What Insurance Covers Bicycle Accidents In California?
In the sunny state of California, cycling is a popular mode of transportation and recreation. From bustling urban centers to scenic coastal routes, cyclists share the roads with all kinds of motor vehicles. Understanding the nuances of insurance coverage in the event of a bike accident is essential for both cyclists and motorists. Read on to learn about what insurance covers bicycle accidents.
Who is Liable in a California Bicycle Accident?
Both drivers and cyclists must uphold their duty of care, which is a legal obligation to obey traffic rules, follow traffic signals and avoid collisions. Determining liability in a California bicycle accident can be a complex process. California follows the legal doctrine of pure comparative negligence, meaning fault can be shared between multiple parties involved in the accident.
Therefore, injured victims involved in the accident may seek compensation even if they are found to be partially liable. However, the compensation they may be able to recover will be reduced based on their percentage of fault.
When establishing liability, it is essential to gather evidence and witness statements. Factors such as traffic violations, failure to yield the right of way, distracted driving, and violating traffic laws can all contribute to determining who is at fault in a bike accident.
What Kind Of Insurance Policy Do You Carry?
Having the right insurance coverage is crucial in case of a bicycle accident. While California law doesn’t require cyclists to carry specific insurance, there are options worth considering. Personal liability insurance can provide coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused by the cyclist to others.
Additionally, if you carry medical payments coverage on your car insurance, it may cover you for out-of-pocket medical bills. Medical payment coverage can help with the cyclist’s medical expenses regardless of who was at fault. Additionally, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy might include coverage for bicycle accidents. It’s best to review your existing insurance policies to determine your insurance policy coverage.
If you were injured in a bicycle crash, besides seeking coverage from your health insurance or auto insurance, you may wonder what other options you have for recovering compensation. The at-fault party can be held accountable for damages suffered in the accident.
The At-Fault Party’s Automobile Insurance Policy
If a cyclist is involved in an accident caused by a motor vehicle driver, the cyclist can seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s car insurance policy. California law requires all motorists to carry personal liability coverage, which covers bodily injury and property damage they cause to others.
In a bicycle accident, the injured party can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company to seek compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, the insurance company will likely try to minimize the settlement. Therefore, it’s essential for the injured cyclist to gather evidence and consult with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. A personal injury attorney will protect your rights and fight for the maximum compensation available.
Proving Liability in a Bicycle Accident Claim
Proving liability after a bike accident is vital for successfully obtaining compensation for injuries and damages. To establish liability, the injured cyclist needs to show that the other party acted negligently or recklessly, causing the accident. Gathering evidence such as photographs of the accident scene, eyewitness accounts, police reports, and any available surveillance footage is beneficial.
It’s also essential to document all injuries and medical treatment received as a result of the accident. Seeking legal representation from an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer can be helpful in navigating the complexities of liability claims and ensuring the injured cyclist’s rights are protected.
The Statute of Limitations in California
The statute of limitations is the allotted time an injured victim has to file a personal injury claim. In California, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the accident. However, this time period can vary based on the circumstances of your case. For example, if the insurance claim is with a government agency, the victim only has 6 months from the date of the injury to file a claim. It’s best to consult with an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer to determine the time you have.
Does Car Insurance Cover Hit-and-Run Accidents?
Hit-and-run accidents involving cyclists are unfortunately not uncommon in California. When a cyclist is involved in a hit-and-run, they may wonder if they can receive compensation for their injuries and damages. In such cases, uninsured motorist coverage is very important.
Many auto insurance policies in California include uninsured motorist coverage, which can provide protection for the cyclist in hit-and-run accidents or accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers. This car insurance coverage can help aid in paying for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, even if the at-fault party flees the scene.
In order to claim car insurance policies on bike collisions, cyclists must have come into contact with the at-fault party’s car. It’s also essential to file a police report and gather evidence, is possible, such as:
- Photos and videos from the accident scene – include photos of skid marks, broken glass, debris, and paint evidence on the bike or a nearby wall or object
- The color, make, and model of the vehicle
- The license plate number
- Eyewitness testimonies
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, some of which can be severe and life-changing.
Common injuries sustained in bike accidents include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Brain and head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ damage
Head injuries, in particular, can be especially dangerous, even with the use of helmets. Medical treatment for these injuries can be costly, and recovery may involve long-term rehabilitation and care. Injured cyclists should seek immediate medical attention and consult with an experienced bicycle accident attorney to understand their rights and options for seeking compensation for their injuries.
Compensation Available in Bike Accident Claims
In bicycle accident claims, injured cyclists may be able to recover different types of compensation including:
- Medical expenses – both current and future
- Ongoing medical care
- Cost of childcare services
- Cost of household services
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Mental distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
An experienced bike accident lawyer will help you calculate the full extent of the damages and fight for fair compensation.
Contact a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident in California, it’s crucial to seek legal representation as soon as possible. A skilled personal injury lawyer can navigate the complexities of personal injury claims, deal with insurance companies, and work towards obtaining the compensation you deserve.
At Rose Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping injured victims recover fair compensation for their injuries and losses. We maintain a 99% success rate and have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.