Knocked off and need advice.

Cyclopathic

Veteran
Location
Leicester.
On Tuesday afternoon I was knocked off my bike by a woman in a BMW who turned right without bothering to look properly. I don't think that she is contesting that it wasn't her fault and the driver of a subsequent car that I bounced off on my way to the floor said that it wan't my fault.
My injuries though very painful at the time were mercifully not serious and consist of very badly strained abdominal muscles which has hampered movement and been very painful, some wicked looking bruises and some road rash on my arms, shoulders and head.
The police attended very quickly and must have been passing. The ambulance proper (a small ambucar with a paramedic arrived after 10 minutes) was not so fast and arrived after about 20 minutes.

I have not been in this position before and really want some advice on certain aspects of it all. The police have given me some leaflets with the details of the car that hit me and the car that I subsequently hit. The area that I most want advice about is the insurance. I am working from the assumption that the woman that hit me is insured, if not then it's a whole different matter. My main questions are as follows:

1) Do I contact the woman herself or do I contact her insurance company.

2) What will I need to prove the worth of my bike. It was second hand but also custom made. I got it from Cyclemagic in Leicester and had a lot of work done on it to make it exactly how I wanted it. I am fairly sure that I can put my hands on the receipts for the bike and the work. Where do I stand.

3) Can I make a personal injury claim? On the whole I am against the compensation culture so if I was eligable I would not be looking for anything over the odds. I have no wish to embelish my story or to make out that my injuries are worse than they really are, however I have suffered quite a bit of pain at someone elses hand and it has affected me to an extent.
I am really torn about this because as I said I don't really approve of how we have all been encouraged to be more litigious and I certainly do not approve of lawyers making themselves rich off the back of the whole compensation culture. On the other hand I do feel like I have been wronged and more to the point it has had a real and painful effect on my life. I really wouldn't be looking for the big bucks because my suffering is really quite minor compared to what many people suffer, nevetheless I do feel that some token would be apropriate. Can anybody please help me through the moral and practical issues of personal injury claims. Is there any company that are better than others for bike related claims and so on.

In short, help, what do I do?
 

MattHB

Proud Daddy
Do you have any legal advice on your house insurance? If so give that a call and get some proper direction.

You really need some kind of lawyer if you want to make a claim.
 

Sandra6

Veteran
Location
Cumbria
I'm with Matthb- speak to someone with legal experience. If you don't have anyone through your own insurance, try the CAB.
Glad you're ok -ish.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Inform, your insurers and they'll manage the matter. If you're not insured, write to her insurers.

If you're injured then by all means claim for an injury.

Glad to hear that you lived to fight another day :biggrin:
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
One reason we all should take out CTC or BC membership - they will assist you. You can also contact Leigh Day or other cycling solicitors, and they will usually take the case on with injury.

Certainly first move is a cycling specific solicitor.

You can contact the driver for her insurance details, but if you get a solicitor, they will do this for you.

Write down what happened NOW, save it in a folder in your PC - you will refer to this later. Photograph injuries (bruising and road rash) and the damage to your bike.

Don't naturally think your injuries are light, it can take a few weeks for things not to appear normal. From personal experience, it was two weeks before I felt my shoulder wasn't right. Lots of money on Physio (over £2k) then eventually a shoulder operation, followed by a further period of recovery - it's taken 3.5 years to heal up.

Bike - go to your LBS for a damage report - they do this on a regular basis and will give you an idea of replacement value.

Good luck, and just ask us if you aren't sure. There are many of us who have been through this process. The legal side can we very stressful, and getting medical treatment - being fairly fit doesn't help us.
 

PK99

Guru
Location
SW19
1) Do I contact the woman herself or do I contact her insurance company.

2) What will I need to prove the worth of my bike. It was second hand but also custom made. I got it from Cyclemagic in Leicester and had a lot of work done on it to make it exactly how I wanted it. I am fairly sure that I can put my hands on the receipts for the bike and the work. Where do I stand.

3) Can I make a personal injury claim? On the whole I am against the compensation culture so if I was eligable I would not be looking for anything over the odds. I have no wish to embelish my story or to make out that my injuries are worse than they really are, however I have suffered quite a bit of pain at someone elses hand and it has affected me to an extent.
I am really torn about this because as I said I don't really approve of how we have all been encouraged to be more litigious and I certainly do not approve of lawyers making themselves rich off the back of the whole compensation culture. On the other hand I do feel like I have been wronged and more to the point it has had a real and painful effect on my life. I really wouldn't be looking for the big bucks because my suffering is really quite minor compared to what many people suffer, nevetheless I do feel that some token would be apropriate. Can anybody please help me through the moral and practical issues of personal injury claims. Is there any company that are better than others for bike related claims and so on.

In short, help, what do I do?
Sympathies! I had a similar SMIDSY a couple of year ago.

First point: do not assume that your soft tissue injuries will resolve quickly. My ricked back muscles and twisted knee took 18 months to fully resolve and i was off the bike for the best part of a year. Get your self seen by a sport injury Physio ASAP, mine was frustrated that i had spent 3 months going to the NHS whose approach is more educational than hands on and it was only the deep tissue massage that started by back recovering

1 Are you in the CTC? If so hand the whole case over to them. If not contact their solicitors (Russell Jones and Walker) re a no win no fee deal.
Contact her insurance company.

2 Get a "New" price from a reputable LBS and do your own research to have as much documentary evidence as possible. I claimed on my household insurance who subrogated the claim to the drivers insurance. Much quicker than waiting for the whole claim to be settled

3 Yes. My Smidsy screwed up my cycling, family life and social life for a considerable period. I had no qualms at all about claiming compensation for personal injury and neither should you. My total was around 10K including 1k for the bike and £2k medical bills (orthropod, scan and physio - bupa paid and I claimed on his insurance who paid direct to bupa)

PM me if you prefer to discuss this privately.
 

RhythMick

Über Member
Location
Barnsley
There is a very big difference in people who look for ANY excuse to sue someone and people looking for reasonable compensation. You should pursue this without regret or guilt. You didn't cause this accident. You haven't had a detrimental effect on the drivers life.

If for no other reason, if the drivers insurance premiums go up this might be one less careless driver. Protect the rest of us by driving the message home. Personally I'd be telling the driver you are pushing the police to pursue a dangerous driving charge. Of course they'd never listen to you, but anything to make the driver take it seriously and be more careful.
 
OP
Cyclopathic

Cyclopathic

Veteran
Location
Leicester.
Many thanks to you both for that. I think my next move is to the doctors and then the CTC solicitors. As I say I have no wish whatsoever to embellish any of the details because I think that sort of thing is a social ill that helps nobody in the long term. However the point made about making a driver think harder about what they are doing is a very good one. It has to be made clear that there are consequences to wiping out a cyclist or indeed any road or pavement user who is vulnerable.
Both of your comments have given me a bit of moral perspective so I'm off to google the ctc and contact them.
 

Biglad82

Active Member
Can't really give any more advice than what the guys have already given as its all spot on but from experience, (ongoing now waiting for settlement figure, my work place did me no favours other than put me in hospital with pins sticking out at every angle of my foot, so nothing to be ashamed of either) you don't need to embellish stories lie or otherwise, get the claim in let them deal with it all. Oh and keep receipts for every little thing you buy for your injuries, only if it's a 30p pack of pain killers or a £1tub of cream, solicitors love that type of thing, it gets them all wet.......
 

400bhp

Guru
I too can't add anything advice wise but just wanted to point out that it's seems more likely these days people want something for nothing. It's nice too see you taking a moral stand on the personal injury claim. :thumbsup:

Out of interest-the abdominal strains. Was this caused by your body over-contracting, rather than something actually hitting you in the stomach?
 
OP
Cyclopathic

Cyclopathic

Veteran
Location
Leicester.
Again my thanks to everyone who has contributed advice and for your get well messages. Without being all soppy about it these things go a long way to reaffirming ones faith in people.
 

Maz

Legendary Member
Sorry to hear about your injuries, Cyclopathic. The above advice is all sound (personally, I am insured with CTC - thankfully, not needed to contact them). Hope you get a result.
 
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