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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who dont want to read the whole thing, heres the cliffsnotes:

Got sideswiped (from the right) by a cab, 90% sure it wasnt my fault. Minor injuries, and no serious damage to the bike. Gear saved my hide. Cabbie is claiming it was my fault.

UPDATED CN: Cabbies stonewalled with info, then, with persuasion from the cops, suddenly got very cooperative and are admitting fault. Yay.

Full story:

So, today was my turn to take a ride on the asphalt slip-and-slide. Thankfully, things didnt (or havent yet) turn out too bad.

I was going downtown on 3rd street in the SOMA district of San Francisco. This is probably one of the worst roads in the city, especially through the blocks I was travelling. Its 5 lanes, one way, and the surface is torn to hell. Metal plates, seams, edges, bumps that look like ski-slope moguls, gravel, rocks, patches of concrete mixed in with the asphalt... its bad.

I had just passed Harrison Street, in the left-most lane of traffic, near the sidewalk. I was going to turn left on harrison (another large one-way street), but had decided against it. So, I'm travelling in the leftmost lane at about 35mph. There's a taxicab in the lane to my right, going about 25. I get to a patch of street in REALLY bad condition, gravel everywhere, so I get on my guard. As I pull alongside the cab, moving past it, it *rapidly* swerves to the left, going for a fare on the lefthand sidewalk. I brake (remember, I was already on alert because of the gravel), but its not enough. In the process of swerving, he broadsides me with his drivers side door. I still had a quite a bit of forward momentum, so I gouge his driver's door in with my bar end before the bike is knocked from under me. I go over the fender of the cab, the bike goes down on its right side, and we slide about 30 feet on the asphalt and gravel. To my knowledge, he never signaled... not that it would have made much difference with how rapidly he swerved. Even though I was covering the brakes on high alert for problems, I had no time to react), or checked his shoulder. I generally watch the drivers of the cars I'm passing out of the corner of my eye, looking for shoulder checks, etc. Furthermore, when he started moving over, I was drawing even with the middle of the car. I could see his face in his mirror, so I wasnt in his blind spot.

Anyway, the bike and I slid for a while. I went down hard on my right knee, and hand, then tumbled. Hit my head and my visor got torn off my helmet (the whole mechanism is busted, its time for a new helmet.) I was up in a split second.

Now, crappy as this was, I have three things going in my favor right now.

a) I dont see how I could be found at fault for the accident, as I was moving past him on the appropriate side (drivers side). I also was not splitting lanes or doing anything else that would break lane-dicipline rules. I was also obeying the speed limit, which is 35 through that section of town. Even if he had signalled, he's at fault for merging into traffic passing him on the left, and as I was already passing his car when he moved, I believe I had the right of way.

b) my only injury is a skinned up right knee. A few gouges from the gravel, almost no rash. The wound covers an area about 1.5" by 1.5"

c) the cost of replacing every damaged part on my motorcycle (upper cowling, right mirror, right bar and bar end, brake lever, brake pedal, front turn signal) is only 591.85 from Ron Ayers. Not too bad. My frame sliders more than paid for themselves, saving damage to more expensive bits of the bike.

I talked with the cabby about settling sans insurance, but that's a no-go. I have excellent coverage on my bike, and I assume that the cabbie has good insurance as well. I have all of his information, etc.

The cabbie verbally admitted fault, but his company is saying that its mine. Thats SOP, I assume. Deny, deny, deny. Unfortunately, at the scene, neither of us could find any witnesses who saw what happened. This means its a he-said/he-said situation, though the damage on the cab would be impossible to replicate by any other kind of accident, at least any that I can think of

The only potential kink in the process of determining fault is that the left-most lane of the street is alternately a parking lane, turning lane, and high-traffic lane. Its use rotates throughout the day. As near as I can tell, it was a valid lane for travel; it was empty, the no-parking signs were in effect, etc. I guess tomorrow I'll call my insurance company and file a claim against him.



*UPDATE*

I completely spaced on posting the police report info when I posted this, as I was still kind of out of it. Anyway, the police report is in my favor, I think. I dont see how it could be otherwise, and the officers were *very* critical of the cabbie and very supportive of me. After a HUGE runaround from the cab company, cab driver, etc, and further conversations with the police, the cab driver and his partners (who share the insurance) have agreed to admit fault to the insurance companies and take responsibility.

Initially, in the day after the accident, yesterday, they were *super* evasive. There were a few more pieces of information I needed from the driver to finish my claim with my insurance, and they were incredibly uncooperative with giving me that info. I even tried to get it from their boss at the cab company's office, and got stonewalled there. Then, the phone numbers that I had been given by the cabbie suddenly went "out of service or disconnected", even though they had worked fine the day of the accident.

Needless to say I was fed up, and went down to the Hall of Justice last night. The cops called the cab company and told me to come back in a while. I came back, and all the missing info was present at the police station, and the cabbie's partner (the one who owns the insurance policy) was on the phone to me being very cooperative and admitting total responsibility.

SO, I think I scored a victory here. We'll see once the claim process gets moving, but I really think I'm going to come out on top of this one.

Lastly, the damage to my bike is even lighter than I thought. The only parts that *need* replacing are the brake pedal and right mirror. Everything else is just minor cosmetic damage.
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

Dude, you are awesome!! You put cliff notes. Glad I noticed it before reading the whole thing. ;)
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

wow - glad your ok. taxi cabs are evil.

but you should put the cliff notes in the beginning, not at the end
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

Done. :D
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

To the best of my knowledge it's the cabbie's fault. Since he was changing lanes it is his responsibility to be sure that he isn't going to vilolate the right-of-way that is possessed by any vehicle that is already in that lane (your SV, for example). Seeing as how you were going with the flow of traffic and managing your vehicle in a lawful manner, it's pretty much a no-brainer that he violated your right-of-way.

Yeah, it's SOP for the company to deny responsibility or any claim. But what does the police report say?

Bill
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

Damn, sorry to hear about your meeting w/the taxi. :( At least you and the bike are relatively OK. :)
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

As others have said,

Police report?

Am glad you're all right, however.

Best of luck with the damages to the bike.
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

wow that sucks man...sorry to hear that. im glad you are ok though!
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

you gave a pretty detailed account of what happened, but no police were mentioned so i assume they weren't called. and if they weren't called, why didn't you call them?
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

I didn't mean to open a can of worms and turn this into a mild slam-fest when I first mentioned "Where's the police report?"

Like the others I'm assuming that you didn't get one. Oh well, lesson learned. Next time you'll get one. ;) It's just the best way to CYA no matter how small the damages are. At least you're OK and the damages are relatively minimal in cost considering what it could have been.
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

shouldn't really matter if he had a police report or not as long as theres a witness. Obviously its his fault, it doesnt matter what the lane is used for, you're in it and he came over and hit you.

How can he not have a police report tho? if the police arent called isnt this a hit and run?

marco's is a lawyer i think? maybeh he can educate us..
 

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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

Glad to hear you're mostly okay. The one thing that baffled me was you implied you understood the cabbie. I've never had a cabbie that spoke something remotely resembling English. Be it Honolulu, Atlanta, San Deigo, Chicago or NYC. There was one in the Phillipines I could almost understand.  :p
 
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Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

That sucks, good it wasn't too serious though. I live in SF too and it's like metal plate city out here, and I know what you mean about the those ditches in the street. I was going by a cabbie today and he was about to cut me off with his little hand "I'm comming in" bullshit gesture, I've got gesture for him. ;) I saw a very apropos licence plate the other day it it said "cabdger" which I interpreted as "cab dodger". Take is easy.
-Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Creamed by a taxicab. Ouch.

MagpieTear said:
Glad to hear you're mostly okay. The one thing that baffled me was you implied you understood the cabbie. I've never had a cabbie that spoke something remotely resembling English. Be it Honolulu, Atlanta, San Deigo, Chicago or NYC. There was one in the Phillipines I could almost understand. :p

Hah. The cabbie who hit me is white/latino and spoke perfect english. His partners and boss, etc, are Indian, and well, I cant understand a word they say most of the time. Check the update for more info.
 

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Glad you're OK, eisenfaust! Good luck with the settlement and repairs!
 
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