Bike Accident Insurance Claims Attorney
Bike accident insurance generally falls into two different categories:
- PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
- PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS
PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
What should insurance pay for if you are involved in a bike accident?
- Medical Bills – medical bills can include past medical bills and future medical bills you incur as a result of your injury.
- Lost Wages – includes any past lost wages as well as any expected future lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering – pain and suffering is the legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused from an injury. Pain and suffering includes any and all physical or emotional injuries that result from a bike accident. There are many different types of injuries that fall under pain and suffering. This includes both minor aches and serious permanent or debilitating pain. This also includes temporary and permanent limitations on your daily activities. It can include anything from visible injuries such as scarring or fractures to psychological injuries such as depression or PTSD. The settlement or moneys someone gets for pain and suffering depends on a number of different factors including the severity of the injuries, the type of medical treatment received, the length of recovery time and the potential long-term consequences of the personal injuries. In proving your personal injury bicycle claim for the insurance company, it is important to document all of your injuries and losses. At EB Cycling Law, we help direct you on how to document your losses for your insurance claim.
What insurance is available for your bike accident personal injury claim?
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, we seek to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries from any insurance coverage that is available. Our first step is to determine the amount of coverage from the motor vehicle or defendant that caused your injuries. Hopefully, the motor vehicle driver has adequate coverage for your injuries. In many cases, the defendant driver does not have adequate personal injury coverage for your injuries. This in large part is due to the fact that in the state of California, motor vehicles are only required to carry a minimum of $15,000 in liability coverage. Unfortunately, a large percentage of motorists only carry the minimum coverage of $15,000. This means that if you are hit by a person that carries minimum coverage, there is only $15,000 available for your injuries from their insurance company.
If the defendant only has $15,000 in minimal limits, we investigate to see what type of coverage and amount of coverage is available on your own automobile policy that can help cover you for your personal injury damages. Bicyclists should have their own automobile insurance which includes Medical Payments and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage to financially protect themselves in the event of catastrophic injuries resulting from a collision with a motor vehicle. If the driver of a motor vehicle only carries the California minimum of $15,000 in liability coverage and causes serious injuries to a bicyclist it can be financially devastating. However, if you have an automobile policy and that policy provides for underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, that coverage will apply if you are struck by a car, truck or other motor vehicle. For this reason, we highly recommend that all bicyclists carry the maximum amount of underinsured and underinsured motorist coverage they can get on their policy. At EB Cycling Law, we have seen hundreds of bicycling injuries and therefore recommend that bicyclists get a minimum of $500,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if they are able.
The most important coverage that a cyclist can get on their automobile policy is uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage. Motor vehicle versus bicycle accidents often result in serious, if not life-threatening injuries to the cyclist. It is essential to carry UM coverage for bodily injuries in an adequate amount that will protect you and your family in the event of a catastrophic cycling accident with a motor vehicle. UM coverage is especially important in the event of a hit and run incident with a motor vehicle. Without UM coverage there is no recovery for personal injuries or the death of your loved one in the event of a hit and run accident if the driver and/or vehicle cannot be identified.
Medical bills can quickly accumulate into the hundreds of thousands of dollars when life threatening injuries occur. This is often accompanied by lost wages due to an inability to work. While medical treatment is provided under your health insurance plan there are often copays and out-of-pocket expenses that add up. It is important to have automobile Medical Payments coverage that is sufficient to cover your out-of-pocket medical expenses. Some automobile insurance companies offer extended benefits such as wage earner and/or disability benefits and/or a specific death benefit when Medical Payments coverage is purchased. Even if the vehicle driver is responsible for the accident it may take months or years to settle the claim and they may have inadequate insurance coverage.
PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS
Property damage claims arise as a result of any damage done to your bicycle, clothing, bike computer, helmet or any other items of property that were damaged as a result of the collision. The most common property damage claims to bicycles:
- front shifters
The vehicle owner’s automobile policy generally covers all of your property damage claims. However, if the vehicle owner does not have property damage coverage on their automobile policy, we look to determine whether or not your homeowner’s insurance policy has adequate coverage for your property damage claims. Your automobile insurance policy does not cover damage to your bicycle but it may be covered under your homeowner’s policy. Hopefully, your homeowner’s policy has coverage for damages to your bicycle as a result of a collision.
Bike accidents not involving motor vehicles
Many bike accidents do not involve motor vehicles. At EB Cycling Law, we seek to determine if there are any available insurance coverages for you if you’re involved in an accident that is not caused by a motor vehicle. At EB Cycling Law, we also handle other types of bicycle accident cases that do not involve motor vehicles:
- Street defects
- Insufficient pathways/roadways
- Dangerous road conditions
- Uneven pavement
- Dogs running in front of cyclists or attacking cyclists while riding
- Road debris or obstacles
- Car parts, bumpers or other residues from accidents
- Miscellaneous items on the roadway
- Storm drain covers
- Overgrown vegetation violating sight distance rules
- Bicycle equipment failure, also known as product liability
- The most common product liability suits for bikes involve wheels, fork and frame. There have been many recalls based on defects associated with bicycles and their related components. If your equipment fails, you may have a product defect claim. See the Product Liability link for more information about product liability cases and for recent recalls related to bicycles and components.
EB Cycling Law 6-Step Claim Process
- EB Cycling Law will look into the facts of your case, including all documentation such as medical records, police reports and witness statements, and will gather your bills to calculate the medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
- If not already determined by a police report, fault must be established. This could include a split fault or comparative negligence between the other party and yourself. Sometimes fault is immediately and inarguably determined by the police report, and other times it must be proved.
- EB Cycling Law will determine all available avenues for compensation. Questions to be answered include: Was the driver operating a vehicle on behalf of an employer? Were the roadways blocked or impeding movement? Were there road defects? Was overgrown vegetation hindering sight distance? We will determine who can be held liable for the at-fault parties. You must make a claim against any responsible governmental entities within six months of the date of injury.
- EB Cycling Law will negotiate with all involved insurance companies on your behalf.
- A settlement will be reached between all responsible insurance companies and parties or a lawsuit will be filed, including an uninsured/underinsured motorist proceeding with your insurance company if a vehicle driver’s insurance is inadequate to cover your damages.
- Once all insurance claims have been settled or litigated we will negotiate all outstanding healthcare liens, including those asserted by your own health insurance company, if any.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a cycling accident of any kind, contact EB Cycling Law right now for a free, confidential consultation. (619) 295-0035. You should speak with a lawyer to determine all at-fault parties as soon as possible. We have unparalleled experience representing injured cyclists in motor vehicle and hit and run accidents.