Individuals injured in a bike accident often face some of the most painful of injuries. If you’re hit by a vehicle, your first step is to seek out medical attention. From there, it is important that you speak to an attorney that’s experienced in handling bike accident injury cases. But, which insurance company should you call? And, where are you likely to find the coverage you need?
Biking and Its Risks
Many people see the value in biking. It’s good for the body and the planet. But it comes with a number of risks and dangers. Some of them you can prevent by being vigilant. Others, you cannot. In most situations, another person is responsible.
In 2015, more than 1,000 cyclist died as a result of bike-related accidents, and more than 467,000 were injured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year, Miami-Dade County had 900 cyclists that were involved in crashes. The risks are significant – and that’s frightening to many people.
In fact, a survey from Breakaway Research Group for People for Bikes reported that many Americans say they want to ride a bike, but 54% of them are worried about being hit by a vehicle or a truck, and that is why they don’t do so.
Considering all of this, you shouldn’t give up doing what you love. Instead, you need to know where to turn if an accident does occur.
Financial Compensation May Be Available to You
If you’ve experienced any incident in which you’ve been injured by a vehicle while on a bicycle, you may be able to obtain financial help. There is no doubt that being in this type of accident can be devastating, even when a minor injury occurs. It is always best to work closely with an attorney who is experienced in bike-related personal injury claims to get the compensation you deserve.
Will Your Current Auto Insurance Carrier Cover Your Bike-related Accident?
If you’re on a bike and are hit while riding it, there are several situations that can occur in relation to the payment of your injuries and other losses. Many auto insurance policies will provide financial coverage to you to cover your injuries if you’ve been hurt. Take a closer look at your current auto insurance plan. If you have personal injury protection(which is mandatory in Florida) or medical payments, your medical bills and lost wages will be paid by your insurance provider. This means that even if you are at fault for the accident, your auto insurance plan will cover the costs of your medical care.
Additionally, your home insurance may provide some coverage for your bike itself. This depends on the ownership and use of the bike and the policy details.
If you do not have this insurance right now, but you are a biker, it is time to speak to your insurance agent about additional coverage options. The most important coverage to purchase for a cyclist is Uninsured motorist coverage.
What If You Are Not at Fault?
If you are on a bike and are hit by a car, but the driver of the vehicle is at fault, you again have options to consider. In this situation, you can file a claim with that driver’s liability insurance to cover your economic losses and pain and suffering damages. In this case, the liability insurance of the driver will cover your pain and suffering damages, economic damages, protective gear, and even your bike. In some situations, when your needs extend beyond this, you can file a claim against your uninsured motorist carrier as well.
What Types of Losses Are Covered?
Before you file such a claim – with any insurance company – contact an attorney. It is very common for insurers to try to fast-track claims to minimize the amount of damage. However, a simple bike accident can cause much more than a trip to the emergency room. You may be able to secure compensation for any of your losses including:
- Your medical bills related to the accident
- Your bike losses
- Coverage for your protective gear or other on-hand items you own damaged in the incident
- Your time lost at work
- Pain and suffering
- Long-term rehabilitation and care as needed
With the amount of force that a vehicle has, compared to the very limited amount of protection on a bicycle, it is easy to find yourself struggling with rehab for months and even long-term limited use of your limbs. Even chronic pain and fear can develop from the incident. Much of this can be a part of the claim you file.
What You Need to Do Before You File a Claim
Do not hesitate to call an experienced attorney to help you if you’ve been injured while on your bike. Even if you plan to file an insurance claim with your auto insurance, you should speak to an attorney first to learn what level of compensation you are likely owed.
The team at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC has the experience that you need. We can help you learn what compensation is available to you for all of your short- and long-term losses. Contact us now for a free, no obligation consultation for bike injury cases at 866-769-0123.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.