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I posted this in my local Ducati forum and hoped it might help someone out up here too. This seemed like the best forum for it even thought it didn't happen on my Duc, Thank God! You can obviously ignore the references to Seattle streets.


Usually, I feel like I’m just giving this money to the insurance company and never getting anything in return. Currently, I'm very glad I paid twice what liability costs me for uninsured motorist. I'm also glad I wasn't riding the Duc (for one day anyway, I’m happy it was in the shop).

Last Thursday afternoon, it was just too nice not to go for a ride. I purposely avoided I-5 and Aurora as it was approaching rush hour. I just went for a nice little ride around the neighborhood and then Greenlake. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. I was headed North on Lynden (1 block west of Aurora) and about 73rd when I signaled a left turn. I thought about darting out in front of a car, but I decided I’d better wait. I slowed down to 5-10 mph and the oncoming car was about even with me when I felt a large force and crashing sound from behind (best guess is that he was going 15-35 mph). As I was rolling backwards I remember thinking to myself , “SH*T this is NOT GOOD”.

The next thing I know I'm flying through the air and land on the outside of my left thigh and my hands. (I've heard people describe motorcycle crashes as happening incredibly fast and now I know what they mean. I've swerved and avoided auto accidents before and it seemed like time slowed way down. Here it was the opposite; it felt like time speed WAY UP!).

The next part is hard to describe, because it seemed to all happen in a fraction of a second. I’m not sure how long it actually took. I landed in the road (about a foot on my side of the centerline – Thank God! – and I’m an agnostic :) ), on the outside of my left thigh. Simultaneously, I was thinking this is good , I'm basically okay (it’s weird to say, but there was a split second where I was expecting impact from behind and was very elated when I realized it wasn’t going to happen – adrenaline I guess). Great, nothing’s hit me from behind, (my bike, following traffic) and all of my limbs appear to be fine.

Then about 20% of my brain was saying, "Relax, take inventory, nice and slow, just like you see the racers do on TV". The other 80% was saying "Are you F*cking kidding me, you're sitting in the middle of a five way intersection! :eek: " Obviously, the 80% won out and I dashed to the side of the road.

On the sidewalk, I took inventory and realized I appeared to be basically okay, except for a bruised/swelling thigh and a tweaked right side of my back. The driver pulled over and we both called 911. Obviously, I was a little shaken.

The 911 operator asked if anyone was injured and I said I thought I was ok. She then asked if there was more than $750 damage. I said I didn't know, I’ve just been THROWN FROM MY BIKE! She said we should just exchange information and that they didn't send the police out for minor accidents (less than $750 dollars damage). I told her that I still would like a cop to show up and write things up. She took my cell phone number and said she'd see what she could do (I was there another 45 minutes and the cops never showed up or called me back! :mad: ).

I turned around to find that no one had bothered to stop, offer assistance, or bear witness (Gotta love the big city). Traffic was just going around my bike (which was straddling the center line). The guy who hit me was nice enough to get my bike out of the street while I was double checking my back. He also said, several times “It sure is a good thing you’re wearing all of that protective gear”. NO SH*T!

The guy who hit me, lets call him Richard, was then eager to exchange information and wanted to get going. He wrote down the information, which I double checked several times. Richard claimed to have insurance with Vern Fonk, but did not have a card. I was taking things at a leisurely pace and hoping the cops would show up. Richard wanted to keep this off the record, so it wouldn’t affect his insurance. He said he had the cash to pay for the damage, which he thought was fairly minor.

I was mulling over what to do about this, feeling apprehensive about a number of things. I was also unsure how to get my bike home. I called a friend and ended up talking to his wife, she told me to make sure that I didn't let him leave the scene without taking pictures (she said trust me, I know from experience). She offered to bring me a camera, but this made me remember that I was only a few blocks from my girlfriend’s mother’s house. My girlfriend’s mother bought me a camera, which I used to take the attached pictures. She was also able to at least be a witness to the scene, after the fact.

The pictures may come in very handy, it appears Richard was uninsured (I have pictures of the car and him). I am glad he didn’t hit and run, and he seemed like a nice enough guy (aside from his driving), but it appears my insurance will be doing all of the work. At the moment, my best (non-expert) guess is $1300 in damage to the bike and $250 for new gloves. At the moment I appear to be fine except for a lovely 5”x5” bruise on my thigh. I’d post the pictures my girlfriend took, but I don’t want anyone to lose their lunch. :(


I know this is a bit of a book, and it was somewhat therapeutic to write, but the main reason I wrote it is I was hoping that some of you could avoid making the mistakes I did if you’re ever in a similar situation (I sincerely hope you aren’t).

The main lessons, as I see them, are -

1. Make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage! Who knows if this guy has the money and how hard it would be to get it on my own, especially if there are serious injuries involved.

2. Do whatever you have to do to get the cops to show up. (Tell them there's thousands of dollars worth of damage, you're hurt, whatever. You just got tossed off of your motorcycle and you're not thinking straight, this wasn't a bumper scratcher between cars).

3. If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. If the guy can’t produce an insurance card, he’s probably not insured. The cops (I have learned after the fact) will show up and write someone up for this. Don’t even think about doing the other person a favor, you don’t know them. There’s little upside for you, except being a nice guy/gal and there’s a giant down side. Decide all of this stuff ahead of time, because you probably won’t be thinking clearly in the middle of an accident.

4. Wear good gear (even the guy who hit me seemed to know this). The Dainese textile pants don’t have a scratch on them and are as good as new (I’m not sure how, I guess I came straight down on them). While I have a bruise, there’s no pavement in my leg. The Held racing gloves are probably overkill for the street, but the left hand scraped the slider rivets (just like they’re supposed to) and the right hand lost one rivet and loosened a couple of others. The important part is my hands appear to be fine. Fortunately, due mainly to the way I was thrown off the bike, my full face helmet never hit anything.

5. Only make left turns at major intersections (just kidding) :p

6. Get lucky!!! (not kidding) :)

PS The great irony in all of this is that I took the ERC a couple of weeks ago and they told the class to stop being paranoid about getting rear ended :rolleyes: , because only 3-4% of accidents come from behind you.

Stay safe and Good Luck,

Ciao
 

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Oilhed said:
Good post. Always say you injured in a motorcycle accident. You might be!
And, most of the time there are injuries that show up several days later. Don't ask me how I know.

bruce19
 

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In this type of situation it is very, very difficult to think clearly. You did a remarkably good job. For this type of situation, I always carry a list of things to do and information to get from the other party (provided by my insurance company).

Tony
 

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Glad you're basically ok, the bruise will go away.
 

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Another typical Seattle day. Last week I saw somebody rear end another car northbound on Greenwood. I was southbound and swerved as I went past the soon-to-be victim car because I could tell the guy behind him was making no attempt to slow down. The perpetrator tried to swerve at the last second but did not make it judging by the smash I heard as I drove by.

I am glad you are not seriously hurt. You are lucky you were not on a major street or the guy would have been going much faster when he hit you.

I was lucky when my 02-ST4s got totalled last summer by another idiot Seattle driver. There were witnesses and one, the wife of a Ducati owner, took photos.
 

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Glad to hear you're (mostly) ok.

Did you bang your head at all? Even if it only seemed like a minor tap, you should probably add a new helmet to your insurance list.

Good luck.
 
J

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Good tips for us all. It's been a while since I had a bike up to Seattle, beemer to the shop at Greenlake, but I was in and out of there. Seattle is a spooky place to ride a bike in with all the various angled and wierd intersections. I seem to always have some kind of altercation whenever I'm there. Maybe it's growing pains and some can't handle the stress.

I avoid town riding as much as possible but when I can't, another tip is when in the big city be on high, high alert at all times, assume they are out to get you. City guys know this but maybe some newbies haven't experienced it yet.
 

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Well reasoned post, with foundation

Thanks for posting this, it took some time and if it helps only one Duc-Ms member, fantastic.

A few comments:

A. You were lucky to be uninjured enough to the point that you could apply all that you knew on how to handle an accident scene.

B. Yes, you need to exaggerate to the police to get them to come out on an accident. This is due to the limited number of police hours that can be dedicated to handling traffic accidents, of which there are many in any one day, especially the "fender benders." It's a judgment call whether one should take police away from more important calls, simply to have a police report done. Personally, I do not bother them since I can handle the scence well enough [I'll have the suspect spread eagled on the pavement if necessary:p ].

C. Yes, you have to be suspicious and wary of people at accident scenes, they almost 100% will change their stories after they get home to reflect. Even the most honest people will, on reflection and in the safety of their home, will decide to lie and shift blame to you.

D. Ditto on not trusting what the other driver says at the scene. Many deadbeats cause accidents and they will say or do anything to leave the scene before the police show up to take a report.

The only reason most deadbeat SFBs [shit for brains] stop is because they figure someone has his or her plate, and if they flee, that's a felony. If they thought there were no witnesses, these people [who have stopped and are now putting on a good show] would have kept going. So there is no reason to trust them just because they talk nice or express concern.

On Insurance:

1. Many states have mandatory uninsured motorist coverage, while some states permit it as an option.

2. Some uninsured policies cover ONLY bodily injury, not property damage. Check with your carrier to see if uninsured property damage is available.

3. Do not get uninsured confused with UNDER insured. Many companies offer underinsured coverage where your policy kicks in after the under insured's policy is "used up" or exhausted.

4. And sadly, just as in other situations, if you make a claim on your uninsured or under insured coverage, your carrier counts that against you as a claim made, and may increase your rates or cancel your policy. In other words, your insurance company treats the claim the same as if you were at fault and can choose to cancel your policy. A mean situation, but legal.

Here is an article on uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage:

It's like preaching to the choir when you talk to Californian David Martin about the importance of carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. Martin, an interfaith minister in Novato, says, "I'm willing to pay a little extra for it because it makes my life a little simpler, I know that if I'm in an accident I'll be covered even if the other driver doesn't have enough insurance or doesn't have any at all."
Martin admits that he's been buying uninsured/underinsured motorist protection "for the last 20 years." Martin's auto insurance policy pays for bodily injury and property damage that his car causes in an accident. On top of that coverage, why would he and other drivers need to arrange uninsured/underinsured motorist protection?

Why buy uninsured/underinsured motorist protection?

Consumers should think of uninsured/underinsured motorist protection as an important self-help tool that usually is pretty affordable. Selective Insurance Vice President Sharon Cooper touts uninsured/underinsured motorist protection as "an important coverage for consumers because it protects them in situations they can't plan for. Without the coverage, their only recourse may be to sue an individual to cover their losses if (that other driver) doesn't have insurance or enough insurance."

Martin, Cooper and other fiscally responsible-minded motorists have reason to be concerned about those who drive on America's roadway's in defiance of compulsory auto insurance laws... and there are a lot of uninsured drivers. To wit: The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) and the Insurance Research Council (IRC) both report that around 14% of America's motorists drive without insurance.

How bad is it?

The IRC released a study showing that in 2001, 14 percent of drivers in the United States were uninsured during the years 1995 to 1997, the same rate as in 1995 as reported in a previous study. "The percentage goes even higher in certain states such as Colorado, which is the highest (34%); Mississippi (29%), Alabama (28%), New Mexico (27%) and California (26%)," says Dan Kummer, director of personal auto for NAII, in Des Plaines, Ill.

Worse yet, uninsured drivers cause an increasing number of accidents and larger claims. Insurance industry officials estimate these drivers can be blamed for one of every eight serious accidents, a 40% upturn over the last decade. Many drivers don't carry insurance because they can't afford the cost of coverage, while others figure they can get away with breaking the law because of lax enforcement, according to insurance industry insiders.

NAII's Dan Kummer said Colorado and various other states in recent years have been implementing different laws to enforce compliance with requirements that motorists buy liability insurance or show financial responsibility. "The percentages of uninsured motorists haven't shown much change in recent years, and that tells me that there's a group of drivers who can't afford or simply won't buy insurance for whatever reason."

What does uninsured/underinsured motorist protection cover?

"You can protect yourself from being hurt financially by buying uninsured/underinsured motorist protection," points out Kummer. "Without uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you have little likelihood of gaining payment for damages you or your vehicle sustain if you're involved in an accident with a driver who is either underinsured or driving without any coverage," says Kummer.

Uninsured coverage also covers you if your vehicle gets hit by a hit-and-run motorist. "With this coverage," Kummer continues, "you and your passengers receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other injury-related losses. You can sue that person, but if that driver has nothing, you'll get nothing even with a favorable judgment."

Underinsured motorist protection pays you for damages that surpass the amount of coverage carried by a driver who is underinsured. "That's valuable, because many drivers carry minimum limits, and that may be insufficient to cover your injuries and lost wages," notes Kummer.

The Insurance Information Institute's Jeanne Salvatore extolled the virtues of such catastrophic coverage. "You need this coverage, because, if you get into an accident with someone who is driving without insurance or doesn't have enough of it, you want to be made financially whole again."

You're on the right path, figuratively and literally, if you think uninsured motorist protection can help you in another way. "If you carry this coverage and if you, as a pedestrian, get hit crossing the street, the coverage could pay your medical expenses and lost wages," says Salvatore, Vice President of Consumer Affairs for III, in New York.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RE: replies

Oilhed, good advice. I was my first accident. So far, no other injuries :) .

I'll try to get the pictures up tonight, they're in a PDF slideshow and haven't figured out how to extract them yet :confused: . The scary part is they don't look that bad, but he sheared off the bracket holding on the rear brake pedal and it's one thick piece of metal.

I was riding a 2001 MZ Skorpion (yes, they spell it with a K) 660. I was thinking this morning that I'm even luckier than I thought being on the MZ. The guy hit my exhaust (right side of bike) and that threw me up in the air and over the bike (another 6 inches to the right and he probably would have missed me altogether, but it also could have been WAY worse). If I'd been on the 999 (under-seat exhaust) he would have either hit my leg or pushed me and the bike over onto centerline :eek: .

Bill - Good luck is a great thing to have, it sounds like you have it too :) . We'll have to hook up sometime, I've seen your posts in Desmo Northwest. My second choice of bike was an ST4S, but my significant other doesn't like to ride so I went with a 999 and a Ventura pack :D .

Pooka Dog - Fortunately, I didn't hit my head at all, I landed in basically a sitting position.

Jim_Upchurch - I'm pretty aware of this. I was headed home to avoid rush hour. I have to say, I'm seriously reconsidering where and when I ride. Maybe I'll have to become one of those track only guys or leave early and stay out of town as much as possible.

RotoRooterGuy - Thanks, it did take a while to put together and that was my hope. It appears I've already helped at least one person. A guy in the local forum had NO insurance on his 998 and said he was going to get it today :D . GREAT ADVICE! :think:
 

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I once got rear ended in Italy where the highway from Florence was joining the one from Ancona.

The guy gave me his card and said to send him the bill. Me, too much in shock, but uninjured, said OK. Called up Agosini in Mandello, told them the damaged parts and the info of the guy, and he sent them the money (not even questioning the bill) before I even showed up to get the parts!

I figure that the broad driving the car wasn't his wife.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Belated photos

ST2lemans - good story :)

RotoRooterMan - I posted your great advice on a couple of other forums, thanks. I hope you're not expecting any royalties :p . Congrats on the 999 :D . Hopefully, I'll get mine back one of these days.

I finally figured out how to convert these pictures from a slide show into single pics and post them :think:.

I also realized that Richard, aka Mr. Rear End, must have been going 25-35 mph, because I never heard him brake - I just felt the impact (I guess this may have helped me, because I didn't have a chance to tense up).
 

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This is a great and timely thread. I was just considering dropping my un/under-insured coverage to try and save some money. Times are tight right now.

Not anymore!!!
 

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UNINSURED MOTORIST Coverage!

Chuck,

Listen to everyone on this and stick with it. Remember AZ has a 40% uninsured driver rate. And most of them are stinking illegals(my rant!).

Do you remember the '96 SS SP at Toms house, crumpled into pieces(after you moved)? He had no insurance, license, registration, citizenship, etc.

Good thing I had uninsured, though my lesson was that uninsured motor insurance here in AZ will only pay for the coverage you have assigned to that specific vehicle.

example: I have uninsured on my '87 Bronco II because it was cheaper than on my bike. It counts for the driver and not the specific vehicle so groovy, however I did not have collision on my bike, just comp and bodily injure. The insurance company basically said I was screwed on the bike, but they would pay my hospital bills. DOOOGH!!!!! Lesson learned on my part, full coverage whatever it cost.

Mitch, great story and lessons. Oe thing to remember, if the police don't want(or can't) respond, call the paramedics then. They must respond, and that way you have documentation. Let them know about the other guy not giving any insurance paperwork and they'll make the call to PD to respond.

Rotorooterguy,

Sounds of wisdom, very well written. To add to the list, go to the doctor on your own and get an MRI or xrays. It took almost a month for the doctors (in their infinite wisdom) to send me to get an MRI, and to their surprise, a broken back.

Stay safe all,

Brian C.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Doctors ...

Brian,

It took them a month to figure out you had a broken [email protected]#$%??

You must elaborate. I'm going into the sport medicine clinic (that's what they recommended) on Thursday for an exam. I'm self employed so I don't want to run up to big a bill (even though the insurance should pay for it). I appear to be fine, but I figure I should let an expert look me over.

Take it easy ...
 

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One other thing to consider when stopped to make a left:
Don't "pre-turn" your steering. Keep them wheel(s) pointed straight (parallel) with the flow of traffic.

If you "pre-cut" your wheels and get nailed from behind, guess where you and you car end up? Right into the oncoming traffic. Dunno if they stress this in driver's ed lately, but I had a "refresher" course or 2 that did! (Refresher 'cuz I was a naughty boy.)
 

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Mitch said:
Brian,

It took them a month to figure out you had a broken [email protected]#$%??

You must elaborate. I'm going into the sport medicine clinic (that's what they recommended) on Thursday for an exam. I'm self employed so I don't want to run up to big a bill (even though the insurance should pay for it). I appear to be fine, but I figure I should let an expert look me over.

Take it easy ...
Heh, I broke my lower leg, foot and ankle in a 1972 motorcycle accident.I didn't find that out until 1990 when I started having problems with that leg.
Doctors in 72 said I had a "sprain". Must have been my "dirty hippie" look and lack of insurance that got me that diagnosis. Got to live with it now unless I want bone grafts on my ankle and a 6-8 month lay-up. You best get checked by several doctors, you just never know...
 

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My insurance agent told me not to get uninsured/underinsured because other coverage would uh, cover it. Employee health ins. for example. I am re-thinking his advice now though. Thanks for the post.

As to undiscovered injury, I got a chest x-ray some years ago. The doctor asked me how I broke my back. "Huh?" Put two and two together, turns out a very nasty YZ 490 (hated that thing) get off five years earlier was the cause.
 

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Greg_C said:
My insurance agent told me not to get uninsured/underinsured because other coverage would uh, cover it. Employee health ins. for example. I am re-thinking his advice now though.
People keep confusing Liability with Medical. I see this all the time. And in this case your insurance agent is saying it! Time for a new agent.

Don't confuse Medical Coverage with Liability Coverage. Medical covers your personal medical repairs: doctor, hospital, short term therapy. If you're in an accident and you're off work for a year, your Medical pays for the boo boo's but other than that you get zero.

Liability covers pain, suffering, lost wages, disfigurement, yada, yada, yada which can go into the millions. Buy as much liability coverage as they'll sell you. I went from $100k per person up to $250k per person and it was only $5 more a year. They wouldn't sell me any more on a motorcycle policy.

Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage refers to Liability - it's not just for medical, it's used to pay the lawsuit for your pain and suffering if the other guy doesn't have adequate (or any) insurance.

Too many people think their "medical insurance at work" will take care of their personal medical repairs, and that they don't need Uninsured or Underinsured coverage. Big mistake. Insurance companies LOVE when policyholders waive Uninsured/Underinsured coverage and save a lousy $50. If you're laying at home, unable to work for a year, and in pain - that $250,000 check will sure take some of the pain away (vs the $50 you saved on premium).
 
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