What Insurance Covers a Bike Hitting a Car? A Comprehensive Guide

June 13, 2024

Cycling is gaining popularity as a mode of transportation, exercise, and recreation. This increase has corresponded with a rise in bicycle accidents, some of which can be severe. California, in particular, has the highest number of fatalities from bicycle accidents in the United States.

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Auto Insurance Involvement

Typically, auto insurance policies may only cover expenses from accidents involving a motor vehicle. In cases where a bicycle crashes due to road conditions like potholes, auto insurance might not offer coverage. Liability insurance from a homeowner or business might help if the accident occurred on their property due to unsafe conditions.

Fault in Accidents

In accidents involving both a driver and a cyclist, the at-fault party is responsible for the damages. If the driver is at fault, their car insurance should cover the damages. If the cyclist is at fault, the driver’s liability insurance may not cover the cyclist’s injuries or damages.

Types of Auto Insurance Policies

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Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers the insured's legal responsibility to pay for damages done to others. This type of insurance is essential in determining who covers the cost of damages in an accident between a car and a bicycle.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage covers injuries when the at-fault driver does not have auto insurance. This can be especially important in cases where the driver involved in the accident is uninsured or underinsured.

Collision Coverage

Collision Coverage covers damage to the insured’s vehicle, irrespective of fault. While primarily focused on vehicle damage, it can sometimes extend to cover bicycle damages in specific circumstances.

Coverage Specifics

State laws determine minimum liability coverage levels for drivers; in California, it’s $5,000 for property damage and $15,000 per person ($30,000 per accident) for bodily injury. Uninsured motorist policies are optional but can cover situations where the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance. Collision coverage typically requires a deductible payment before the insurance payout.

Alternative Coverage Options

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance might cover bicycle-related damages. However, an expensive bicycle might need specific coverage inclusion in a homeowner’s insurance policy. If an accident happened on someone else’s property and due to their negligence, their insurance could cover the injuries.

Legal Assistance and Compensation

In case of claim denials from auto or homeowner insurance, pursuing compensation through a personal injury lawsuit is an option. A personal injury attorney can work to recover damages including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Consulting a personal injury attorney can be crucial as insurance companies often minimize compensation.

Consultation and Legal Support

The offered services from The Beliz Law Firm include a free initial consultation to discuss the accident and the claims process.

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident

After an accident, it's important to call the police and seek immediate medical attention. Accurate documentation and immediate reporting of the incident can significantly aid in making strong insurance or legal claims. Cyclists should also consider all costs, including medical treatments, prescription medications, and potential loss of work.

Seeking Legal Advice

Seeking legal advice can be beneficial for navigating insurance claims and protecting your rights. Attorneys can work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you reach a settlement, ensuring that financial barriers do not prevent you from seeking justice.

Car insurance can intersect with bicycle accidents in multiple ways, providing various avenues for compensation. Understanding these options and seeking professional legal assistance when needed can help cyclists navigate the complexities of insurance claims and ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.

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