Several options are available to you after a bicycle accident claim. Here are some of the different ways you could try to get your damages paid.
You could get medical bills paid by your health insurer
If you have health insurance, your insurer should pay for medical treatment – but will not cover other bicycle accident losses such as lost wages.
If you successfully pursue a damage claim and are compensated by the other driver, you can expect your health insurer to try to recover the money they spent from your settlement or your indemnity.
You could get compensation from your car insurer
Your own car insurer could compensate you for bicycle accident losses even if you were on your bike when the accident happened instead of in your car.
Your insurer may pay a benefit if you live in a no-fault state and have personal injury protection (PIP). The PIP covers medical expenses and partial loss of wages in collisions that cause only minor injuries.
Your insurer may also provide compensation as part of your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage if the driver who caused your bicycle accident had no or insufficient insurance.
You could get compensation from your home or tenant insurance
If you have home or renter’s insurance, it will likely cover damage to your bike caused by the accident, as well as damage to your clothing or other personal property you were wearing or carrying at the time of the accident.
You could get compensation from the offending driver
If a driver caused your bicycle accident, you could file a complaint against this motorist. Most often, you would deal with their insurance company.
The insurer can offer an out-of-court settlement, which usually means you give up other rights to sue and get a lump sum payment. Or you can file a bicycle accident lawsuit, go to court, prove your case, and receive whatever compensation the court deems appropriate for you.
Whether your case is settled or adjudicated, an insurer only pays compensation up to the limit of the policy limits. If your losses exceed this amount, you will have to try to recover directly from the offending driver, which can be difficult depending on the amount of assets the driver has.
You could get compensation from the driver’s employer
If you were injured by a driver who was working at the time, a legal doctrine called vicarious liability allows you to sue the driver’s employer.
Under vicarious liability rules, employees are “agents” of their employer when performing official duties. Therefore, if the employee’s negligence causes harm, the employer is liable whether or not the business itself was negligent.
You could get compensation from the government
If a problem with road design or traffic lights results in a bicycling accident, the government entity responsible for the roads or lights could be held responsible.
It’s especially important that you have a lawyer if you’re trying to get compensation for your bicycle accident from this source. Indeed, special rules apply when suing the government thanks to the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity. .
You might get compensation from the bike manufacturer
If a problem with your bike has resulted in an accident, you may be able to take legal action against the manufacturer, seller or distributor of the bike or its parts.
For example, if the brakes on the bike are faulty and you crash into a tree because of it and injure yourself, this could be an example of where a product fault was the direct cause of your damage.