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Thread: Waller crash in TX

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Arlington, VA
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    Default Waller crash in TX

    For those following the horrific Waller crash in Texas in which a coal-rolling 16 year old mowed down 6 cyclists, here’s some great information (shared by the Bike Advocates of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County). Both about the incident itself, and what you should know to protect yourself.

    COAL-ROLLING TEXAS TRUCK DRIVER PLOWS INTO 6 CYCLISTS
    https://www.bikelaw.com/2021/10/wall...L5i2bQbwfCGYfM

    HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
    Below are some of the things Bike Law want you to know for your own peace of mind and protection. Of note, Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County had a safety panel at the Annual meeting several years ago and the prosecutor and the civil attorney that spoke pretty much shared the below. The insurance topic really opened my eyes.

    FIRST, unless expressly waived in writing at the time of purchase, if you are riding your bicycle and you are victimized in a crash by the driver of a motor vehicle, you may have insurance coverage through your OWN automotive policy. Generally you cannot purchase more UM or UIM coverage than you carry in liability, so check with your automotive insurance carrier to determine what you can and cannot purchase. We cannot stress this enough: MAX IT OUT. It could be the difference between zero financial hardship and bankruptcy.

    - UM stands for Uninsured Motorist Coverage. It’s the part of your policy that insures you against drivers who have no insurance or drivers in a hit and run.
    - UIM stands for UNDERINSURED Motorist Coverage and it serves as the buffer between the at-fault driver’s insufficient coverage and your bank account. That means that if you’re hit by a motorist whose liability coverage is not enough to compensate you for the damages you incurred due to that driver’s actions, your own UIM coverage picks up where the driver’s liability coverage ends.
    *If you have specific questions about your policy or about how to max out your UM/UIM coverage, please reach out to Bike Law at info@bikelaw.com and we will be happy to help!*

    SECOND, there are 4 states in the U.S. that apply the antiquated rule/law of Contributory Negligence to cycling in the context of crashes. If you are riding your bike in any of these 4 states and become the victim of a crash, and it’s determined that you contributed as little as 1% to your crash, you are barred 100% from ANY civil recovery for the damages you suffer from that crash. This means that if the laws don’t allow or require it and- just to give some examples of common state bicycle laws, all of which apply to these 4 contrib states- unbeknownst to you, your rear red light battery dies after dark, or you were riding with earbuds in both ears, or your lane positioning was not AFRAP (As Far Right As Practicable), or you were not using the mandated space for bicyclists, and an irresponsible driver hits you, you are likely to be ineligible to collect a penny from the coverage available from that motorist¬’s insurance policy. The 4 contrib states for bicyclists are:

    - Alabama
    - Maryland
    - North Carolina
    - Virginia

    *Bike Law’s cycling attorneys in these states (Danny Feldman, Alabama; Bike Law’s founding attorney Peter Wilborn, Maryland, Tom Bowden, associated counsel to Wilborn Law, Virginia; Ann Groninger, North Carolina) are ALL experienced trial lawyers who are extremely well versed in achieving the best possible outcomes for their clients in these states- oftentimes through litigation that goes all the way to a jury trial- and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have or assist you with legal representation should you or someone you know or love need their help after a crash or bike related incident.*

    THIRD, after a crash, the following steps should be taken IF you are physically able to do so:

    - Do not engage with the driver in a way that creates confrontation or unnecessary conflict. We understand why you would want to and we don’t disagree with those reasons. However, for your own physical safety, we advise that you refrain from any altercation with the driver.
    - CALL 911. (Or ask someone who is on scene to do so. The driver should also call, however, we don’t ever rely on them to notify law enforcement and first responders.)
    - Request/Document the driver’s and the vehicle’s information: Make, model and color of the vehicle; name; address; insurance carrier and policy number for the driver; visible damage to vehicle.
    Go to the hospital. Don’t waive medical attention. If your injuries are not emergent, follow up as soon as possible with your personal physician or GP and document all injuries in both written and picture form.
    - Keep a running journal of all symptoms that did not exist before the crash.
    - Do NOT repair your bike or manipulate it or its components in any way if you want to recover the value of your property that was damaged in your crash.
    - Do NOT give a statement to any insurance adjuster until you are sure that you do not want or need legal representation.
    - Do NOT post on social media. In the event that you want or need legal representation and an element of that requires filing a lawsuit, anything you publish is discoverable.
    - Do NOT publicly identify the driver or his or her vehicle in a way that could be defined as “doxing” or considered defamatory. Not only does that open up the possibility that you could be liable for damages to the driver for saying or writing inflammatory or untrue things about them, but in the event that the consequences of your crash are litigated in court, the inflammatory public dissemination of the driver’s personal information can also be considered jury tampering.

    *This is why we redact license plates sometimes. It is also why we don’t encourage “vigilante justice” after a crash. It’s not because we are “scared,” or don’t appreciate the public’s “right to know.” Our justice system is designed to protect people by considering them innocent until proven guilty. Calling someone a “criminal” before they’re convicted of a crime could be defamatory and comes with very expensive consequences.*

    FOURTH, If you do not want to retain counsel, do not allow your own insurance company or the driver’s tell you that coverage doesn’t apply to you because you were on a bicycle when your crash occurred. If that happens, demand that the adjusters present you with those policies (or the proof in writing) so that you can see where your right to file a claim or claims was waived.

    FIFTH, Call us. We always recommend that you reach out to us if you have a cycling related crash or need. You may not choose to retain one of our independently practicing cycling lawyers in the Bike Law Network, but you will be more informed about your rights and the options available to you after suffering a traumatic event like being harrassed, assaulted, or hit by someone operating a motor vehicle while you’re on your bike. There is no charge to you for seeking our help. We do what we do because we¬’re part of this community and have our own skin in the game. We’ve been protecting and representing cyclists for 23 years and are honored to be called on your very worst of days.
    Last edited by ginacico; 10-04-2021 at 02:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Falls Church VA
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    Thanks for posting that!!


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