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I Did It Again D**n It.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Don’t really know which forum to put this under but because I was on my bicycle when it happened, it’s here.

This last year has been awful. Up until the knee thing last fall I’ve never been in the hospital, broken a bone, or done any permanent damage to myself. First the meniscus; then the calf tear; now this. And only one while skiing.

Because the doctor told me I can’t run anymore because of the knee damage we found during the scope this last Fall, with the ending of skiing I promptly took out my bike and started using it in place of my running. About eight miles out last Thursday, a lady sitting at a stop sign looked up the street, didn’t see any cars (or obviously anyone in the bike lane), and proceeded to cross the street in a hurry, right into me. Crashed into her right front fender (she was crossing from left to right), did a flying squirrel thing, landed on my head (of course I was wearing a new helmet), and tumbled the rest of the way across the street and came to a stop at the curb on the other side. Ambulance, emergency room, lots of scrapes and scratches, etc. Really hurts when they clean out those road rash scrapes with a toothbrush. Only two things broken so far. My right patella is split all the way down the center and my right big toe is broken. At this time we don’t know what other damage is done to the cartilage or ligaments inside that knee but it looks like hell. It’s the same knee that was scoped last Fall. I’m starting to think I’m an accident waiting to happen or maybe the years of nothing happening to me are catching up to me all at once. Now my questions.

Has anyone ever had a broken patella here and what happens to fix it and how long does it take? The other question revolves around her insurance company. She was cited and there’s no question that she was in the wrong and I was just cruising along doing what I was supposed to be doing. The insurance company has called and said that they will be taking care of everything up to $50,000 (can’t imagine it costing anything close to that). Friends have told me to be careful when dealing with the insurance company and that they will try to settle early to get out of it. I’m real stupid when it comes o these things but can anyone tell me what I should be watching out for? I’ve never dealt with an insurance company when it comes to this type of thing. I’ve paid for a ton of insurance over the years but never used any. Since we won’t know the extent of the damage until after the knee is either scoped or MRI’d, I’m not sure if I will really ever know the true costs until it’s all over. Any doctor, lawyer or insurance company folk’s advice would really be appreciated.

Good to be back at the computer. With all the sprains and scrapes I’m just now out of the wheel chair. This sucks big time.
post #2 of 7
Wow Bob, that's bad. I'm afraid I have little experience with either problem. Offhand I'd say you should contact your medical insurance people because it's certainly in their interest to get paid from the driver's insurance. At least she was insured!

best wishes...

(uh..maybe you should do some indoor stuff?)
post #3 of 7
BobT - That sucks.

As mean as it sounds, I wouldn't worry about being the "nice guy" when dealing with the insurance company. Keep in mind that the medical bills are only part of you costs. Lost time at work, lost time exercising, playing sports, etc. are only a few of the other things to consider. You should be compensated for EVERYTHING this driver took away from you. You may want to consult with an attorney.

That said, I hope you heal quickly, painlessly, and completely!
post #4 of 7
Wow, Bob! Glad you're still among the living. That sounded pretty brutal.

I think, what they are talking about, is that you should not accept or sign anything that says that you are "done" collecting from them. The reason is that problems may re-occur or occur later. Especially with a broken patella. One place to get some good information about broken patellas is www.factotem.com/kneeboard which is called "Bob's WWW ACL board (or something to that effect). It's the largest web forum for people who have had ACL reconstructions. Some people who have ACL recons, use their patella tendon as the "donor" for the new ACL (that's how mine was done). If you aren't careful, it's fairly easy to break your patella after the surgery, because they take a small chunk of it with a piece of the tendon for the ACL surgery. There will be people on that board that can tell you about broken patellas. Or you can just search for old conversations about it.

If you were to break the patella down the road, or get arthritis resulting from the accident, you'll need recourse. If the insurance company were to send you something (say, after your surgery, if needed), that says that you agree that the file is closed and all claims have been paid, DON'T sign it. You may be able to negotiate some sort of final settlement if you wanted, to cover future expenses and hardships. You never know, you might miss all of next ski season due to tendonitis in your patella tendon, or patella tracking problems. Just be sure to CYA. You may want to get your insurance involved, because if problems come up in the future, and you need surgery or physical therapy, or something, your insurance company will want to know, so that they can charge the other insurance company.

Good luck, and I hope you're doing alright!
post #5 of 7
listen to all the above posts. don't sign the form/settlement. The insurance company knows there are ususally lots of other costs involved and want to avoid them down the road. It's an easy out by offering you that small amount of money/cap
Take care and get well soon.
post #6 of 7

Get a lawyer. I am not a lawyer nor I am I a big fan of the suing society we have become but if you do not you are going to end up losing your own money on this. I'm not saying you should sue - I'm saying having a lawyer is your best bet to get your bills paid, your property paid for and piece of mind. I too have been hit by a car while riding my bike - and I did not sustain nearly the serious injury you did. I did not get a lawyer and I wish I did. I also have had three good friends get hit and they all ended up getting lawyers. If you don't get a lawyer be prepared to be treated as a second class citizen because you were not driving. If you were in a car you would ultimately have your insurance company backing you. Because you were on a bike you are just one man against a mountain of paperwork full of legal mumbo jumbo which will take you a lifetime to understand. The burden will be put upon you to contact the insurance company for everything and be prepared to get tossed from agent to agent, excuse after excuse. In the end you will invest a lot of your own time and may still be unsure of what you are doing. Best of luck - the most important thing is to get yourself back on the bike.
post #7 of 7
Had a friend experience a similar incident last year; first of all contact your health insurance company and also your homeowner's policy holder. One if not both will pursue the major items, they should actually hire an attorney that will represent their interests. You may still have to hire an attorney for longterm disability, etc., believe their $50,000. will be gone fast.

I'm not a authority, but at least this helped my friend. He is still waiting for his case to go to trial and it's been a year this month. After it's over I'll let you guys know what happened.
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