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  1. #31 Re: How to be prepared for a motorcycle accident in China 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    mostly Shanghai, sometimes northern California
    Great post, and a great outcome. Good to know that no one was seriously hurt, though I can imagine you've endured some pain and suffering yourself too. I think there are several lessons to be learned from this:

    1) having a good command of Chinese is extremely useful, and all of us who ride in China should be working hard to improve our language skills
    2) all buses in bus stops have the potential to emit thoughtless high-speed passengers into your path with no notice. always always give wide berth and prepare for the worst.
    3) following an accident, liability is always going to be a shared responsibility. no one is going to be 100% cleared of liability or given 100% of liability, even if it's patently clear that one party was entirely at fault.
    4) greed knows no limits in China, so always be prepared for the worst. As 'fingers says, the best (though imperfect) defense is to be 100% legal.

    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  2. #32 Re: How to be prepared for a motorcycle accident in China 
    Senior C-Moto Guru ZMC888's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Zibo, Shandong - Sometimes SW England
    Great very informative post fingers. You really show that having insurance is actually an absolute necessity with these personal injury claims. Will pop out and renew mine ASAP.
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  3. #33 Re: How to be prepared for a motorcycle accident in China 
    Shanghai'ed Shanghaifingers's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Oh and I should mention that I take full responcibilty in my mind for not excersising more caution as Euphonius said bus stops are dangerous. I feel that had I been saying to myself that "there is going to be someone there" and preparing for what is actually quite common... I might have avoided the the accident. Also I now have a rule that I don't ride my high speed Jialing sidecar with other non sidecar big displacment bikes... IT may feel like a motorcycle at times but its as wide as a car. Without even realizing it you take risks trying to keep up with those narrower bikes which fit through much small hole in traffic. As I stated they ran into my Sidecar bucket and had I been on a 2 wheeler I might have skirted by. On the flip side I might have clipped one girl and then we don't we have gone down.... food for thought no?
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  4. #34 Re: How to be prepared for a motorcycle accident in China 
    Life Is Good! ChinaV's Avatar
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    May 2008
    Guangdong, China
    Thank you Mr. Fingers...very well written and informative post. A lot of insight for both newbies and old timers.

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  5. #35 Re: How to be prepared for a motorcycle accident in China 
    C-Moto Noob alonzomerrill's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    New York
    Quote Originally Posted by ZMC888 View Post
    Having an accident in China can be extremely complex, expensive and upsetting, especially as to your point of view you may have been 0% at fault but it could still cost you a lot of money. If you are a new rider and/or new to China read carefully, if you have lived in China and have ridden here for a while please give feedback and share your thoughts and experiences.

    Are you Injured?
    Play hurt if needed and stay on the ground and demand a big payout, possibly take photos of the scene and claim you were not at fault. Start at $2000(USD) per broken limb $200 per cut or bruise, damage to the bike, loss of income etc. This is because the other party will try to withhold the cost of damage to their vehicle. If your 'damage' is greater than theirs you get money or at least don't lose money as blame is established by percentages. If a car driver that hits you is blamed their car will be impounded until they pay the settlement to you. The same will happen if you are blamed, no bike until you pay.

    Is someone else injured?
    If someone else has been injured this is probably because they are another motorcyclist, ebike rider, cyclist or pedestrian. In this case things could get expensive and nasty, police will apportion blame, their opinion is the law and you cannot appeal, you may be blamed regardless of what you know about traffic law from other countries or even China, although there could be some arbitration involved in the final settlement. Be prepared to be forced to pay when the police arrive or at a later time. Take photos, try to prove that the other party was in the wrong. Are you sure that they hadn't been drinking, have a license for their vehicle etc?

    Just damage?
    If the other party is willing money can be exchanged and everyone can go home. It could be easier just to pay and leave, even if you were not at fault if not to waste time, in which case haggle lower. This however might not suit everyone's taste. Many people have just left the scene, but there can be serious consequences and is not recommended.

    Run or not?
    Don't run in the event of injury to anyone other than yourself, especially because of lack of insurance, license or registration. For motorcycles in China these are usually considered misdemeanors requiring a small fine and possible impounding of the bike in most provinces, although potentially under the law the police can enforce 10 day detention, but this is very unusual outside of Shanghai. The consequences for fleeing an accident when some one has been injured are much more severe.

    Get away legally, ASAP
    Very quickly agreeing or doing something that seemed like you were agreeing paying and leaving could be a wise move before crowds and authorities show up, in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, is almost certainly a smart move. You may know that the other party, lets say a pedestrian has run out into the road without looking, but it's hard to prove, so you'll just end up paying for their injury regardless. Cases have shown, the longer that the money issue takes to be resolved, the more expensive it will become.

    Getting around the language barrier
    If your Chinese is less than fluent always carry a cell-phone and get a Chinese sim card in it. If you have any English/Chinese speaking acquaintances or friends even ones you have met briefly get them on speed-dial and call them if you need to negotiate via phone or if possible come down to help with your side of the case. Wealthy friends that work for local government, police, insurance companies or local mafia are particularly useful. Promise a dinner, free English teaching etc if they help you out.

    About insurance
    The compulsory motorcycle insurance that comes with registration in China is not as useful as it could be as it only covers 3rd party injury. Emergency health treatment usually needs to paid for up front for and then the insured parties are paid back by their insurance companies. So in other words pay for anyone hurt from your own pocket ASAP, pay for treatment and keep the receipts or copies of them if possible. Vehicular damage will be paid by you as you are not covered under basic compulsory Chinese motorcycle insurance if you are deemed at fault. Your vehicular damage will be paid by the other parties' insurance if they have insurance and are deemed at fault. Always keep your compulsory Chinese motorcycle insurance up to date, if someone is unhappy with the outcome of a personal injury claim they may attempt to sue you, which could mean major hassles, if you are insured the insurance company can deal with this. Also personal injury claims can get very expensive very quickly as some people believe that it is a money making opportunity and will falsify medical bills, personal distress, loss of income etc. Insurance companies can keep a lid on this excessive claiming culture as they deal with them everyday. If you have travel insurance documents keep them on you. There are other policies available providing additional cover discussed in this thread.

    About hospitals
    Hospitals have been improving in China but generally they offer a much lower service level than in the west. Doctors expect an extra 'tip' for services to be done properly. Ambulances are expensive and people are generally unlikely to help you because they don't want to be involved as they feel they will be made to pay. Make it clear you have enough money to pay for your own health care, and absolutely have the name and address of a contact number such as your embassy or significant other on your person or written on your helmet in Chinese. Bring cash sealed in clear plastic, any known foreign currency or Chinese yuan so that if you end up unconscious and in hospital they can treat you without wondering where the money will come from.

    Get away and stay away
    Once there has been a legal settlement on the scene of an accident it doesn't automatically mean everything is over, if legal recourse doesn't pay what people feel they are owed, or they feel a verdict was unfairly wrong they may resort to the services of someone who is of 'low character'. I have never heard of a case where a foreigner was involved, however I know a case involving two locals where one was ordered to pay 200 yuan in compensation to a party they had injured by a court. The injured party sent 20 'mafia' to extort 10,000 yuan, which is what they felt they were owed. So don't give out addresses unnecessarily or allow yourself or bike to be seen in the area for a while afterward.

    These notes are a 'best guess' from living in China for 10 years and being part of the motorcycling community. Whilst trying to make the guide as helpful as possible it may not be complete or legally correct. If you know that any information is incorrect or suspect that any is, please comment in this thread so that this original post can be updated.

    I have read all information about accident in china and i think it is a very information detail for us. Every bike users should have insurance to cover the expense of accident and it is a very useful in emergency. If you have other more ideas to beware against accident then let us know more detail in deep.
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