Yes. If a driver hits you, their auto insurance can cover the damage and expenses caused by the bicycle accident. Aside from that, other insurance may also be used for bicycle accident claims. Insurance types such as as Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage, can also be used for compensation.
Read on to learn what insurance covers bicycle accident claims and how to claim compensation through them.
What Insurance Covers Bicycle Accident Claims?
You can use different insurance coverages to claim compensation, depending on the nature of your bicycle accident claim. Here are the following insurances that cover bicycle accidents.
The Other Driver’s Auto Insurance
Generally, the driver responsible for the bicycle accident should shoulder the damage costs from the crash through their auto insurance. In California, all vehicles are required to have auto insurance. The insurance requirements acceptable in the state are as follows:
- Liability insurance for:
- $15,000 for the injury or wrongful death of one bicycle accident victim.
- $30,000 for the injury or wrongful death of more than one bicycle accident victim.
- $5,000 for property damage.
- $35,000 cash deposit at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV),
- DMV-issued self-insurance certificate,
- $35,000 worth of surety bonds from a company licensed in California.
If a driver hits you, make sure to:
- Take their personal information such as full name and home address.
- Note their insurance provider.
- Not accepting any monetary compensation after the bicycle accident.
You must never accept an on-the-spot monetary compensation from the driver after the crash. If you do, the offer serves as a settlement, which means you can’t take any bicycle accident claim further. A legal expert can help you calculate the total damages and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Underinsured Or Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage can help you cover the damage expenses if you are hit by a driver who does not have insurance. Suppose the at-fault driver’s policy limit is insufficient to cover the damage costs. In that case, you may use the uninsured motorist coverage to claim the total restitution value from the crash.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can pay for the following:
- medical bills for the injuries incurred from the bicycle accident, and
- Bicycle repair or replacement costs.
Sometimes, at-fault drivers without insurance are likely to flee the crash scene. If this happens to you, you must:
- Never go after the driver responsible for the crash.
- Take photos of the license plate if possible.
- Document possible evidence, such as witness testimony or surveillance footage that may shed light on the driver’s identity.
If there is a slim chance of finding the driver responsible for the bicycle accident, consider your uninsured motorist coverage when paying for the damage expenses from the crash.
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
Let’s say another cyclist hits you, and you incur bodily injuries and damage to your bicycle. What bicycle accident insurance can cover the damages?
The homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is financial protection for the policyholder’s home and personal belongings, including your bike. In addition, this type of insurance consists of the following:
- personal property coverage, such as your television, furniture, and bicycle.
- personal liability coverage that can pay for medical bills for bodily injuries and repair costs for property damages you caused to others.
- additional living expenses, and
- medical payment coverage can cover an injured party’s health expenses regardless of who is at fault.
Only some bicycle drivers have this insurance coverage since it is not mandated in California. So, if you are involved in a bicycle accident caused by another cyclist’s wrongdoing, you must check if they have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. A bicycle accident attorney can help you determine your options for pursuing a bicycle accident claim.
Sometimes, you may suffer from bodily injuries that need urgent medical assistance. Some victims use their health insurance to pay for medical expenses. After recovering, they may pursue a bicycle accident claim against the at-fault party and reimburse the treatment costs.
However, there are some precautions to take when choosing this option. For example, you may have to shoulder the other expenses if you later determine that the policy limit of the driver responsible for the accident is not enough for the total compensation.
This is why it is essential to contact an accident lawyer after a bicycle crash. They will assist you with the right treatments you need, calculate the total damages, and provide you with legal options that suit your bicycle accident claim.
Can I Sue The Driver Who Hit My Bicycle?
Yes, your bicycle accident claim can proceed to trial if the at-fault driver’s insurance provider refuses to pay for the compensation. Essentially, you must prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the accident through the following elements:
- The driver had the responsibility to ensure the safety of all road users.
- They failed to fulfill this duty.
- The breach caused your bicycle accident.
- The crash resulted in injuries and other damages.
You can justify that the bicycle accident was due to the driver’s negligence to win the trial by doing the following:
- providing evidence, such as photos of the accident and witness testimony.
- reaching out to police enforcement to identify the driver if they flee the scene of the accident.
- seeking help from an injury lawyer who can help you gather evidence and establish liability.
What Happens If I’m Partially At-Fault for a Bicycle Accident?
You may still be entitled to compensation if you are partially at fault for a bike accident. However, you will likely receive a reduced settlement.
California practices pure comparative negligence. This means that the state permits all victims to pursue an accident claim regardless of how much they are responsible for the crash.
For instance, a speeding driver hit you while you were riding your bike. During the crash, you weren’t wearing a helmet. Let’s say the driver is 90% at-fault for the accident. When pursuing a bicycle accident claim from the same scenario, you may claim 90% restitution. On the other hand, the driver can also file a case against you to receive 10% compensation.
This is why you must seek guidance from a legal expert immediately to avoid missing your chance of receiving a fair settlement. They will also determine how much is your compensation value if you are partly liable for the accident.
What Types of Compensation Can I Include in My Bicycle Accident Claim?
Bike accidents may result in minor to severe damages, depending on the impact of the crash. Generally, you may consider the following damages when computing your overall settlement value:
|Economic Damages (financial losses)||Non-economic Damages (non-monetary losses)|
| || |
While economic damages can be considered, how will you measure non-monetary losses? A personal injury lawyer has the knowledge and expertise to maximize your compensation by identifying and calculating all possible damages, including non-economic damages.
What Do I Do In A Bike Accident?
If a driver hits you, you may want to follow the tips below to ensure your safety and resolve the situation correctly:
- Stay at the location of the crash.
- Do not go after the driver if they leave the accident scene.
- Check if you have injuries.
- Call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
- Gather evidence to help you pursue a bicycle accident claim, such as photos of the scene and witness testimony.
- File an accident report.
- Cooperate with police enforcement.
- Seek legal advice from experts.
How Can a Bike Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Unfortunately, most bike accidents result in severe injuries. The challenge in a bicycle collision with significant injuries is that you need time and energy to recover. How, then, will you be able to handle a case if you need to focus on your health?
A personal injury lawyer can help deal with the complexities of your claim while you focus on your health recovery. This way, you will receive the maximum compensation to help pay your damage expenses.
When pursuing a bicycle accident claim, an accident lawyer can help you by doing the following:
- Gather evidence to support your claim.
- Prove liability.
- Calculate the total damages.
- Negotiate with the insurance provider.
- Meet deadlines.
- Pursue a trial if necessary.
The Offices of Larry H. Parker has competent injury lawyers with a winning record in bicycle accident claims in Southern California. We do our best to determine the legal options for your case and fight for your rights. Contact us at 800-333-0000 to schedule a free legal consultation and learn more about your options.