Got doored, and now getting drilled by Arlington County PD policy
Hey everyone - new to the area and Monday night (14 Feb) i got doored while riding in the bike lane on Clarendon just past Whole Foods, before getting to Barton St.
The guy who hit me helped me up, repeatedly admitted his responsibility for the accident, and was supremely apologetic, and a bystander called 911. I was in complete disarray and didn't get a chance to ask the guy for his contact info. Fire and EMT and PD came, I was ushered into ambulance and spent a while with EMT's trying to decide if my injuries were severe enough to go to ER. Ultimately, I decided to be responsible and just go to Dr. in the AM since i felt my elbow wasn't broken and the shoulder, separated, was not broken. The cops at no point informed me that by not going to ER i was forfeiting my right to have a report filed. I (stupidly) assumed the cops had taken the guy's name. Tuesday morning, I find out that my wrist is also likely broken, so in addition to everything else, I now might have something more long term to treat. Called ACPD and was informed that I am basically SOL because I "said i wasn't injured" -- I never said I wasn't injured, I said I didn't need emergency treatment. Two significantly different things.
I know the guy lives off Clarendon right where it happened, and the car was a kind of royal blue (not quite navy) sedan (possibly an acura) and at this point I just want the cops to actually help me find him so I can get some help with my medical bills.
Does anyone on this forum have any ideas for avenues of recourse at this point??? I am just so infuriated by this policy that negatively incentivizes us from being responsible about managing our own health care. I didn't even get the chance to talk to the guy once I said i was going home and would see a doctor in the morning because he was sent away by the time i got out.
And incidentally, the lady at ACPD when I called treated me like I did something wrong as opposed to being the victim -- talk about blaming the victim!
please help! thanks y'all.
How horrible! So sorry to hear about your ordeal. I don't know anything but good luck and be patient! Last year it took me 7 months after a car accident to have everything straightened out. You might have to file a lawsuit or some sort if the expenses get really high.
Paekwon - First, I'm sorry to hear about your crash. That's an area where I rarely use the bike lanes for fear of getting doored. Please call ACPD back, and politely - but firmly - insist on an officer contacting you so you can file an accident report. What you describe as being told by the ACPD when you called them is incorrect, but not unfamiliar (I had a similar issue last year). I'm going to send your post to the ACPD officer running the reporting unit, and if you don't mind me passing your contact info along to him (b/c this kind of misinformation *has* to stop), please send me a note with your name/email, etc. I want to make sure you get the service you deserve from ACPD, but I also want to make sure that ACPD is aware of this ongoing issue.
Ahh, sounds like the great Starbucks death zone. I'm with Mark, I'm usually playing in traffic there - got right hooked by a Mini turning into that garage across from Whole Foods.
Paekwon, sorry to hear it.. heal well and quickly!
Bummer man, but I'm glad you're mostly alright! Could have been much worse.
I'm glad you are feeling better and not seriously injured.
EDIT: I stand correted
Last edited by StopMeansStop; 02-17-2011 at 10:38 AM.
Ah, empathy! I just got doored for the first time myself today!
The one thing everyone should take away from my (and Paekwon's!) misfortune: ALWAYS GET INFORMATION FROM THE OTHER PERSON INVOLVED AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE! I am so embarrassed - I'd already read WABA's "crash FAQ's," which clearly say as much, and I knew - like everyone knows - that you always leave any accident with documentation. But, for whatever reason, I didn't get any info, let alone call the police!
I was heading east on Harvard NW turning left onto 16th. I generally avoid 16th as it's so busy, but I was just heading one block north to Irving, where I was going to turn right en route the the Columbia Heights metro. A US Postal Service van suddenly opened its door, and the next thing I knew I was on my back. The driver and a bystander were standing over me almost right away - I was a bit dazed but "with it" enough to know that I was extremely lucky. I didn't feel hurt, and there was only minor damage to my bike and the van. I think I was overwhelmed at how fortunate I was - I kept thinking about what would've happened had the door somehow caught my mouth.
Maybe that's why, after the driver and I had our last round of "Are you alright? -Yes, I'm okay," I didn't take down any information. Considering what COULD'VE happened, I was more than alright, the driver manifestly remorseful, and all was right with the world. I hopped on my bike, and three minutes later I was standing outside the elevator at Columbia Heights. That's when a woman told me - what an awkward conversation to have with another human! - that I was bleeding from behind my right ear. I couldn't believe it, but, alas, there was indeed a huge laceration - I must have somehow caught the door with my head! I biked over to Washington Hospital Center and had seven stiches done.
Again, I'm embarrassed more than anything else at this point; I don't know whether I want to try to track down this postal worker or whether I'd legally be able to get any help with ER bills even if I coulld.
The moral, children, is simply this: don't be a moron like your Uncle Nick - whether it feels silly or not, get that guy/gal's information, and do it AS SOON AS YOU CAN!
Glad you were stitched up, at a good hospital even, and hope you can get the blood out of your shirt. I wonder if at a minimum it makes sense to whip out a phone and take a picture of the driver, vehicle, and driver's license when these accidents happen. I think I could manage that. However, when I was hit the first thing I did was jump up, check my limbs, check my bike and get the hell out of there.
Paekwon/Nick - so sorry to hear about your dooring' incidents. Thanks for posting your experiences, hopefully we can learn from them - I know I have.
I agree with CCrew - the areas around FiveBucks are the hairiest on my commute. I take the lane when I go around them, I've almost been doored, hooked, etc. going past that area in Clarendon and VaSq.
Hope you guys heal up quickly. Stay safe out there.
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