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Cycle Accident/Injury - Not my fault!

Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
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?

Long version

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.

Mr_Grinch on
Steam: Sir_Grinch
PSN: SirGrinchX
Xbox Live: SirGrinch X

Posts

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Cynical, but I say I would rather screw the taxi driver than you get screwed.

    I seen plenty of times where people don't go through insurance because they don't want to be dicks and it ends up bad. Look out for yourself.

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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Honestly, I would say your best option is a solicitor, especially since you've been injured. You can legitimately claim compensation for your injury and the damage to the bike (whether it can be repaired or has to be replaced).

  • ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    If you're in the UK then I doubt you're going to need to sue or anything for healthcare. Just go see a doc and get that shit x-ray-ed. If you're going to be unable to work, then yeah, you can sue for compensation. Doesn't sound like you need to, though.

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  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The taxi driver was completely in the wrong, the accident was his fault, and you've a willing witness. You are in the right, completely. He is a stupid person who shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel of a vehicle - yes, I've also been knocked off my bike, squished by a bus, and run over by a motorcyclist, all who said they didn't see me. try looking!

    You could sue him quite legitimately for the damage to your bike and yourself, he should be very grateful you haven't. Yet.

    Contact the taxi driver, explain the problems with the bike repair, and the continuing problems with your elbow, and tell him you don't really want to go through your insurance companies, but need a bike. Tell him how much a new bike will cost. If he's sensible, he'll offer a new bike to you. If he's a pillock, he'll refuse, you'll know where you stand, and he'll know he'll take a hit on his insurance.

    About your elbow, you need to make sure there's no permanent, long term damage. You need your elbow to work. Go and get it checked out.

    I also know of a good solicitor if you decide you need one!

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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I also know of a good solicitor if you decide you need one!

    I can similarly make recommendations, but I work in insurance so my interaction with them is from the opposite side. Any recommendation from me would be along the lines of "these people are professional, reasonable, and easy to deal with" which is certainly not the case for all personal injury solicitors, and means their stuff tends to get dealt with quickly and amicably (which would be to your benefit, as the claimant).

  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I don't have any real advice here but I must say that sounds like the most pleasant cyclist-hit-by-car incident I've ever heard of.

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  • SkyCaptainSkyCaptain Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The sooner the better, so that your witness will remember.

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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Cheers for the advice folks. Gave him a ring, he's said to give it till the start of February for the part to come in, if it's not in then he'll be willing to spring for a new bike.

    Saltiness: Except for the pain on hitting the car/ground, it was quite a pleasant experience. Everyone was very friendly.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Xbox Live: SirGrinch X
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    It's cause you're in England. You're all so proper and well behaved.

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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Kyougu wrote: »
    It's cause you're in England. You're all so proper and well behaved.

    I didn't invite him in for tea though.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Xbox Live: SirGrinch X
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    This is what you have insurance for. Let them represent you.

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  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited January 2010
    I dunno about your insurance but in BC if you're at fault in an accident you can buy out the claim and it won't affect your insurance premiums.

    Spoiler:
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    eternalbl wrote: »
    I dunno about your insurance but in BC if you're at fault in an accident you can buy out the claim and it won't affect your insurance premiums.

    Not the case in the UK. Some insurers will allow you to do this but they aren't obliged to. It's to balance the fact that the insurer is required by the Road Traffic Act to deal with any valid third party claim, with or without the co-operation of policyholder (In other words, if you hit someone, and they approach your insurer, your insurer must deal with that claim whether you want them to or not. In practice they'll try to do it with you involved, but there are statuatory time limits involved).

  • eternalbleternalbl Registered User
    edited January 2010
    japan wrote: »
    eternalbl wrote: »
    I dunno about your insurance but in BC if you're at fault in an accident you can buy out the claim and it won't affect your insurance premiums.

    Not the case in the UK. Some insurers will allow you to do this but they aren't obliged to. It's to balance the fact that the insurer is required by the Road Traffic Act to deal with any valid third party claim, with or without the co-operation of policyholder (In other words, if you hit someone, and they approach your insurer, your insurer must deal with that claim whether you want them to or not. In practice they'll try to do it with you involved, but there are statuatory time limits involved).

    Not to push the point, but even if ICBC, which is my insurance holder, handles a claim caused by me I can buy it out before my next renewal to avoid my premiums being increased. Not like I can tell them I don't want them to process the claim, but I can take monetary responsibility and have it removed from my record.

    Edit: NM, I have a short attention span and was responding to the part about a person not wanting a claim dealt with having forgotten the first half of your post.

    Spoiler:
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