What to Know About Bicycle Accident Insurance in California
San Diego Bike Injury Lawyer Explains Coverage Cyclists Need to Recover After Crashes
San Diego bicycle accident attorney Frederick M. Dudek is a cycling enthusiast. As a result, he knows how worrisome the thought of a crash on your bike can be. Depending on who is at fault, different types of insurance policies may provide coverage for the medical bills, repairing or replacing your bike and more. The most common bike accidents are collisions that involve vehicles, negligent drivers and their auto policies. However, cyclists can also be in crashes with pedestrians and other cyclists. What type of insurance can provide financial compensation to cyclists in these situations?
You may be surprised to learn how you and your bike may be covered by your own policies in the event of a crash. Your car insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) and homeowners or renters policies may provide damages that cover you and your bike, depending on the circumstances. Whether you are at fault or not, knowing the laws and bicycle accident insurance options are crucial for any cyclist.
When Does Car Insurance Cover a Crash with a Bicycle?
In California, all drivers are required to have car insurance to cover damages they cause in an accident that is their fault. Many drivers choose to purchase the minimum coverage required by law, which includes:
- $15,000 for bodily injury protection per person per accident
- $30,000 total bodily injury for two or more people per accident
- $5,000 for property damage
For cyclists, the good news is that if you are in a car accident while riding your bike and the motorist is at fault, the other driver’s insurance will pay for the damages. The bad news is that if your damages exceed the amount of insurance coverage the driver has, you have to pay the remaining bills yourself.
Since bike accidents almost always result in more serious injuries for the cyclist than the driver, this is a very real possibility. If you ride a high-end bike, the $5,000 property damage minimum can also be a concern.
You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover extra expenses that exceed the policy limits of the driver involved. However, this may not be your best option. If the driver has few assets, then you may not get very far. This is especially true if the driver is uninsured at the time of the bike accident.
In this scenario, looking to your own auto insurance for coverage under a UM/UIM policy may provide the additional financial relief you need to begin recovering.
When Does UM/UIM Insurance Cover a Bike Crash?
If you are hit by an uninsured driver, then your own car insurance policy may cover the damages. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is often included in your car insurance policy, although California residents may opt out of this additional coverage if they choose. This is something cyclists should never do. If you are a cyclist, then it is a good idea to get the maximum amount of UM/UIM available. This will then protect your ability to gain the financial compensation you need in the event of a crash.
UM/UIM insurance will cover your damages if you are hit by an underinsured or uninsured motorist, even if you are not driving a car. This includes accidents that happen while you are on your bike or jogging. Your policy covers the damage to you and your bike up to the total amount specified in your policy. This kind of insurance may also cover you in the event of a hit-and-run bike accident.
One issue with this coverage is that you must own a car to have a UM/UIM policy. In California, many people use bicycles as their only means of transportation. However, you may be able to purchase separate insurance for your bike, but these policies can be confusing as to what damages they do and do not cover.
After a bike accident, make sure you speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer before you give up on recovering compensation for your injuries from the party at fault or damages from your own policy. During a free cycling accident claim consultation, our attorney can review the specifics of the crash, your coverage and give you a professional opinion about your best legal options.
When Does Homeowners/Renters Insurance Cover a Bicycle Accident?
When a bicycle collision is not your fault, either the other driver’s car insurance or your own UM/UIM policy may provide compensation. However, if you are at fault for the accident, then the personal liability coverage from your homeowners or renters insurance may help you pay for the damage you caused. This coverage can help pay for any damages to property or personal injuries in an accident where your bike hits a car, pedestrian or fellow cyclist.
If another cyclist, jogger or skateboarder hits you, then his or her personal liability coverage may cover your injuries. People often have a homeowners or renters insurance policy, which will cover these injuries. This type of policy may also cover a claim if your bike is stolen, either from your home or somewhere else.
Every insurance policy is different. Therefore, it is important to go over the coverage you have and the coverage you need with an experienced California bicycle injury lawyer after a crash. It is crucial that you explore all your options if you are ever in an accident while riding your bike.
Our San Diego Personal Injury Lawyer Can Answer Your Bicycle Accident Insurance Questions
Bike crash attorney Frederick M. Dudek has decades of experience cycling in California and nationwide. Thus, he understands the concerns you have as a cyclist for yourself and your bike. He has both the professional and personal experience needed to help you understand your insurance policies after a crash.
If you are in an accident, then our attorney can go over your best options. During a free consultation, we can discuss recovering compensation in a personal injury lawsuit against the driver at fault. Even a minor bike accident is more than just a question of damaged property. It is also an emotional experience for you, the cyclist. Fellow cyclist and bike injury lawyer Frederick M. Dudek knows that. Please contact our San Diego law firm today to see how we can help.