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What to do when hit by a car (their fault.)

 
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LisaLisa
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: What to do when hit by a car (their fault.) Reply with quote

This is all my opinion,
I AM NOT A LAWYER AND THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.
but it's the result of stuff I've learned.
This is what I would do the next time:

1. If there is no chance of you getting hit by another car, stay down.
Do not pop up. Because of adrenaline, you can't tell if you are injured.
If you must move, crawl carefully to the shoulder and lie still.
Best to let bystanders keep traffic away from you.

2. The only words out of your mouth should be "call 911".
Make the driver do it, and then he will likely say he hit you. On tape.
The cops HAVE to come. Face it, your day/night is shot.
You are not going anywhere. Make the witnesses stay around.
Do not go looking for your license and insurance. The cops will find it on you or your bike.
Close your eyes and take a kip.

3. Do not let them move your bike until the cops come.
It's evidence and it's not hurting you.

4. Yes go in the ambulance. I mean it.
Do not let them take off your helmet until after the x-rays. I mean it. They can x-ray through it.

5. You will hurt the next day, and the next day is when your neck injury often appears.
So just because you are "OK", you are not necessarily OK.
And that soft tissue neck injury takes YEARS to work its way out.

6. Don't pay anything at the hospital. You don't have to.
They can't make you. Let your insurance handle that.

7. Yes, you might miss work for that week you were on pain pills.
The other party's insurance generally will pay you for that eventually in the settlement. At whatever your salary is.

8. GET A LAWYER. I am not kidding about this.
Yes, the lawyer will take 1/3 of your injuries settlement.
But your settlement will probably be that much bigger. This is how the system works.
They collect nothing if you refuse the offer.
Don't talk to the other guy's insurance without a lawyer.

9. Don't be fooled by the other guy's insurance company.
Did you know that after you accept a settlement, your insurance company gets back everything they paid on your behalf?
This is called subrogation. Your settlement is not for your co-pays. It is for EVERYTHING.
All those "This is not a Bill" letters return AS BILLS.
So hey- you accept the settlement for 2500 bucks, because you shelled out about 1000 in copays, etc...
And then... the insurance company bills you for the 3000 they paid.
And your neck still hurts.

More on insurance: if you have a med-pay coverage on yours, they will pay your co-pays.
And then after the settlement they will get that back. Might be worth having.
That way you won't have to decide between continuing treatment and keeping your credit rating.

AGAIN, I AM NOT A LAWYER. THIS IS JUST FRIENDLY ADVICE.

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Last edited by LisaLisa on Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DennisD
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the money! And that soft tissue injury that got you 52 appointments with a massage therapist is still going to come back to haunt you years later. It always does. Part of the settlement should be coverage for any future medical expenses as a result of the accident. Almost fifteen years later mine turned into a hip replacement due to severe arthritis as a result of a "soft tissue" injury. Rolling Eyes Not fun.
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Ms_Kady
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, good tips, thank you! In the unfortunate event that this happens, this is good stuff to know.
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Vic
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This ought to be in the FAQ.

Particularly the bits about don't pop up, even if it feels okay.

I remember a story told to me by one of my clinicals proctors where they had a guy on a motorcycle go down, went out to pick him up and he was sitting on the side of the road. They got him into the squad and into a collar, he was complaining and insisting that he was fine but not outright refusing care.

They got him to the hospital to find out he had a fracture of C3(or C4, I don't remember which) and a pretty serious head injury. He was one head shake away from permanent paralysis from the neck on down, it was stunning to the radiologist that the guy had been found sitting up. They got him into a halo pretty quick, but the first symptom he would have had of that injury was when he suddenly lost everything from the neck on down and it would have been too late. Shocked

Go to the hospital, just because things feel okay (with a drug more powerful than morphine that your body released to help you get through the initial moments dampening all the pain down and the swelling has not had a chance to get going) does not mean nothing is wrong. Everyone here has gone out and done some kind of physical exercise a bit beyond what their body is expecting... It doesn't really get ya until the next day, and the day after that is even worse. No difference. You simply can't know unless you happen to have X-ray vision.

And, scooters can be repaired or replaced. No matter how much you love your scoot, you are more important. Positioning might also be evidence for the cops.

Hopefully, we don't need this info, but...

Be safe out there guys.
-v
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TVB
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: Re: What to do when hit by a car (their fault.) Reply with quote

LisaLisa wrote:
7. Yes, you missed work for that week you were on pain pills.
They will pay you for that. At whatever your salary is.
Who will? What do you base this statement on? It sounds like you're talking about short-term disability insurance, and not everyone has that.
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DennisD
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:51 pm    Post subject: Re: What to do when hit by a car (their fault.) Reply with quote

TVB wrote:
LisaLisa wrote:
7. Yes, you missed work for that week you were on pain pills.
They will pay you for that. At whatever your salary is.
Who will? What do you base this statement on? It sounds like you're talking about short-term disability insurance, and not everyone has that.


Your or the offending party's insurance company.

See #8 - Get a lawyer. And remember, he with the most time wins. Don't be in a hurry to settle.
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TVB
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: What to do when hit by a car (their fault.) Reply with quote

DennisD wrote:
Your or the offending party's insurance company.

My insurance company won't pay it unless short-term disability coverage is included in my policy, and their insurance company won't pay it unless I have a better lawyer than that it does. So it's not as sure a thing as implied.

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DennisD
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From personal experience I can tell you that the first time the offending party's insurance company adjuster contacts you he is going to quickly inform you of all the wonderful things that they are going to do for you because they are concerned about your well being. Then they will quickly try to get you to sign a release with the check they send. As soon as you inform them you have a lawyer and to go through him they will be so offended and tell you how this is going to slow down the process and all they wanted to do was clear things up quickly.

NEVER FORGET - The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. They will spend as little as possible. It might seem like a lot of money to you at first and oh so friendly but it is strictly business to them. Its all about the money. Not you.

By the way, one of those things the adjuster is going to give you is 3 days pay right off the bat to cover the time you take off because you're so sore you can hardly bend. Yes, its automatic. Of course, your mileage may vary... Wink
It has been automatic for me and many people that I know who have experienced it.
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cmac
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great information!
I would rather look over dramatic from a wreck laying on the pavement and feel fine because I did so than looking like a badass trying to walk it off and have permanent damage for the rest of my life.
(Not saying laying on the pavement is over dramatic)
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Lostmycage
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent advice LisaLisa!

Arrow Link added to FAQ

Go ahead and click it, it'll bring you right back here. Don't get dizzy!

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Dooglas
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:10 am    Post subject: Re: What to do when hit by a car (their fault.) Reply with quote

TVB wrote:
My insurance company won't pay it unless short-term disability coverage is included in my policy, and their insurance company won't pay it unless I have a better lawyer than that it does. So it's not as sure a thing as implied.

This thread is about accidents where the other vehicle is a fault. They (owner/operator/insurance co) are liable for damages, injury, lost wages, etc. LisaLisa did not say a fair settlement was a sure thing. She said get a good lawyer. If this happens to you and you don't retain a lawyer - you are a fool. (and - NO - you don't have to find the slickest lawyer in town. You are in the right. You need competent representation and need to avoid agreeing to ill advised settlements from the other side - and they are the OTHER SIDE.)
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TVB
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:02 am    Post subject: Re: What to do when hit by a car (their fault.) Reply with quote

Dooglas wrote:
LisaLisa did not say a fair settlement was a sure thing.

"They will pay..." sure sounds like an assurance. In a list of emphatic advice and a few absolute statements backed up by the law (e.g. the ER must treat you, money or not), that one stuck out because it is not automatically true. Change it to "Demand that they pay..." and I'm OK with it because that's back to giving advice, but the way it's phrased implies a legal right that simply doesn't exist under current US law.

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DennisD
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TVB,

I certainly do hope you never have an accident.
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Dooglas
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: What to do when hit by a car (their fault.) Reply with quote

TVB wrote:
Change it to "Demand that they pay..." and I'm OK with it because that's back to giving advice, but the way it's phrased implies a legal right that simply doesn't exist under current US law.

In the situation we are discussing, there is in fact a liability on the part of the individual at fault under current laws in every US state where I have lived (and I don't think the others are any different). The trick is how you get them to satisfy it. Expect that the reponsible party and their insurer will try to avoid responsibility and avoid payment. That is the purpose of the lawyer - to make the law work for you. Now if you want to let the bimbo who T-bones you while talking about soap operas on her cell phone off the hook for damage and injuries - that is up to you.

On the other hand, remember that my advice is to be sure that you also carry uninsured motorist insurance just in case.
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LisaLisa
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good heavens, I'm not a lawyer!
I am not giving legal advice here!
Just personal advice.

I'm just someone who's felt the pavement and negotiated through these things. TVB, what I meant was, if anyone asks, you DID miss work, even if your work is part time. Because if you couldn't schedule yourself in, that's still a lost opportunity for work.
And for crying out loud, stay home if you can. The most I've made so far was about 50K a year, and that shakes out to an hourly of $24 bucks. That's potentially a loss of $576 for three days off. But I get sick days. Even if I didn't, I would rather lose 576 bucks than have to go to work and not be on the pain pills- since you generally can't drive or work impaired like that. Especially not on the kinds of jobs where they don't give you sick time.

And as far as these settlements go, lost work is a normal part of the settlement. They don't usually fight that- or personal property claims (replacing your scooter, helmet, jacket, etc.) It's "Pain Suffering and Inconvenience" and "Future Medical Claims" that they waffle on.

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