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TLDR I'll put this at the top to spare you even scrolling. I got knocked off my push bike by a taxi driver. Bike is broken, wheel needs replacing, he's offered to pay for repairs but repairs are taking 2 months+. Could potentially get bike back quicker if I report through my insurance but then his insurance will be contacted and I'll feel a dick, additionally I may not get the same type of bike back and my premium MAY increase. I also need to go back to hospital as my elbow still feels a bit fucked. What to do?
I'm after opinions on what to do. First off a quick story, I'll keep it as brief as I can (I probably won't):
On the 22nd of December I was cycling home, whistling a merry tune to myself on my folding bike. Now Foldy has served me well for the four months I've owned him, he comes on the train with me (my commute involves a 2 mile cycle, 25minute train journey followed by a shorter cycle) and almost lives in the boot of my car.
I was in a cycle lane, on the home side of my commute, with my lights on. A taxi pulled out of a block of flats. He didn't see me, so I pulled out a bit to avoid smashing in to him, unfortunately he wasn't heading straight down the road, he was doing a U turn and going the other way. So he still didn't see me and plowed straight in to me. I hit the front right of his car (right on the light), flew over my bike, bounced off the bonnet and scraped along the car. After swearing rather loudly I picked myself up, a bit bruised and sore and pulled my bike out of the row.
By this point plenty of cars had stopped and people were encouraging me to go to A&E (I must have made it look quite dramatic). The taxi driver apologised and said he didn't see me. I folded the bike as best I could (it was a bit twisted) and put it in the back of the taxi, he drove me home. On the way home he was holding his head in his hand. I asked him if he was ok and he just said he had a headache, which is the reason he didn't see me.
He dropped me at home and said he'd pay for repairs to Foldy. Just as he was about to leave another car pulled up, it was a woman that saw me fly off the bike. She came over to me and gave me her name and number and told me she'd be happy to be an independant witness.
I hobbled in to my house, phoned the police to report it (everyone I spoke to insist I do that just so it's on the record) and was told by them to get to hospital. I spoke to my Mother too, she insisted I go to hospital. Not wanting to disobey the boss (my Mam) I thought it best to go to A&E. I got the once over and, whilst bruised, they didn't think anything was too bad, though it's possible I've chipped the cap on my elbow. She said if it still hurt in a couple of weeks to go back.
So that's us almost up to date. I put the bike in to the shop the next day, here's where the problem begins. The replacement wheel still isn't in stock, apparently Dahon (the manufacturer of the bike) is changing suppliers at present and everyone is struggling to get the part. I tried a couple of other bike stores out of curiosity and got the same story. I've checked online and I can't source a wheel myself. It's now been a month and I'm without Foldy.
I've got an old spare bike which gets me from my house to the station, but it's a pain in the arse to get on the train being it's a full size one. I don't necessarily NEED a bike on the other end, my main use for one is that I do a lot of climbing and on my lunch break two or three times a week I visit a climbing wall which is two miles away, far too far to walk. I find it brilliantly relaxing and fantastic exercise.
I've got a couple of options:
a) Hang fire and wait another month or more for the wheel.
b) Buy a new bike then sell my old one when I get it back.
c) I've reported the accident today to my house insurance company (I have extra pedal bike cover) they could potentially contact the taxi driver and attempt to claim off his insurance. They wouldn't repair my bike, they would send me another. However this other bike would just be "of similar spec", I could potentially end up with anything.
d) Phone the taxi driver and ask him to pay for a new bike (not likely!)
I've also got to go back to hospital at some point to get my arm x-rayed, it still hurts if I lean on it or if I fall on it when climbing. I can also feel a kind of dent on the cap which isn't there on the other arm.
I'm not an ambulance chaser, I don't want to screw the taxi driver out of money so I want to be fair no matter what happens. If I choose option (c) then his insurance company will be contacted which I feel may be a bit of a dick move on my behalf after he offered to pay for repairs.
So, opinions? Oh, I'm in the UK if that matters at all.
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