DOES MY CAR INSURANCE COVER ME IF I AM INJURED IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT?
Let’s say you are riding your bicycle and you are struck by a car and seriously hurt. Other than seeking coverage from your own medical insurance company for hospital bills, do you have any options for seeking compensation for your injuries, loss of time from work, medical expenses and such?
The odds are good that the answer is “Yes!” Most automobile insurance polices cover losses (injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, suffering) caused by accidents involving a car and a bicyclist or pedestrian. This is true not only for the insurance policy of the vehicle that hits the bicycle rider, but in many instance it may also apply to the bicycle rider’s own car insurance.
It may sound strange to think about obtaining recovery from you car insurance company for an injury you sustained while riding your bicycle, but it is quite common. Here are a few things to look into if you or a family member are injured by a car while riding a bicycle:
1) Almost all auto liability insurance policies cover injuries caused by an insured driver to pedestrians and bicyclists. If the driver that hit you was entirely at fault or at least partially at fault, you should be able to seek recovery for your injuries under his auto liability insurance coverage. You may also be able to recover medical expenses from your own auto policy under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This type of insurance covers some medical expenses and lost wages.
2) What if the driver that hit you took off, or what if he has no coverage or very little insurance coverage? If you have a type of automobile insurance coverage called Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage (“UM”), your own insurer will probably cover you for your injuries caused by another vehicle driver, even if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist. A very common scenario is that the at-fault driver leaves so you have no way to seek recovery from the driver or his own insurer, so you can look to your auto insurer for compensation. Not all policies have UM coverage, but many do.
3) If you call the auto insurance company and they tell you that you are not covered, what should you do? Simple. Consult a lawyer! It is very common for insurance companies to tell people who call in with coverage questions, that there is no coverage. Don’t take their word for it.
Ewusiak & Roberts is a Tampa Bay area law firm located in downtown Safety Harbor, Florida. Joel Ewusiak & Chris Roberts are attorneys with extensive experience assisting injured individuals in navigating complex insurance coverage issues, including those involving bicycle accidents. We can assist with you with obtaining compensation from the at fault party and/or from your own insurer if you were injured in a bicycle accident. We also handle product defect claims involving bicycles. Learn more about us on our main website: www.erlitigators.com. Or call 727.724.5796 to arrange a free consultation.
UM will not cover you in a hit and run situation, to use UM you have to verify that the driver did not have insurance and if you can’t verify that because it was a hit and run there is no coverage.
That’s generally not true. UM coverage for most companies applies to hit and run. You may need another insurer.