Who Pays? Understanding Bicycle Accident Insurance in Orange County

After being in a bike accident, you may have medical bills, time off from work, property damage to your bike, and other issues for which you want to recover compensation.

However, the circumstances of the bike accident and the insurance coverage of the parties involved could affect your bicycle accident claim. You’ll either file through the insurance policy of the negligent driver or your own personal health insurance if your cycling accident wasn’t with a vehicle.

Several factors can influence which insurance policy you use to file a claim for your personal injuries after a bike accident. Learn more below about which type of insurance policy to file a claim under for your medical expenses and other damages in Orange County, CA.

Types of Insurance That May Apply to Bicycle Accidents in California

You might have several options to cover a bicycle accident between different auto insurance policies, depending on the events of the accident. Some options could include:

  • At-fault driver’s insurance. If you sustain injuries in an automobile accident with a motor vehicle driver — and the driver’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries — you can file a claim through the driver’s bodily injury policy for your injuries. You can also file a claim through their property damage liability coverage for damage to your bike, phone, or other property damaged in the accident.
  • Medical payments coverage. Also called “MedPay,” medical payments coverage will cover a cyclist’s medical expenses if hit by a car in a hit-and-run accident. Check your insurance policy to determine whether you have MedPay and what your policy limits are.
  • Uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) will cover a bicycle accident where a negligent driver has allowed their insurance coverage to lapse or does not carry enough coverage for your medical costs. UM/UIM will also cover hit-and-run accidents when you can’t access the other driver’s insurance information.
  • Bicycle insurance. You may be able to file a claim through your own bicycle insurance if you have it. Although bicycle insurance is not required in California, it is becoming increasingly popular. Some insurance companies offer coverage for property damage, bike theft, repair or replacement, MedPay, and bodily injury to help bike owners with common issues.
  • Homeowner’s insurance. If your bike suffers damage due to a third party, you may be able to pursue a repair or replacement through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies.

What to Do Right After a Bicycle Accident

The success of your Orange County bicycle accident insurance claim could depend on whether you follow the correct steps at the accident scene. If possible, you should:

  • Call 911 to request an officer at the scene to file a police report.
  • Exchange contact details with the at-fault driver.
  • Collect witness information.
  • Take pictures of the bicycle collision scene, damage to property, and injuries.
  • Seek appropriate medical attention for your injuries.
  • File a claim with the appropriate insurance company.
  • Contact a bike accident attorney at the Khalil Law Group.

Because bike accidents are often more traumatic for the bicyclist, you may or may not be able to follow through on all of these steps immediately. If you have to leave in an ambulance, you won’t be able to complete some of these steps.

Having an experienced accident attorney on your side can help you recover nearby security footage and witness statements. However, time is of the essence, as many businesses don’t keep security videos very long and witnesses begin forgetting details.

Your attorney can also represent your claim on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

Will a Negligent Driver’s Auto Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?

When a car accident leads to bicyclist injuries, the negligent driver’s policy will cover the rider’s injuries under their injury coverage. If the driver only carries the minimum coverage required by the state or doesn’t have insurance, you’ll need your own underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. You may also need your UM/UIM coverage if the driver who hit you leaves the scene in a hit-and-run.

If there were no motor vehicles involved in your accident, you would need to turn to personal liability coverage under another type of insurance outside of an auto insurance policy. This could include MedPay, bicycle insurance, or your homeowner’s or renter’s policy.

California Is an At-Fault Insurance Coverage State

You must file a claim in California through the negligent party’s insurance company. Car insurance policies cover injuries caused by negligent drivers.

You may need to file a claim for your injuries through your personal injury protection policy or health insurance to temporarily pay for your injuries. Your insurance company can then seek reimbursement from the driver’s car insurance provider. Speak with your personal injury attorney about financial compensation from a car insurance claim before approving any payments.

What Insurance Will Cover in a Bicycle Accident

So what does car insurance cover in bicycle accidents? The driver’s auto insurance company may offer a settlement that includes economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages. Settlements often don’t include non-economic damages.

Medical Bills

Your offer from the car insurance provider should at least cover your medical expenses, including hospital bills, ambulance rides, transportation costs to appointments, follow-up treatments, and rehabilitation therapy.

Lost Wages

If your injuries are severe enough to warrant time off from work, your settlement agreement should include past and future wages. Included would be wages lost from missing work and compensation for a reduced earning capacity, if applicable.

How to Seek Compensation for Non-Economic Damages

You may need to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for non-economic damages. These would include loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, disfigurement, reduced quality of life, and other intangible damages. Your bicycle accident attorney can help you determine the value of your non-economic damages to request in your claim.

Contact a Bicycle Accident Personal Injury Attorney in Orange County, CA

At the Khalil Law Group, we represent injured people in insurance claims and lawsuits. Call us today at (714) 617-7870 or contact us online to learn more about insurance claims for bicycle accidents in Orange County, CA.