Bicycle accidents are a common occurrence in the state of California, and these accidents can result in severe injuries to bicyclists. When motor vehicles are involved in bicycle accidents, injured bicyclists may be able to obtain compensation from auto insurance policies – both from the at-fault driver and the cyclist’s own auto insurance they carried at the time of the accident.
All drivers are required to maintain minimum liability insurance under state law of $15,000 for bodily injuries to one person and $30,000 for bodily injuries to two or more persons. As a result, when drivers cause an accident that injures bicyclists, their car insurance is likely to cover the bicyclists’ injuries.
In catastrophic accidents, however, $15,000 may be insufficient to pay for the injuries to the bicyclist. Potential damages can include lost wages from an inability to work, medical bills, pain and suffering, and permanent disability. In accidents that cause particularly severe injuries, $15,000 may fall well short of the ongoing medical and personal care expenses that injury victims may need. Although some motorists do carry extra liability insurance for this reason, not all do, and the law does not require them to carry additional coverage.
Furthermore, some drivers fail to maintain insurance at all, despite the law requiring them to do so. In this case, bicyclists still can sue the drivers for their damages, but the driver may have no assets from which to collect any damages award that they receive. In both these cases, however, injured bicyclists may be able to look to the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage available under their car insurance policies.
Of course, the law does not require you to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, either, so not all bicyclists can utilize this option. However, these situations highlight how important this form of insurance may be to cover all the costs of catastrophic injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. As a cyclist, carrying adequate uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage covers both car accidents and bicycle accidents involving a car, making it even more valuable to have.
Bonnici Law Group has the experience and knowledge that you need when you are seeking compensation following injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. We know how to help you create and maintain a strong claim for compensation based on the evidence and obtain the best outcome possible in your case. Do not hesitate to contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.