While riding a bicycle is a great way to get exercise and avoid using your car, you have very little protection if you get hit by a negligent driver. Even if you are wearing a helmet you could suffer life-altering injuries. Drivers often do not pay attention or look for bicyclists when changing lanes or pulling out onto the road, which is a recipe for disaster.
If an accident happens, do you know where to seek compensation from? Your car insurance? The driver’s car insurance?
More importantly, what do you do if the insurance company gives you a hard time, denies your claim or lowballs you?
Below, our experienced Harrisburg cycling accident attorneys discuss filing a claim after a bicycle crash, and the importance of having enough coverage if a crash occurs. Our attorneys offer crash victims a free consultation to discuss their claims.
Give us a call today. We are ready to help. Phone: (717) 727-2089.
Insurance Coverage for Bicycle Crash Victims
While you can purchase bicycle insurance, your damages should be covered by the first-party benefits in your car insurance policy. Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, which means drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which provides compensation for a crash no matter who is at fault.
You can seek compensation up to the limits of your PIP coverage. If your coverage runs out and you still have medical expenses and lost wages, you may be able to seek compensation from the liability coverage of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
You may also be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. When drivers purchase Pennsylvania auto insurance, they must choose full or limited tort – limited tort restricts your ability to sue for pain and suffering. However, this limitation does not apply to bicycle accidents.
That said, it is unlikely filing a lawsuit would be a good option, unless the at-fault has significant assets that would cover your expenses.
You may be able to use your health insurance after exhausting your other options. However, if your health insurance has copays or deductibles, you will be responsible for paying them. If you use your health insurance first, and file a car insurance claim, the insurance company will likely place a lien on the settlement to get reimbursed for the money it pays for your medical bills.
Make sure to call the police after the crash and get the driver’s contact information and insurance information.
Using a Family Member’s Insurance Coverage
Some people do not own a car and commute to their job on their bicycle. These people probably do not carry car insurance.
Fortunately, if you live with a family member who has car insurance, you may be able to file a claim against his or her no-fault coverage.
What if the Driver Flees the Scene?
Unfortunately, bicycle riders are often disrespected by drivers, so much so that drivers may simply flee the scene of a crash. They may figure they can get away without the rider seeing their license plate or getting a good look at their face.
In this situation, you may be able to file a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage in your auto insurance policy. However, you should also call the police and relay any information you have about the driver and his or her vehicle, particularly the license plate number, as the police may be able to locate this person. If the driver can be located, you may be able to file a claim against your PIP coverage or the driver’s liability insurance coverage.
What About Paying for Damage to My Bicycle?
You should be able to file a claim against your insurance coverage or the at-fault driver’s insurance to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your bicycle. Unless you have an unusually expensive bicycle, you should be able to obtain the compensation you need for repairing or replacing your bicycle, as bicycles are much less expensive than cars.
Injured in a Bicycle Crash? Call for Experienced Legal Assistance
We know how devastating a bicycle crash injury can be, and how important it is to have experienced legal help as you pursue compensation for your damages. You cannot count on the insurance company to take care of you, as they routinely delay, deny and underpay claims, no matter how badly victims are hurt.
At Schmidt Kramer, our attorneys are dedicated to your best interests and the pursuit of maximum compensation to help you and your family move forward. Representation by our firm comes at no upfront cost and there are no obligations.
Schmidt Kramer. A law firm you can trust. Call (717) 727-2089.