Yes. You can file a car hit bicycle insurance claim in the United States, especially since most car insurance policies are known to cover such losses as injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering caused by accidents involving a car and a bicycle rider.
Note that this is certain for the insurance policy of the vehicle that hit the bicyclist, and in many instances, it also applies to the bicycle rider’s own car or standalone bicycle insurance. Truth be told, every insurance policy will vary, but car insurance will most definitely cover a bicycle accident if the accident involves a motor vehicle and a bicycle.
Also note that it doesn’t really matter if you are on a bicycle, motorcycle, ATV, or in a van or truck. In the United States, as long as at least one of the vehicles in the accident is an automobile, your auto insurance will in many ways cover it.
For your car insurance to cover this sort of accident, you must have Personal Injury Protection coverage on your auto policy. This is also sometimes referred to as “Med-Pay”. If you enjoy riding your bicycle out on the streets or if you ride a fairly expensive bicycle, it is recommended you consider increasing your coverage.
An accident between a car and a bicycle can really destroy the bicycle and leave its rider with massive medical bills. The fight for financial recovery after an accident can be a long and tasking process.
Your personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit for compensation after a bicycle or motorcycle accident will depend on the evidence that proves liability. Howbeit, since the legal issues can be complex, bicycle riders who have suffered injuries should always reach out to a bicycle accident attorney before talking with the driver or their insurance company.
How to File a Car Hit Bicycle Insurance Claim
Most bicycle accident claims are paid by the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. However, to ensure you can easily reach an agreement on the question of negligence and the amount of compensation, here are steps to consider;
It is imperative to note that all accidents are unique; however, they have some similarities. If you are too badly injured, ask a friend or companion to help with what you are expected to do after a bike accident. First, it is important you assess your injuries and, if you can, the well-being of others in the accident. Reach out to 911 to report the accident and request an ambulance if you are injured.
Don’t forget to explain that you were hit by a car while riding a bicycle or a motorcycle, the location of the accident, and whether you or others are injured. Also, remember to ask the driver who hit you for the information you would normally exchange in a car accident. This information may include;
- Full name and contact information
- Auto insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license or permit
- Vehicle make, model and year
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- License plate number
- Cooperate and give the driver your contact and other information.
If you can, remember to document the accident with photos, including damage to your bike, damage to the car or truck, skid marks, your injuries, and any environmental factors that may have contributed to the accident. Also, use your phone to make a video of any witnesses to the accident and ensure they quote their name and contact information and also describe the things they saw.
Once you are done, you can sit tight and wait for emergency responders. Remember not to get involved in any argument with the driver about who caused or who was at fault in the accident.
Always try to be polite and professional and note that the police will handle things once they get to the site. Once emergency responders arrive, answer questions honestly, but remember not to say anything to suggest you are at fault or to downplay your injuries.
Get Treatment and Document Injuries
You need to understand that most personal injury settlement offers are based on the claimant’s medical bills. Owing to that, obtaining prompt medical treatment and documenting your injuries are very important to ensure you put together a strong bike accident claim.
Note that immediately after a collision, your blood and adrenaline will be pumping. Adrenaline suppresses pain and can even mask serious injuries. It is important you speak to the paramedics about every symptom, irrespective of how mild. You should never make excuses for your symptoms by blaming age or conditioning.
If the paramedics want to take you to the hospital, go with them. Ensure to adhere to the medical treatment plan ordered by the emergency room physician. If you didn’t go to the hospital immediately after the accident, see your primary care doctor, preferably on the same day.
Additionally, continue taking pictures of your injuries and your treatments. Always remember that the appearance of your injuries will change throughout your recovery.
Bruises and swelling are known to become noticeable over several days. If you’re in the hospital, ask someone to take a picture of you in the hospital bed. Injury photos can help convince a jury of your pain and suffering if eventually, your case gets to court.
Protect the Value of Your Claim
It is important you take your time to organize your paperwork to ensure that you can prove your case. Politely ask the responding officer for the police report reference number. The report should be ready a few days after the collision for a nominal fee.
For an injury claim, you will be expected to provide copies of your medical bills and records, coupled with receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses like crutches, medications, and bandages. Don’t forget to track your mileage when you go to treatment or therapy appointments, because you can submit those records, too.
Note that colliding or being hit by a car while riding your bike can be pretty devastating, even if you walk away from the crash. If your damages are limited to soft-tissue injuries like scrapes, bruises, sprains, or minor cuts, you can probably settle your claim for a fair amount of compensation without the help of an attorney.
Have it in mind that these sorts of injury claims are often straightforward. It might end up being the combined cost of your medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and a limited amount of pain and suffering. However, serious injury claims are a different ball game.
Bike riders are known to suffer very serious injuries from car accidents, such as head trauma, spinal cord injuries, permanent scarring, bone fractures, or internal injuries.
These types of claims are complicated and quite costly. Never trust the insurance adjuster who is telling you that you don’t need an attorney for your injury claim, or that you’re barred from receiving compensation because you weren’t wearing a bike helmet.
Have it in mind that the adjuster is just looking out for the company’s profit margin, and not for you the injured victim. Agreeably, insurance adjusters tend to make very low settlement offers to injured claimants who don’t have an attorney.
They understand that once they have made their “final offer” you may not really have the willpower or legal savvy to fight them. Always remember there is too much to lose by trying to handle the insurance company on your own while struggling with serious injuries. A good number of personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation to accident victims
File Your Car Hit Bicycle Insurance Claim
Most often, these sorts of insurance claims are paid by the at-fault motorist’s auto insurance company. The driver will be expected to make available their insurance information at the scene, to you, and to the investigating police officer. This same info will be on the police report.
If you are working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney, the attorney will take care of your insurance and property damage claims from the start. Have it in mind that you are allowed can consult with an attorney at any point in the claim settlement process.
Remember to let the driver’s insurer know as soon as possible of your intent to file an injury claim. If you have an auto insurance policy or are covered under a family member’s auto policy, let your own insurance company know, too.
Once you have notified the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you may be contacted immediately with a quick settlement offer. Just as it was noted above, it is recommended you don’t speak any form of settlement until you know the full extent of your injuries and are fully recovered.
You can let the adjuster know that you are still taking medical treatment and will let them know when you are in the right frame of mind to discuss compensation. When you’ve completely recovered, you can go ahead to calculate the value of your injury claim.
Total your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses, and then add one or two times that amount for your pain and suffering. Have it in mind that negotiations start once you send a bike accident demand letter to the insurance company.
Indeed, you can file a car hit bicycle insurance claim in the United States. Most often, minor injury claims are settled after a few rounds of negotiations with the adjuster. If the adjuster refuses to come up with a satisfactory offer, or blames you for your injuries, reach out to an attorney.
In many situations, all it takes is a call from a bicycle accident lawyer for the adjuster to increase the settlement offer on the table. Always remember that the last thing the adjuster wants is for you to file a personal injury lawsuit against their insured.