alone and without an operation to cut away the tissue causing the frozen shoulder then all the stretching in the world wasnt going to solve it. Been going swimming 5-6 times a week, which has been a great help and got me a long way, the best thing (apart from the operation) was the acupuncture that the physio did regularly to release the constantly tightening muscles. I now finally have 50% of the lateral rotation that I was lacking and hopeful that will get more over the next few months but probably never 100% again.

    The insurance co suggested the lawyers but I am the primary claimant. They tried an injection that did not work then had op 3 weeks ago. I did this June 23rd so am 4 months behind you. My shoulder is fully released but just need to get it moving on it's own. Thanks for the tips on swimming and acupuncture. Good luck with rehab and the claim.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    The Rookie wrote:
    cooldad wrote:
    It's up to the driver of a vehicle to make sure it's safe.
    No, its upto the person opening the door to make sure its safe, the driver could have a contributory negligence, but the primary responsibility clearly lies with the person with their hand on the door.

    Incorrect.

    The taxi driver by law is obliged to pull over and to let passengers out in a safe place.

    The driver in this case took money from the client in the middle of the road and made no effort to pull up to the kerb to let the passenger out.

    This resulted in a 94kg lump ploughing into his door at 35kph...

    Imagine what could have happened if the passenger had stepped out?!
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    The Rookie wrote:
    Go on, I'll bite, which law?

    I'm just referencing what the solicitors have said.

    I know they're not lawyers, but the policeman also said it's illegal for taxis to drop passengers off in the middle of the road.
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    The Rookie wrote:
    Go on, I'll bite, which law?

    It isn't normally gonna be a law unless you are looking at criminality - and that will remain with the passenger. In fact I think one of the Road Traffic Offences Acts even specifies that passengers are included in legislation. But for a claim you are not looking at criminal culpability - you are looking at civil liability. You need to show a duty of care, a breach of that duty, a causal link, and proved injury. A driver in charge of a motor vehicle has a duty of care to other road users, he has failed in that duty by allowing a passenger in a car he is in control of to open a door in breach of the law, an innocent cyclist has been unable to avoid hitting that door, injury has followed
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    All agreed, which is why I called out the 'it's the law' BS wherever it came from.

    Of course the driver has a liability, but it's not a duty of care in civil cases it's negligeance, he may or may not have been negligent we don't know, for example if he told the passenger he could open the door 'now' he was negligent if he told him not to and wait and the passenger did anyway he had a lot less liability from whatever teh starting point is, whether pulling over would have been better or worse than dropping off where he was we don't know as we don't have the information.

    If it was a stationary queue and no indication it would imminently be moving and possible for him to pull over at all in a reasonable period of time then letting the passenger out where they were was probably not of itself negligent, imagine being stuck due to an incident for hours and telling a passenger they have to stay in a taxi with the meter running for 3 hours until he can pull over......not going to happen is it (I know that's an extreme but the sensible option lies somewhere between the two).

    The police indication of culpability at the scene is for statistical purposes and while it will be the officers opinion it is not at all definitive and if it got to court he would need to be a witness to back up that assessment.

    I wish him all the best with the claim but silly comments like, the taxi driver automatically being liable, do not help!

    I suspect any offer will look at contributory negligeance from a rider doing that speed alongside a stationary queue, like it or not it's what any sensible defendant would try and utilise to minimise any claim.
  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    So I'm not allowed to cycle down a designated clear cycle lane, under the roads speed limit, with two front lights (one flash, one permanent), high-viz clothing, which has just been repainted to make it even clearer?

    Don't talk such rubbish.

    The taxi driver accepted money and allowed his passenger to exit the car in the middle of the road.

    IF he had indicated and pulled over to the kerb, I would have had time to react, slow down, or go round the taxi.

    None of that happened and that's why I'm stuck at home in a sling and a leg brace.
    '17 Focus Mares Force 1 --- '19 Cervélo S5 Disc Di2

    IG: RhinosWorkshop - Check it out for all my custom builds...
  • Ryan, I'm on your side, I really am, and I suspect The Rookie is too. However, I think he is just highlighting that there will be legal "opponents", some would say sharks, that you will come up against. These sharks will try to paint a very different picture to the one you encountered in reality, to try and minimise or even to negate entirely the financial outlay for their clients. And believe me, insurance companies employ some of the best sharks out there. I have come across them at first hand. That's why anyone in your position needs a good brief as well. Good luck mate, and I hope you get every last penny due to you.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Ryan, as above I'm on your side, but if it comes to a fight, you don't want to go in with one hand behind your back.

    I didn't say you shouldn't cycle in that manner, I was saying be prepared for them to try and use it, like the cases where they try and pay less if the rider isn't wearing a helmet even if there is no head injury.

    Unless you KNOW exactly what happened inside the taxi then you cannot say how much blame is attributable to the driver, do you have the name of the of the passenger as it would be better to make them jointly liable and let any court (if it gets that far) decide on the balance, but I would fully expect the taxi drivers insurer to try and pass the blame to the passenger who, after all, was the person who actually opened the door and not the driver.

    You asked for legal advice and I'm trying to help by giving it, if you didn't want any advice based on some experience but merely someone to agree with you then say so and I'll stop trying to give the advice YOU asked for!
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