Does Auto Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency reported 147 people died in bicycle accidents in California last year. That accounts for 4% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state.
Fortunately, the San Diego area only had one fatal bicycle accident. Comparatively, Los Angeles had 20 deadly crashes.
It is essential to understand what to do if a car hit your bike by a car in an accident, so you can cover all your property and medical expenses.
HOW DO YOU GO AFTER AUTO INSURANCE IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT?
If a car hits you, then the driver should have the minimum amount of auto insurance required by the state (15/30/5).
That means the insurance company must cover at least $15,000 in bodily injury limits per person, $30,000 in bodily injury limits per accident, and $5,000 in property damages per accident.
Having such a low level of insurance might mean they do not carry enough coverage for the accident. Often in cases like this, underinsured drivers require you use alternative payment methods to cover your bodily injuries.
Even worse than underinsured drivers are uninsured drivers. Approximately, 12% of drivers do not pay for auto insurance.
If an uninsured driver hits your bike, check out your health, auto, or bike policies. Bikers who also drive cars may use their car insurance, even if they were on their bike during the accident.
Whatever type of insurance you use, it is essential to know what steps to take after the accident.
WHAT ABOUT BIKE INSURANCE?
While the percentage of bikers with biker’s insurance is low, that does not mean you should not use it.
Bike insurance policies are similar to auto insurance policies. Both insurance plans include medical and liability protection. The liability coverage ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 per accident.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR AUTO INSURANCE?
As we discussed above, it is possible to use your auto insurance to pay for your accident.
First, check if the other driver’s insurance policy is large enough to cover your bicycle accident. Second, you might need to have a backup plan in place to check with your insurance company about filing a claim.
You pay the insurance company to protect your vehicle as well as automobile-related accidents that may harm you.
In some cases, the driver does not carry any or enough insurance. In most cases, you can use your Uninsured/Underinsured (UM) coverage to pay for your bodily injuries and personal property claims.
The same goes if a car knocks your bike in a hit-and-run accident. Your UM insurance can cover you.
Cyclists often need UM insurance in “no contact” accidents. A “no contact” accident happens when a car violates a three-foot perimeter of the bike.
The invasion of space could force the bicyclist to swerve and crash into another vehicle. Sometimes the motorist in a “no contact” collision does not even know they caused the bicyclist to crash.
As the car drives off, the cyclist can rely on their UM coverage.
CAN YOU USE HEALTH INSURANCE?
Some bike riders do not have auto or bike insurance? If the driver does not carry adequate coverage, the biker can use their health insurance policy for their medical injuries.
As we discussed in other articles, you can use health insurance to cover your initial damages. If you collect a settlement later, then you must pay back the health insurance company.
That is because health insurance is an insurance of last resort for medical issues related to the car accident.
CAN YOU USE HOMEOWNERS POLICIES?
You can check your homeowner’s insurance plan to see if they can cover your personal property.
The challenge is many homeowner’s policies exempt personal property like bicycles. However, not all plans carry these exemptions. Your personal injury attorney can help you answer these questions.
WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT?
If you never were in a crash before then, it is confusing finding out what steps you need to take for a bike accident case.
Therefore, if you need help, feel free to lean on Levinson Law Group.
Our attorneys have over 40 years of personal injury experience at your disposal. Let us put that experience to work for your case.
Set up a free consultation with Levinson Law Group today by calling 760-642-5475. You pay nothing unless we win.