Knocked off bike - what next?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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lilolois
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Joined: 13 May 2022, 6:29am

Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by lilolois »

I was hit by a car at a set of traffic lights on Weds - he was in the right turn lane, and went forward when the lights turned green for going straight ahead (the lights were still red for the lane we were both in). I escaped with just bruises and sore muscles luckily but my bike is a write off (rear wheel twisted, and the rear of the frame bent - the bike shop I went to told me that replacing it outweighs the cost of a new, equivalent bike). Stupidly, I didn't get the guys insurance details although I do have his phone number - when it happened he said he would pay rather than going through insurance to save "hassle" (I know, I know - I wasn't thinking straight to have argued that he needed to give the details to me). He might still pay but its been 2 days and he is not exactly responsive to messages... entirely inevitable.
I filed an online police incident report (a collision report I think it is called). I have the name and number of a witness, as well as photos of his car and my bike under it after the incident. I have 3rd party bike insurance via British Cycling, and my bike is covered for accidents under my home insurance. Could they get his insurance details if I went through my own insurers? Is there anything else I can do now, or have I messed it all up by not getting his details?
Vorpal
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by Vorpal »

The Motor Insurers' Bureau should be able to provide you with the driver's insurance details. It may be worth checking with the police, first, however. The driver *should* have reported the crash, and provided their insurance details, and it's probably a good idea to follow up on your report, anyway.

We have a somewhat dated thread on following this up with the police. viewtopic.php?t=69901

Not everything in that thread still applies, but I think that the most important things do.

And here is a thread on what to do after a crash viewtopic.php?f=1&t=49627 Much of this you seem to already have done.
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Jdsk
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by Jdsk »

Welcome.

As above.

I don't think that you have messed up.

Are you only interested in compensation for damage to the bike, or also for personal injuries, or criminal proceedings?

Jonathan
Nearholmer
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by Nearholmer »

“Messed up” is definitely the wrong way of thinking about it. How many people have total presence of mind after a nasty physical and mental shock? Virtually none I would suggest.

Very much hoping that you are OK.
slowster
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by slowster »

lilolois wrote: 13 May 2022, 6:56am I have 3rd party bike insurance via British Cycling, and my bike is covered for accidents under my home insurance. Could they get his insurance details if I went through my own insurers?
In that case I think you must also have the legal support service that British Cycling provides to members - https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/legalsupport. I suggest you contact BC and put the matter in their hands.

I would not claim on home insurance, because the home insurance will probably only cover damage to the bike, not your injuries nor any other losses, such as damaged clothing, taxi fares, time off work etc. I appreciate that you might not wish to claim for your bruises and sore muscles, but doing so is normal and expected by insurers, and there will be a standard tariff which BC's lawyers will include in the claim. Therefore take some photographs of your bruises to provide as evidence. I would hope that your injuries heal quickly, but very occasionally people in your situation find that their injuries are worse than they initially thought and will take longer to heal, require physiotherapy etc. Moreover, the typically relatively small payments for bruises and grazing etc. can offset what you might consider an inadequate offer for a new bike.
thirdcrank
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by thirdcrank »

Plus one for going straight to the British Cycling cover if you have it.
  • No point in keeping a dog and barking yourself
  • Any delays in referring to the experts is likely to make their job harder and any DIY action you take may make it harder still.
Restrict yourself to things like collecting and preserving evidence, along the lines you have already done.
lilolois
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Joined: 13 May 2022, 6:29am

Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by lilolois »

My main concern is getting compensation for the bike, but I will take photos of my bruises too. I'll contact BC and see what they say.
It's pretty incredible what damage a low speed crash can do - I've cycled for years without anything like this happening.
Thanks everyone.
thirdcrank
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by thirdcrank »

You are in an unfamiliar situation but you need to clarify what you would like to achieve.

In today's circumstances, criminal proceedings - a police file to CPS followed by a prosecution for eg careless driving - is unlikely. Although the Road Traffic Act imposes all sorts of duties on a driver involved in an "accident" if the driver stops and gives things like a genuine phone number then a prosecution for not meticulously following all the requirements of the RTA is very unlikely.

With a civil case - compo - the big concerns involve personal injury, especially if the injury involves disability. This is part of the reason things can seem slow: the extent of injuries and their results can take a while to become certain. In the overall scale of things, replacing a bike would be no big deal for a motor insurance company but they won't want to stump up on that basis and then get "By the way, I've got a permanent back injury and I can't work."

There are all sorts of incalculables. A driver genuinely intending to pay up to avoid the hassle of police and insurance may change their tune if they feel you have not stuck to that deal. An independent witness who would be happy to give a written version to an insurance company investigator may develop amnesia if interviewed as a potential witness by the police.
rareposter
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by rareposter »

There's a (very old) thread here on LFGSS (London Fixed Gear and Single Speed) forum. It turned into a proper mammoth thread but then got edited down and archived as an article. Some of the info might be slightly out of date but the basic process is all in there:

https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/131099/

Read it carefully and thoroughly.
Phone British Cycling ASAP - their insurance and helpline is generally excellent.
Report the incident to the police. From your story, the driver has not (yet) committed any offence other than the obvious one of careless driving and seems to have cooperated reasonably well. However, once he finds out the price of a bike, he may well start changing his story so you absolutely need witness statements and the police to be at least aware of it NOW.

Do not wait on this because witnesses forget things, lose their phone, change their number, go on holiday and all sorts of other stuff that can delay getting a resolution.

A friend had this a while ago - someone pulled out of a side road and hit him, writing off the bike. The driver offered him £200 for it, desperate not to involve insurance. Friend said put a zero on the end and multiply it by 5. (yes, it really was a £10,000 bike). The driver immediately accused the cyclist of taking the mickey, trying to profiteer, trying to rip him off cos everyone knows that bikes cost £200 at Halfords. Took a lot of back and forth before the driver's insurance paid out in full.

Good luck and I hope you're OK.
lilolois
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by lilolois »

Thanks, that is a useful link and really helpful advice @rareposter

And thanks @thirdcrank, I appreciate what you are saying and it is indeed an unfamiliar situation. I wasn't thinking of going down any criminal proceedings route, and I hope I can avoid any issues with insurance. At the end of the day, my bike is ruined - it was my main mode of transport, I use it for commuting and now I can't. A new bike with the same spec as my old one is a lot more today than I have to hand. Now i can think straighter I want to make sure I have the best chance of getting at least some payment towards a new bike.
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TrevA
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by TrevA »

My son was knocked off in similar circumstances. He was 14 at the time. We were out on a ride together, but he had a habit of riding off and then waiting for me, so I was not present when the accident happened, and arrived about 5 minutes later. He was hit from behind, knocked off, cuts and bruises and a damaged bike. The guy got out of his car, said he was going to pull around the corner and promptly drove off. We reported it to the Police and then successfully claimed from the Motor Insurance Bureau.

Don’t expect a quick outcome, it took almost a year for the claim to be settled but he did get £1500 in compensation. The bike wasn’t a total write off so we took photos and kept a record of repair costs, which only amounted to about £75. The majority of the settlement was for the injury and “pain and suffering”.
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Jdsk
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by Jdsk »

Jdsk wrote: 13 May 2022, 8:18am Are you only interested in compensation for damage to the bike, or also for personal injuries, or criminal proceedings?
lilolois wrote: 13 May 2022, 3:30pmI wasn't thinking of going down any criminal proceedings route, and I hope I can avoid any issues with insurance.
Thanks.

You need to make this decision as early as possible. If you are getting legal advice they'll be very used to the issues involved in making it.

Jonathan
rareposter
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Re: Knocked off bike - what next?

Post by rareposter »

lilolois wrote: 13 May 2022, 3:30pm I wasn't thinking of going down any criminal proceedings route, and I hope I can avoid any issues with insurance. At the end of the day, my bike is ruined - it was my main mode of transport, I use it for commuting and now I can't. A new bike with the same spec as my old one is a lot more today than I have to hand. Now i can think straighter I want to make sure I have the best chance of getting at least some payment towards a new bike.
Cost today isn't really relevant. Insurance works on a new for old basis and the situation you're in now requires that you are put back to the same position you were in before the crash - ie, on a bike as near as possible the exact equivalent of what you had.

Imagine if the guy had crashed into your Porsche. You would not be happy to be offered cash price for a Ford Fiesta on the grounds that it's basically still a car. You need to be given the same Porsche.

There's not really any harm doing it outside of insurance, if that's what the guy wants. He might be afraid of his premiums being hiked or there's always the possibility that he doesn't have insurance in which case it's definitely a police matter. If he's paying you cash, make absolutely certain he's paying you the full amount for a new equivalent bike. Not just "a bit of it" or "a contribution to..." Full RRP of a similar replacement. Note that if you do accept cash from him, any court case later will regard you as having settled so do not accept "half now, half later" as if he pays you half now then disappears, you'll never get the other half. Similarly don't accept "a contribution" because the courts will simply look at that as a final settlement.

It's this that is potentially the sticking point as I mentioned before if he decides that bikes don't cost that much in which case he'll have no option but to go the insurance route and you may have no option but to go to the police more formally.
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