Car crashes are part of daily life in California, although some people are more at risk when a crash occurs than others. Cyclists, for example, can end up hospitalized over a collision that may have only caused minor damage to a vehicle’s occupants.
A large percentage of crashes involving motor vehicles striking bicycles occur because of something that the person in the motor vehicle did. Cyclists are often well aware of the risk inherent in their chosen form of transportation or exercise. They are frequently more proactive than drivers about consistently following California traffic laws. When cyclists get hurt in collisions, they can sometimes file a claim for insurance coverage to repay them for their losses. What insurance may apply after a bicycle crash?
The vehicle driver’s policy
California law mandates liability insurance coverage for all motorists. Anyone who registers a vehicle in California and drives on public roads typically needs to maintain proper liability coverage. Their policy should provide both property damage liability coverage and bodily injury liability protection. The cyclist hurt in a crash caused by someone in a motor vehicle may be able to file a claim against the driver’s policy. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t carry insurance. Many others only pay for what the state requires and might not have enough coverage to fully compensate an injured cyclist.
The cyclist’s insurance
Some cyclists carry bicycle insurance. These special policies can protect a bicycle from damage during transportation. That they can also protect cyclists against the liability if they cause a crash, such as when they knock down a pedestrian. Cyclist coverage usually does not apply after a crash where another party is at fault.
If the cyclist is also a driver, they may have an insurance policy that helps them after a collision on their bicycle. If someone purchased underinsured motorist coverage, uninsured driver protection or similar supplemental insurance, they can sometimes use their own policy as a way to cover expenses that the other driver’s policy cannot cover. The unfortunate truth about using one’s personal insurance coverage after a crash is that a claim could increase what a cyclist pays for insurance in the future. It is sometimes preferable to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a driver instead of leveraging any and all insurance coverage that may apply after a cycling crash.
Reviewing the policy details for the parties involved in a cycling collision with an attorney may help people more fully cover the losses generated by a wreck.