In an accident? - My experience in dealing with damage

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Postby Strawburger » 07 Dec 2010, 15:47

Hi All,

Some of you may be aware that i was involved in an accident. I had no idea what the process was once the accident happened so i have decided to write a bit of a guide on how to deal with an accident. Hopefully most people will read this and never have one and never need this, others may read this before they have one and have prior knowledge, and for those few who will be reading this as a where to from here. It is my own personal experience and some things may vary from accident to accident. This is not a legal document, nor have i any legal experience so use this as you see fit.

I will break this up into parts/stages. Please add into this document any details i have missed or have been outdated!

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Postby Strawburger » 07 Dec 2010, 15:56

Part 1: The accident!

Ok, so you have been involved in an accident. What should you do?

1. Check to see if you are ok. The bike can wait! If you can move, try to remove yourself from any danger. Remain calm! No-one needs a shouting match!
2. If you aren't ok, ask someone around if they can help you.
3. Find any witnesses, ask for number plates! So many people forget to get the rego number and remember well after the vehicle has left the scene.
4. Best bet - phone a friend. 000 is a good start. Get the police involved if you require any sort of medical attention, ambulance too. The police will take all details and get any witness accounts. Any police report will be 100 times more valuable than witness accounts. Do not underestimate this fact nor underestimate the need to call one at the scene.
5. Get their details. Whatever you do, do not discuss the accident in detail with the other party. This may confuse things with them and in some cases, they may decide to leave the scene! Keep your thoughts to yourself as to who is in the wrong.
6. Take any photos you can of the accident on your phone. Something is better than nothing! Check the bike over for any damage but do not try to make an expert judgement on what is damaged or how much it should cost - leave that to the experts.

Next part 2 - Asking for money....

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Postby Strawburger » 07 Dec 2010, 16:50

Part 2: Asking for money

So you are in the right and the person at fault agreed to pay for the damages at the scene. But most often words do not exactly materialise into cash. What should you do?

1. Get a quote from the LBS. Best off going to the shop you bought it from, but if that's not easy, your LBS should do the trick. Some change up to $30 for the quote. Keep the receipt!
2. Call the person at fault. Let them know you have the quote and ask how they intend to pay. Before telling them how much the repairs are, ask for their insurance company. If they are uninsured, ask them for their address (if you don't have it already). If they change their mind and don't want them to pay, remind them that they are in the wrong and they must pay/claim (i believe it is illegal to not claim on their insurance but someone here may be able to clarify that).
3. If they agree to pay, get them to send a money order. Cheques are sometimes dodgy.
4. If they don't agree to pay, send them a Letter of Demand. The good folk down in Marrickville legal centre can help out drafting a letter up. Their website is here: MLC. This is a free service as long as you live in the area. The at fault person has 14 days to respond to the letter and hopefully if they are good folk they will pay or agree to do part payments.
4a. Start keeping a record of all phone calls, letters, expenses and the like.
5. If this step fails, we are off to the courts!

Next Part 3 - The courts!
Last edited by Strawburger on 08 Dec 2010, 10:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Trouty » 07 Dec 2010, 19:18

Thanks Strawburger. That will be really helpful. I am at the moment awaiting confirmation from the Insurance company about my claims. Some thing to add. Take photos at the scene of other things other than the bike. Eg: My prescription glasses were run over by a car, and the Garmin was also damaged. All these photos help by the time the police report comes in.

Also even if you don't think you are seriously injured, it pays to go to the Dr or medical centre and get checked out. A letter from them is also helpful to add to the police report file. This also helps if injuries come up at a later date that you weren't aware of at the time.

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Postby Strawburger » 08 Dec 2010, 10:42

Part 1a - Insurance.

I was thinking about this last night and should probably include insurance. This is a hazy area so i will add some smoke into the haze! So what are you covered for?


If you are travelling to or from work, then workcover should cover you. See your HR manager or equivalent at work on the process.
If you are travelling to or from a cycling race, then your CA licence covers you. Cycling Australia Insurance details.
Compulsory Third Party of the other vehicle (if you are not at fault)
If you are insured with Bicycle NSW, they will cover you for the rest Bicycle NSW
I should note that these will cover the gap after medicare

Bicycle and equipment damage:

Bicycle specific insurance
Some home & contents policies with a large excess (check yours to see if you are covered)
I should note that unless your bicycle is specifically insured with those listed directly above, no other insurances cover damage or theft even if it is not your fault.

If you are covered for damage, make a claim and get the insurance company to do the running around for you. Even if you think it's not worth going through this, you may end up paying a lot of money up front and may not see it ever again.

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Postby weller » 08 Dec 2010, 13:35

Nice work

One thing I can add: to ensure police participation, make sure an ambulance attends you. It's best they check you out on the spot for any potential injuries that may not be first noticed. Once an ambulance is called, police are obliged to attend and take statements. This makes things much easier futher down the track.

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Postby weiyun » 08 Dec 2010, 19:58

Self reporting of accidents have very little legal value. :( So yes, call the cop if deemed appropriate.

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