For many living in urban settings, bicycling has become a popular mode of transportation. However, these environments often come with their own set of hazards including motorists, potholes, construction sites, pedestrians and more. As a cyclist, you may be wondering if insurance will cover your injuries if you are ever injured in a bicycle accident.
The answer depends on the scenario. Here are a few types of accidents that can occur while riding a bicycle and what different types of insurances may apply:
Accident Between a Bicycle and Vehicle
If you are a cyclist who has been struck by any part of the vehicle, the driver’s auto coverage will pay for your medical expenses under New York’s no-fault insurance law. If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident, you are also able to pursue a personal injury claim against an at-fault driver.
Even in situations where a cyclist is partly at fault, under New York law, you will still be able to file a claim with the partially at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, your recovery award will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are found to have in contributing to the accident.
Accident Between a Bicycle and Pedestrian
If a pedestrian causes an accident by failing to obey traffic signals or wandering into the bike lane, their personal liability coverage on their homeowners or renters insurance may cover damages to your property and any injuries you’ve sustained as a result of the collision. If the pedestrian is injured as a result of the accident, his or her medical expenses will likely fall under their own health insurance.
Likewise, if you are at fault for a collision with a pedestrian, your medical expenses may be covered by your own health insurance. If a claim is brought against you, any injuries and property damage you have inflicted onto the pedestrian will likely be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance.
Accident Between Two Cyclists
If you are riding and cause an accident with another cyclist, your homeowners or renters insurance may cover the costs of the other cyclist’s injuries and property damage. You will likely need to turn to your own health insurance if you have sustained injuries as a result of the collision.
If another cyclist is responsible for the accident, compensation for your injuries and damage to your bike may be covered under his or her renters or homeowners insurance
Accident Between a Bicycle and Stationary Object
If you collide with a tree, pole, parked car, or any other stationary object while on your bicycle, your medical bills will need to be handled by your own health insurance. If you’ve damaged someone else’s property by hitting it, your homeowners or renters insurance policy may pay out for the damages caused.
Alternatively, if you feel as though your accident was a result of another person’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim against his or her liability insurance policy. If you’ve sustained injuries as a result of the negligent party, you may also be eligible to file a personal injury claim against that party.
What to Do After A Bicycle Accident
- Take photos and exchange insurance information – after the accident, take plenty of photos including the damages to your property and anything showing the cause of the accident. If there was another person involved in the incident, be sure to collect his or her contact and insurance information and be sure to file a police report.
- Seek medical treatment – Even if you only have minor injuries, it is a good idea to seek medical attention. Some injuries appear minor at first but turn out to be more significant. Having these medical records on file can help you if any issues develop down the road.
- File a claim with insurance – If you were not at fault for the accident, the other person’s insurance may cover your medical costs and bicycle repairs. If you were at fault, you may need to file a claim with your own health insurance to pay for medical expenses.
- Call a personal injury attorney – if you were seriously injured as a result of another party’s negligence, then you have the option to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you to navigate the ins-and-outs of the process while you focus on recovering from your injuries.