Every year, hundreds of Californian cyclists are injured in bicycle accidents. These are different from other auto accidents in many ways, so people often wonder if their auto insurance will cover damages in the event of a bicycle accident. Are you a cyclist who’s recently been injured by another vehicle on the road? Read on, or reach out to a San Mateo County, California Bicycle Accident Lawyer today for quality legal counseling.
WHAT CAN CAUSE A BICYCLE ACCIDENT?
There are many circumstances that can lead to an unfortunate bicycle accident. Some accidents are caused by unsafe road conditions, like potholes or icy streets. Other accidents can be caused by the cyclist’s own negligence, like not following the rules of the road. However, most bicycle accidents occur when a motor vehicle hits a cyclist because of the driver’s negligence. Some examples of driver negligence that could lead to a bicycle accident include:
- Driving in bike lanes
- Tailgating cyclists
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Road rage
- Distracted driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Failing to follow traffic signals
ARE BICYCLE ACCIDENTS COVERED BY INSURANCE IN CA?
This depends on the circumstances of the accident, such as who was injured, what was damaged, and most notably who caused the accident. In situations where a negligent driver strikes a cyclist, the driver’s auto insurance will be responsible for covering the cyclist’s medical expenses. This is because of California’s at-fault rule when it comes to auto accidents. You can receive compensation from the other driver’s insurance if their negligence caused the accident and your subsequent injury. Even if the cyclist is partially at fault, their medical expenses will be covered by the driver’s auto insurance because motor vehicles are supposed to share the road with cyclists.
In many cases, the driver’s insurance can only cover your medical expenses to a certain extent, so you may need to rely on your own insurance company to cover the rest. However, you can only use your auto insurance for bicycle accidents if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. This allows you to receive compensation for your injuries even if it was a hit-and-run incident.
If a cyclist crashes into a stationary object or another cyclist, then they’ll likely have to rely on their own health insurance to cover their medical expenses. Their homeowner’s insurance may be able to cover any damage to the bicycle. If another cyclist was negligent and caused the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to receive compensation from the negligent cyclist.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you’ll likely want to speak with an experienced auto accident lawyer to review your options. The Law Offices of Allister R. Liao are here for you! Contact us today for an initial consultation with a compassionate and effective attorney.