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  • Do You Have Bicycle Accident Insurance, and Why

    Do You Have Bicycle Accident Insurance, and Why

The Importance of Bicycle Accident Insurance: Exploring the Arguments for and Against

Riding bikes for most people is a normal occurrence. Many of us never consider the consequences of being struck by some other party or striking a stationary object while riding. But sadly, bicycle accidents are an unfortunate reality that cyclists face on a regular basis. In the event of an accident caused by another vehicle, many cyclists are unaware of the potential insurance coverage they may have from their own automobile policy. Still, others may be unaware they can buy a stand-alone bike collision policy to cover damages.

Most of all, Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Under-Insured Motorist Coverage (UIM) are two provisions commonly found in automobile insurance policies that can provide financial protection for cyclists injured by uninsured or under-insured vehicles, as will be thoroughly explored along with renter’s insurance and homeowner’s insurance protection for bicyclists.

This comprehensive analysis by Los Angeles bicycle lawyer, Michael Ehline, will delve into the arguments for and against bicycle accident insurance, drawing on information from various vetted, and cited sources, including the Insurance Information Institute and Personal Injury Warriors International. Bicycle crashes, for which insurance coverage is necessary, can result in a wide range of bodily injuries, varying in severity depending on the circumstances of the accident.

Common Bodily Injuries in Bike Accidents

There are several types of bodily injuries we commonly associate with bicycle crashes:

  1. Head Injuries: Head injuries are a significant concern in bicycle crashes, even when wearing a helmet. These injuries are common in pedestrians at crosswalks or with two bikes crashing into each other or some other object. They can range from minor concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Head injuries can have long-lasting effects on cognitive function, motor skills, and overall quality of life.
  2. Fractures: Fractures, or broken bones, are common in bicycle crashes. The most frequent fractures occur in the extremities, such as the arms, wrists, hands, legs, and collarbones. Fractures may require surgery, immobilization with casts or braces, and extensive rehabilitation.
  3. Soft Tissue Injuries: Soft tissue injuries are common in bicycle crashes and can include sprains, strains, contusions (bruises), and lacerations (cuts). These injuries can range from mild to severe, causing pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.
  4. Road Rash: Road rash refers to abrasions and skin injuries caused by sliding or scraping along the road surface during a crash. It occurs when the skin comes into contact with the pavement, resulting in friction burns and abrasions. Road rash can vary in severity, from superficial scrapes to deep wounds requiring medical treatment and potential scarring.
  5. Spinal Injuries: Bicycle crashes can also lead to severe spine injuries, such as a fracture, herniated discs, or spinal cord injuries. Severe spinal injuries from a crash can result in paralysis or partial loss of motor function and sensation. The cyclist may be forced to pay out of pocket for walking aids and painkillers beyond their own health insurance policy.
  6. Facial Injuries: Facial injuries are common in bicycle crashes, especially when riders are not wearing protective gear. These injuries can include fractures of the jaw, nose, cheekbones, and eye sockets, as well as facial lacerations and dental injuries.
  7. Internal Injuries: Depending on the force and impact of the crash, cyclists may experience internal injuries. These can include injuries to organs, such as the lungs, liver, spleen, or kidneys. Internal injuries can be life-threatening for any person and may require immediate medical attention.
  8. Wrongful Death: A negligent killing for which survivors can be compensated in court by the defendant or defendants at fault for the accident. If bicyclists carry the right insurance, they may cover their close loved ones and protect them as they grieve and repair their losses.

It’s important to note that the severity and extent of injuries caused by negligence can vary. These variations include the speed of motorists during the crash, the use of safety equipment (e.g., helmets), the point of impact, and the cyclist’s overall health and physical condition. Bicycle crashes can result in minor injuries requiring minimal medical intervention and lower medical costs. However, more severe injuries will require extensive medical treatment, surgeries, and long-term rehabilitation.

Seeking immediate medical attention following a bicycle crash is crucial, even if injuries may initially appear minor. Some injuries, such as concussions or internal injuries, may not be immediately apparent but can have serious consequences if left untreated. Either way, this creates a record and tracks your progress, including pain and suffering after a car accident. What if you can’t locate the other driver or the driver’s insurance company? Maybe there was a hit-and-run accident?

The victim or their loved ones deserve to be compensated for their non-economic damages like pain and suffering, as well as economic damages, including lost wages, medical bills, and other financial compensation. What if the at-fault vehicle driver has no auto insurance policy to pursue at all in your bike collision? In that case, your health insurance company may step in. You may also find a home or renter’s insurance policy may cover some of the cyclist’s medical expenses.

You must make sure these liability costs are covered under some other form of insurance. Could your car insurance cover a bike accident? We will answer these questions and more below in this comprehensive article about bike insurance policy coverage and your own auto insurance.

I. Arguments in Favor of Bicycle Accident Insurance:

a) Financial Protection

One of the primary reasons to consider having bicycle injury insurance is to cover property damage and personal injuries and not be forced to take legal action under state law. In the unfortunate event of a bicycle accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, having uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) auto insurance can help cyclists recover the PIP minimum from their injuries and related expenses.

Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and even pain and suffering can quickly add up, leaving cyclists with a significant financial burden. By having appropriate insurance coverage, cyclists can mitigate the financial impact of such accidents and focus on their recovery. The idea is that you file a claim, and your insurer deals with the rest until you get paid money sufficient to make you whole again. How much they pay is another matter that will require legal assistance. You can speak to us anytime, 24/7, if you have any questions that happen to be on your mind. To earn your trust, we can check if your policy covers bicyclists at no charge. Our injury lawyers are experts in all types of insurance and can answer other questions too. You are entitled to the best help, and we can give it under virtually any scenario with cars hitting bikes and different types of injuries!

b) Extended Coverage

Another compelling argument for bicycle accident insurance is the extended coverage it provides. Unlike your health insurer, UM and UIM coverage follow cyclists wherever they go, providing protection not just when in a vehicle but also when riding their bicycles. This means that even if a cyclist or pedestrian on foot is involved in an accident while cycling, their automobile insurance policy may still cover them. This extended coverage can offer cyclists peace of mind, knowing they are protected from all damages caused, regardless of their transportation mode.

c) Encourages Responsible Driving

Having bicycle accident insurance can also play a role in encouraging responsible driving behavior to avoid accidents with other motorists. Knowing they have insurance coverage in the event of an accident, cyclists may feel more confident and secure on the roads. This can lead to increased participation in cycling as a mode of transportation, resulting in various benefits such as reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, and enhanced personal health. By incentivizing responsible driving practices through insurance coverage, the overall safety and well-being of cyclists and the community can be positively influenced. The hope is that cyclists will stay in the bike lane, pay attention not to hit a parked car, look out for the other cyclist, and exchange information if there is an accident, as a good citizen would in most accidents.

II. Arguments Against Bicycle Accident Insurance

a) Cost Considerations

One of the primary concerns raised by individuals who are skeptical about bicycle accident insurance is the cost. See if your UM and UIM insurance cover bicycle accidents as well. Proving negligence may or may not be necessary, so you should still get legal advice if you expect a fair settlement. Don’t forget that an automobile insurance policy typically incurs an additional premium for this coverage. Some cyclists may argue that the likelihood of an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver is relatively low, making the extra expense seem unnecessary. They may opt to allocate their resources towards other priorities, such as upgrading their bicycles or investing in cycling accessories. Additionally, individuals who do not own a car and solely rely on bicycles for transportation may find the cost of automobile insurance unjustifiable, further dissuading them from obtaining bicycle accident insurance.

b) Duplication of Coverage

Another counterargument against bicycle accident insurance is the potential duplication of coverage for damaged property under existing auto insurance policies, etc. Many cyclists already possess health insurance policies that cover medical expenses resulting from accidents, regardless of whether they occurred while cycling or in a vehicle. Some may argue that UM and UIM coverage may overlap with their existing health insurance, leading to redundant coverage and unnecessary costs. This duplication concern is particularly relevant to comprehensive health insurance plans that provide sufficient coverage for accidents and injuries sustained.

c) Legal Complexities

Critics of bicycle accident insurance also point to the legal complexities surrounding insurance claims and the potential for lengthy and arduous processes. In some cases, insurance companies may dispute the liability or the extent of injuries, leading to prolonged negotiations or even lawsuits. This is a real possibility, so, again, you should obtain a free consultation with a bicycling law attorney to make sure they reimburse you.

This can be a source of frustration and stress for cyclists already dealing with an accident’s physical and emotional aftermath. The time and effort required to navigate the insurance claims process may deter some individuals from pursuing bicycle accident insurance coverage, as they may perceive it as a cumbersome and time-consuming endeavor.

Ultimately, the choice to obtain bicycle accident insurance from an insurance company depends on various factors. Unique facts apply to every bike rider, such as the frequency and nature of cycling activities, the local road conditions, the availability of comprehensive health insurance, and personal risk tolerance.

Cyclists who frequently ride in areas with a high incidence of uninsured or under-insured drivers may find greater value in obtaining insurance coverage tailored explicitly to bike accidents. Conversely, individuals who rarely cycle or have robust health insurance coverage may think the additional cost to cover a bicycle accident unduly burdensome.

First Step: Look At Existing Car Insurance Coverage for Bicycle Accidents

Does auto insurance cover bicycle accidents? Maybe! It remains pretty crucial for cyclists to educate themselves about their existing insurance policies before they purchase more. This includes looking at car insurance coverage like UM and UIM. See if your car insurance provisions cover personal injury protection for bike wrecks. Consult with insurance professionals to see if your existing personal liability coverage applies to your family doctor and other expenses. Just ask them, “Will my car insurance cover a bicycle?” You may discover your car insurance will cover a bike accident!

You can also ask a well-versed insurance law attorney if you are still trying to understand if the insurance may cover your motor vehicle. They will be able to tell whether your purchased insurance extends to cover bicycle accidents or if someone else’s will. Ultimately, your auto or renters insurance could offer some benefit, even for medical payments coverage. , consider bicycle accident insurance’s potential benefits and limitations. Staying informed about auto insurance options, local regulations, and road safety measures can empower cyclists to make informed decisions prioritizing their well-being and financial security.

Will Other Car Insurance Cover A Bicycle Accident?

Yes! If you are involved in a bicycle accident caused by another driver, their car insurance may provide coverage for your injuries and damages. In this case, you can pursue a claim against the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy. The specific coverage and limits will depend on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy and the regulations in your jurisdiction.

Gathering evidence to support your case is important when filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. This may include collecting witness statements, taking photographs of the accident scene and damages, obtaining the police report (if applicable), and seeking medical documentation of your injuries. Providing clear and comprehensive documentation can strengthen your claim and increase the likelihood of obtaining compensation.

The at-fault driver’s insurance policy should handle your medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other damages resulting from the accident. However, it’s important to note that insurance policies have coverage limits. If the damages exceed the coverage limits of the at-fault driver’s policy, you may not receive full compensation for all your losses.

In cases where the at-fault driver does not have insurance or their policy is insufficient to cover your damages, you may need to explore other legal options, like pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Our experienced and aggressive personal injury attorneys can help you seek compensation directly from their personal assets if necessary to help make you whole after collisions. In conclusion, the decision to have bicycle accident insurance is a personal one that should be carefully considered based on individual circumstances and priorities.

Arguments in favor of bicycle accident insurance highlight its financial protection, extended coverage regardless of the mode of transportation, and the potential to encourage responsible driving practices. On the other hand, arguments against bicycle accident insurance focus on cost considerations, potential duplication of coverage, and concerns about legal complexities.

Schedule a Free Case Review To See If Your Bicycle Accidents Are Covered

Coverage for bicycle accidents is just a phone call or email away. We offer all new clients a free consultation to reach us and let them tell us their stories. We charge no hidden fees to discuss the matter and confidently offer our legal opinion. You can rest assured that you will be dealing with a professional specializing in personal injury law to understand your rights, the applicable laws in your jurisdiction, and the best course of action to pursue compensation after colliding in a bicycle accident.

Are you seeking maximum financial compensation after a bicycle accident? We can help with that too! Our team has collectively won over $150 Million in verdicts and settlements. We understand the financial liability people face. We can guide them through the legal process, help negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure their rights are protected throughout the arduous insurance claims process. Please fill out our convenient online website contact form, or call us 24/7 at (213) 596-9642. We have helped thousands of clients recover personal injury protection from the at-blame party in tough situations, and we can help you too!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this analysis is based on data and knowledge available prior to September 2021. Insurance policies and regulations may have changed since then, and individuals need to consult with insurance professionals and stay updated on current information and requirements related to bicycle accident insurance.

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Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of the largest motorcycle accident settlements in U.S. History. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves in being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride, and a a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

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