A lot can happen in a bicycle accident with another cyclist or a pedestrian. You may be injured or sustain damage to your bike, and the other party may be injured as well. You may wonder if you are liable and, if so, whether insurance will cover the accident.
Determining coverage for a bike accident is less straightforward if there was no automobile involved. Your auto insurance only covers you in accidents involving the insured motor vehicle. If you were on your bike at the time of the collision, auto insurance will not cover you. However, other insurance policies can. Here are some scenarios that can arise due to a bike accident and which insurance policies may cover you.
The Other Party Is Injured
Your homeowners or renters insurance generally covers you for any property damage or bodily injury for which you are legally liable. The accident does not have to occur in your place of residence for you to be covered. Bike accidents generally fall under this category, so the other party can seek damages from your homeowners or renters insurance policy.
You Are Injured
Liability coverage from your homeowners or renters policy covers injuries to others for which you are liable. However, because you cannot be liable to yourself, this type of insurance does not cover your injuries. If you are injured as a result of the accident to the extent that you need medical attention, your health insurance should cover your injuries.
Your Bike Is Damaged
Homeowners or renters insurance typically covers you in the event that your bike was stolen or damaged in an accident. However, the deductible, i.e., the out-of-pocket portion that you are responsible for paying, can be very high. Unless you ride a very expensive specialty bike, it may not be worth your while to file a claim with your insurance company. Rather, it may be easier, and possibly less expensive, to simply replace the bike.
You Are Not Liable for the Accident
Keep in mind that the scenarios described thus far all assume that you bear liability for the accident. If the other party is at fault, you then have the right to file claims for bodily injury or property damage with his or her insurance.
When insurance is involved, matters can get complicated. Regardless of the situation, you may benefit from having legal counsel to represent your interests. Contact an attorney, like a bike accident attorney from Barry P. Goldberg, to arrange to speak to one of our attorneys about your bicycle accident.