Bike Accident Insurance Payouts: What Can You Expect?
Bicycle accidents are a serious problem in California – California often has the highest number of bicycle accident-related deaths when compared to other states. When a bicycle accident occurs and the involved cyclist is injured, recovering compensation for harm is of the utmost importance. At the offices of the Levinson Law Group, we can help you to navigate your bike accident claim and help you to maximize your bike accident insurance payout.
Who Pays a Bike Accident Claim?
California requires all drivers to carry liability insurance; it is this insurance coverage that pays for injuries to others caused by a negligent driver’s actions. This means that if you are involved in a bicycle accident that is caused by the fault of the driver involved, you can file a claim directly against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance (you can also file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver). If the accident wasn’t caused by the driver’s negligence, you maintain the right to pursue damages from whoever did cause the accident, such as the manufacturer of a defective bike or vehicle part, for example. In the vast majority of cases, it will be an insurance company that ultimately offers compensation and settles a claim.
What’s Included in a Bike Accident Insurance Payout?
What is included in a bike accident insurance payout and how much money you can recover after an accident depends on numerous different things, including the severity of your injuries, your degree of fault (your recoverable damages award can be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault), and, perhaps most importantly, the amount of insurance coverage available. In an ideal scenario, you can recover 100 percent of the value of your:
● Medical expenses;
● Pain and suffering;
● Lost wages;
● Property damage expenses; and
● Any other economic or noneconomic losses.
Ways to Maximize Your Bike Accident Claim Recovery Amount
Just because you weren’t at fault for the accident and the at-fault driver maintains insurance does not mean that you will receive a fair bike accident insurance payout. In fact, insurance companies are infamous for low-balling claimants’ settlement offers, hoping that they’ll accept whatever they can get. Fortunately, there are things that you can do early on in the process that can help to protect your right to the bike accident claim compensation that you deserve. These include:
● Gather as much evidence as you can. The more evidence that you have, the stronger your case will be. This includes the driver’s information, the names and statements of any witnesses, a copy of the police report, your medical information, photos of the accident scene, and any other relevant evidence types.
● Seek medical treatment. Do not make the mistake of failing to seek medical treatment immediately following the accident; if you wait even a few days to seek care, the insurer may argue that your injuries were either a) not serious enough to warrant immediate medical attention or b) perhaps serious, but not related to the crash (if they were, why wouldn’t you seek care right away?). In addition to seeking medical treatment, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. This way, the insurance company can’t argue that you failed to do due diligence to mitigate harm.
● Be careful when talking to an insurer. Much like a criminal case, anything that you say can and will be used against you. Even saying something like “I’m sorry,” or, “I’m not sure because I wasn’t paying attention,” can be used to place fault on your shoulders and reduce your recovery amount.
● Call a lawyer. The sooner that you call a bicycle accident attorney who understands how to deal with an insurance company and what you need to do to get the bike accident insurance payout you deserve, the better.
Reach the Levinson Law Group Today
For a free consultation with the Levinson Law Group, please call our law office directly or send us a message online. We work on a contingency fee basis and are passionate about helping those harmed in bicycle accidents recover the settlements that they deserve.