Does Auto Insurance Cover Bike Accidents?
Depending on the circumstances, bike accidents can range from the minor to the severe. A cyclist who catches the curb and flips over their handlebars may walk away scraped or unscathed, especially if they were wearing a helmet at the time. If the bike was hit by a car, however, the likelihood of serious injury is significantly greater. If you were hurt in a bike accident, are you on your own when paying for medical bills and other damages? Will auto insurance protect you? Read on to learn about bike accidents and car insurance. If you’ve been in a bike accident or if you’ve been hit by a negligent driver in Southern California, call a seasoned Calabasas bike accident attorney.
The Car Driver Caused the Crash
If you were riding a bike and you were hit by a negligent driver, you have the right to compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Auto insurance covers drivers in all manner of accidents that occur while they’re behind the wheel – accidents with other cars, accidents with inanimate objects, accidents with pedestrians, and accidents with cyclists. If you were hit by a car, you can claim against that driver’s auto liability insurance and collect the damages you are owed.
If you were hit by a driver while riding your bike and the driver fled the scene, you may be able to collect under your uninsured motorist coverage (UM). If you have an auto insurance policy with supplemental UM coverage, you are covered in the event you are hit by a driver without insurance or by a driver whom you are unable to track down. UM coverage kicks in whether you are a driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian – including if you were on a bike at the time.
The analysis above assumes that the cyclist can prove the auto driver was at fault for the accident. Drivers are not responsible for paying for the damages of injured parties when they were not at fault for the accident. If you were texting while riding and you hit a car at a stoplight, that driver’s insurance will not compensate you, even though it’s a car-versus-bike accident.
Bike-Only Accidents or Where the Cyclist is At Fault
If a cyclist is at fault for an accident, whether they cause another vehicle to crash or they crash alone, the cyclist’s auto insurance is not likely to cover the accident. Outside of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as discussed above, auto insurance is limited to accidents in which the policyholder was driving. Auto liability insurance covers drivers while driving; it does not protect policyholders from all types of personal injury liability.
Cyclists at fault for an accident may, however, have other forms of personal liability insurance. Your homeowners insurance or renters insurance may provide liability coverage for injury to third parties or property damage you cause while riding your bike. Homeowners and renters insurance may also help cover your property damage, such as damage to your bike. Cyclists can also opt to purchase cyclist insurance. These policies can be confusing and opaque, however, and it may be unclear what damages are actually covered.
Additionally, if an auto driver is hit by a bicyclist, they may be eligible for certain insurance coverage. Collision coverage pays for property damage to your vehicle caused by you or by an uninsured person, which includes pedestrians and cyclists. If you have collision coverage and a cyclist damages your car, your insurance should cover the property damage. The insurance company may, in turn, seek to recover its costs against the cyclist.
Call Now for Passionate, Professional Representation from a Dedicated Southern California Bike Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident in Southern California, the experienced and trial-ready personal injury legal team at the Halpern Law Firm is here to help. We fight to get you the compensation you and your family deserve. Call us at 818-785-5999 today for a Free No-Risk Confidential Consultation. These cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t be charged any attorney’s fees unless we win.