After the average traffic collision in Washington, the people affected file insurance claims. Each of the vehicles involved in a crash will typically have a policy that applies, although it will be the driver who is at fault for the crash whose coverage should pay the costs of the other people impacted by the wreck.
When a motor vehicle collides with a bicycle, there may be more uncertainty about how someone will cover their costs. Frequently, such crashes are the fault of the person in the motor vehicle. How can a cyclist injured by someone in an enclosed vehicle get compensation for their property damage and injury losses?
The other driver’s policy
The motorist who caused the crash will usually have both property damage and injury liability coverage. The cyclist can make a claim for expenses including the replacement of their bicycle and safety gear, as well as their hospital bills and any lost income they did not earn because of their injuries.
Unfortunately, many motorists only carry the minimum insurance mandated by the state, and a handful of drivers don’t have any insurance at all. A cyclist unable to make an adequate claim against the at-fault driver could use their own insurance in some cases.
The cyclist’s insurance
If the person on the bicycle has a registered motor vehicle and an insurance policy on that vehicle, their extra coverage might apply to their crash losses. Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection from a car insurance policy could reimburse a cyclist injured by someone without insurance or a very bad policy. That coverage can help protect someone even when they are in someone else’s vehicle or on a bicycle rather than in the insured motor vehicle.
Sometimes, the cyclist won’t have coverage that applies or will still have uncovered losses. They may then have to go to court. Washington’s personal injury laws permit civil claims against those who cause injury to others and do not have adequate insurance given the extent of the damages their actions or omissions caused.
Cyclists who are recovering after a car crash could have major expenses to recoup and could, therefore, require every possible form of support to offset their expenses. Seeking legal guidance and looking into different forms of financial support can be helpful for those who have recently been affected by a bicycle collision involving a motor vehicle.