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Hit from behind by a drunk driver. Help needed ! [NSW]

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by chingweesze, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. I was riding a 2002 Yamaha Majesty 250 scooter with ~55000 Km on the clock. Last week I was hit from behind by a drunk driver and was hospitalized. :(

    The accident:

    At about 10pm that day, I was riding along Kissing point road towards Paramatta. I moved to a right turn lane and stopped to wait for traffic in the opposite lanes to clear up for my right turn to Sturt street. Glanced the mirror, seems a car was approaching fast from behind....... Then I was lying on the road looking up the sky, people seems to gather around me. A guy was crying saying he was really sorry and told other people he just moved into the lane and suddenly saw me in front and hit me. I can move my arms but cannot get up or move my legs. Strangely I was feeling kind of clam (or may be confused). Ambulance came I was sent to Westmead hospital. In the ambulance I was able to press my feet against the paramedic but still cannot get up or move my leg.

    In the hospital I got some X-rays taken and luckily there was no damage to pelvis / spine / neck. After a few hours of lying still I can finally move again and was sent home at about 2am. A nurse even gave me biscuits and apple juice when I told her I have not had my dinner yet. Thanks to the paramedics, doctors and nurses for your care and treatment.

    In the hospital the police took my statement and told me that they are going to charge the driver who hit me with drunk driving and negligent driving. I was told I was hit by a car travelling at 30-40 Km/Hr.

    The next few days I suffered from body ache and stiff neck so I just keep resting on my bed. I am now basically fine with the help of pain killers except that I still suffer from sprained knee and cannot walk properly.

    When I think about the accident again, I keep wondering if I could avoid it had I moved forward and allow more time for that driver to stop. It seemed when I saw the car in the mirror I assumed it would stop and make a wrong judgement about its speed and distance. Or maybe its just too fast for me to react?

    Post accident:

    I just got my scooter back from the tower today and paid a hefty $420 for towing and storage fee. :shock:

    The scooter seems to be trashed:
    Broken indicator, mirror;
    Damaged and scratched front, back and side fairing;
    Damaged seat and under seat storage compartment;
    Damaged instrument penal;
    Damaged exhaust pipe cover;
    Flat rear tyre;
    Oil filter broken off from the engine;
    Electric problem and engine wont start.

    I am now in the process of trying to get property damage compensation from the driver. I do not have property damage insurance and I believe the other driver was no insured for property damage too. I know that I need to write a letter of demand to the driver for compensation. I was told that I need to get several repair quotes for the scooter. And here are my questions:

    A) Is there any reputable repairer near the Eastwood / Paramatta area besides Bikebiz and Action?

    8) Is it possible to ask a repairer to come to my home for a smash repair quote? And how much would it cost?

    C) Will it affect my claim if I sold my scooter to a bike wrecker after I got the repair quotes and documented the damages by camera?

    D) If I sold my scooter to a wrecker, what is the most appropriate amount I can claim from the driver?
    1) Lowest repair quote minus wreck sold price
    2) Redbook value minus wreck sold price
    3) Some other value?

    E) If I want to sell my scooter to a bike wrecker, how much can I expect to get and would I be able to get more if I sell it to a specialized scooter wrecker? Is there any good wrecker near the aforementioned area?

    F) I know I can get compensation for towing cost and riding gear, my Shark helmet purchased 1 year ago at $330 was damaged, how to determine the reasonable amount for replacing the helmet?

    G) How can I get a proper red book value for my scooter? I found a price range of $3,650 - $4,500 from bikesales website.

    This is my first accident after I started riding for a year. :cry: I feel really lucky that I was not seriously hurt. But it would be very difficult for me to convince my girlfriend to let me ride again and I learnt that I MUST get property insurance if I was ever going to ride again.

    Thanks for reading my long post. Any advice and suggestions are most welcomed.
  2. MOD: Idiotic comments removed
    Tactless and distatsteful when a new person comes on and all you do is bag his ride, it's obvious he needs real help not your brand of humour.
  3. How does that help?
    Real nice work champ, well done.

    Ching, Im glad your OK.
    Hopefully you will be back on the road soon.
  4. We often suggest legal advice here, but in your case I suggest you seek it urgently. With both vehicles not being insured, and the possibility of long-term medical issues for you, your first call this morning should be to a solicitor. At least send a PM to this man


    KB, that takes the 'idiot post of the day award' :roll:
  5. Funnily enough KinkyBinky thats exactly what the bloke who plows into you from behind while pissed is going to say about your Gixer. Karma is a biatch hey?

    So sorry to hear mate.. I wouldn't be worrying about his lack of insurance.. they were going to leave him on his own anyhow.. he was pithed.. they dont have to cover him. Sadly you are on your own. Send him a letter of demand.. new scooter, new kit damages, lost earnings and be prepared for a long fight. Meanwhile get another scooter and get on with life.

    You are going to need a lawyer. Its going to turn into that sort of stoush I am afraid.
  6. someone was saying in another thread that $7500 was the maximum amount for the small-claims tribunal. AFAIK you should be able to claim damages from the person that hit you for all of your costs.

    regardless, the other drivers compulsory 3rd party should cover something right?

    seek legal advice.
  7. Day?
    This is netrider but I would have thought month.. at least.
  8. Sounds like a good plan.

    If you do get another scooter, remember that this is the kind of situation that full comp insurance covers. Also, full gear might not seem appropriate on a scooter, but you're just as vulnerable as on a bigger bike.

    Its still not good to get hit, but with full comp your insurance company will take care of everything and send their pitbulls after the guy.

    ...Now you need to go find your own pit bull that will get their fees covered by him also and it'll take time to get the cash whereas insurance pays right after the assessment.

    Several lessons learned here and hopefully not just by you ching.
    Glad to hear you're Ok.
  9. If he did just change lanes into you then it sounds like you probably couldn't predict it quickly enough anyway. At least you're reasonably okay.

    Good that you're keeping track of everything - need to feed that lawyer any information that comes to you.

    I hope this doesn't turn into some stupid "all he can afford is to give you $5 a week" deal :|
  10. Get a lawyer, you can claim his costs. It may be the best thing you ever did if you get an ongoing medical complication, and in the short term will help you get a new bike/scooter/etc.
  11. In terms of what can you do for next time?

    To me it sounds like pretty much nothing. You cannot KNOW what every drivers intentions and thoughts are, especially those behind you.

    By the sound of it you were busy watching the oncoming traffic for a gap to make your turn. Which is what anyone would be doing....

    At least the driver was charged by the police, that should mean he can't turn around and say the accident was not his fault.

    Just out of interest, if you drive drunk and crash into someone, sending them to hospital, is that serious enough to land you in jail? I suspect it would come very close...
  12. Should be - but the driver will probably just claim they've been going through "emotional problems" or problems with drug/alcohol abuse and get let off with just a minor fine.
    After all it's not like he was doing anything really dangerous, like driving 5kph over the limit.
  13. He should go to jail especially if he is in the mid to high range and the fact that he's hit someone.

    With regards to personal injuries, your greenslip should cover all medical cost. But yeah you'll need a good lawyer... Once you speak to a lawyer, he or she would send a letter of demand stating how much the guy owes you in personal damages. The letter should state when he must pay the amount and should he not pay, interest will accumalte depending on how long he will take.

    If he claims that he cannot afford to pay you, the court can send the sheffif out to seize his assets to repay you. You should act asap!
  14. Even my third party insurance would give me a bit of love in this situation -
    "We’ll pay up to $3000 for damage to your bike if we think the accident was caused by an uninsured driver/rider who’s not related to you and doesn’t live with you." (Ref: http://www.insuremyride.com.au/about-our-insurance/policy-document-3.asp).
  15. Thank you guys for your suggestions and encouragements. I will keep updating so it might be of some help to other people.

    I do not think I will get a solicitor as my claim would only be about 5000 at most.

    For smash repair quote, (Mods please remove if I should not post price and company names here)
    Bikebiz will take ~1 hr for $110
    Action will take a few days (as the guy said he needs to get the parts quote from the city store) for $110
    Towing company (ACE towing) will move my scooter from my place to the workshops and then back home for $88 + $66 + $88

    Even though I do not know whether I can get any compensation, I will need to spend another $462 for smash quotes and transport. :shock:

    Will keep you guys updated.


  16. BAD idea.
    See a good lawyer.
    I suspect if you don't when (not if) this gets to court you will lose badly.
    Drop me an email and I can point you in the right directions.
  17. Just met with the guy who hit me and had a chat.

    He basically said he is very sorry for the accident. He just got back from holiday with his family that day and had the accident later that night. He said he went through a lot emotionally that he might hurt an innocent people badly. The police did not tell him I was discharged without serious injury until a few days later. He also said he did not had a drink since the accident. So I just said good on him and we all learnt a lesson from it.
    He told me that I flied 5-6m forward after he bumped into me. So I was a superman for 5m until gravity get better of me. :cool:

    As for the compensation, he is willing to pay me $2500 for the damages in 2 fortnightly installments. Although its not enough to cover all my loss I accepted it as I do not want to let the thing drag on.

    So fellow bikers please get at least third party insurance so you will not be in the same situation as me if accident happened to you.

    So the next thing I will do is to sort out the paper work with the driver. After I have received my first payment I will sell the scooter to a bike wrecker.

    PS. As for the scooter, both rear suspension were bent after closer examination, so it seems my Majesty absorbed quite a few collision energy for me.
  18. IS THAT $5000 going to cover any ongoing medical concerns from the accident or just the property. I would still Talk to a legal person.
  19. No. $2500 in total. It is for part of the property damage only.

    So far there is no need of any further medical treatments and the CTP will cover it if the need araise.
  20. That is all well and good if you're happy with it but I would maintain the right to sue should any ongoing medical conditions arise as a result of the accident. Talk to a solicitor and make sure you're covered.