What if the Driver That Hits Your Bike Is Uninsured?
You’re riding your bike along the road, minding your business, and following the relevant traffic laws. Out of nowhere, a reckless driver blazes through a stop sign and crashes into you. You’re now facing mounting medical bills and other damages, but you discover the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance. Does that make the driver “judgment-proof?” What can you do? Read on for a discussion of your options when you’re hit by an uninsured driver while riding a bike. For help after a Southern California bicycle accident, call an experienced Calabasas bike accident injury attorney.
Sue the Driver
If the driver who hit you was acting negligently and caused the accident through their negligence, then they are liable for any harm they’ve caused you. Even though they do not have car insurance, the driver is still responsible for your damages–medical bills, pain and suffering, etc.
The trouble with suing an uninsured driver, of course, is the likelihood they lack the resources to cover any substantial portion of your damages. Most uninsured drivers have shallow pockets; they choose not to pay for insurance because they can’t afford it. If you’re hoping to get coverage for your medical bills and other damages, you’ll likely need to look elsewhere.
Auto insurance companies in California are required to offer drivers the option to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance coverage. UM/UIM coverage protects a driver in the event they are hit by an uninsured driver. UM/UIM covers your damages even when you were not at fault. Unlike standard liability/personal injury auto coverage, UM/UIM coverage is not mandatory, but we strongly recommend everyone who owns a car in California opts for it.
Your UM/UIM covers you after a car accident even if you were not in your car at the time. UM/UIM coverage will protect you whether you were driving, traveling in a car as a passenger, on the street as a pedestrian, or riding your bicycle. Even if you do not own a car, you might still be covered by a UM/UIM policy owned by your spouse, your domestic partner, or your parents if you are a minor or college student.
UM/UIM coverage will compensate you for a number of financial losses, including medical and rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and loss of future income due to disability. Moreover, UM/UIM may even cover additional damages that are not typically covered by liability insurance, including compensation for your pain and suffering.
If you do not own a vehicle and you’re not covered by anyone else’s uninsured motorist policy, then you might still be protected by your health insurance. Health insurance will cover your medical bills at the least, although you may not get compensated for other damages.
Call Now for Zealous, Effective 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 seasoned 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.