If you are injured in a bike accident caused by a negligent driver, you expect that you will be able to look to that driver for compensation for the costs of your injuries. However, what happens if that driver carries only the minimum amount of liability insurance and you have suffered catastrophic injuries and medical costs far exceed the available coverage? Or, even worse, what if the driver has no insurance at all? How will you pay thousands of dollars in medical bills, support yourself during your recuperation, and provide for yourself if your injuries prevent you from returning to work? If the responsible driver has no insurance, no steady source of income, and no assets from which to pay a judgment, what will you do?
This situation emphasizes the need for all bicyclists (and people in general) to maintain adequate amounts of insurance in the case of catastrophic injuries, whether sustained in a bicycle accident, a motor vehicle accident, or another event. For example, it is common for the personal automobile insurance policies of individuals to cover injuries that they suffer in bicycle accidents. In addition to liability insurance that provides coverage for others, if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance (UM coverage), then that coverage may apply in various situations where you have been injured in a bicycle accident. Specifically, UM coverage may apply when:
- The driver responsible for the crash does not remain at the scene and is unidentifiable, i.e., a hit-and-run accident has occurred
- The negligent driver is identifiable, but uninsured
- The responsible driver is identifiable, but the policy limits of his or her insurance coverage are insufficient to pay for the costs associated with your injuries from the crash
Since UM coverage is optional for California residents, you may want to review your existing policy and ensure that you have opted for this coverage. Failing to do so can put you in a position in which you are unable to pay medical bills, replace your lost wages, or support yourself following injuries in a bicycle crash involving a motor vehicle. If you have suffered injuries while riding a bicycle, you may greatly benefit from calling us today and getting the advice that you need. Bonnici Law Group has the experience and knowledge that is invaluable when making a claim for compensation following a bicycle accident. When you need answers, contact Bonnici Law Group today at 619-259-5199. As we focus our efforts on bike-related personal injury cases, we know how to protect your rights and build a strong claim for compensation in your case.