All drivers in California are required to carry a minimum of $15,000 off liability insurance per person with $30,000 of maximum coverage per occurrence. That’s not much if you broke your leg in a bicycle accident that was caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, especially if surgery is involved.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance might compensate you for your injuries and damages if you were in a bicycle accident that was caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. If you own a car, and you’re a bicyclist, we recommend purchasing the maximum UM and UIM coverage that is available. Even $100,000 of coverage might not be enough to cover you for a severe injury. These coverages are optional, and you must purchase them separately from your liability insurance.
Who Does UM and UIM Cover?
You might not even need to own a car in order to trigger UM or UIM benefits. You can probably make a claim through the auto insurance policy of your spouse, domestic partner, brother, sister or even your parents. Most UM/UIM coverage even extends to you and those people when you are bicyclists or pedestrians.
If you’re in an accident that was caused by a driver who has policy limits that aren’t sufficient to compensate you for the damages that you suffered, you can make a claim pursuant to your UIM coverage. UIM coverage is part of your UM coverage.
Los Angeles leads the nation with nearly half of all auto accidents being hit-and-runs. So long as you were injured by physical contact between the vehicle of the hit-and-run driver and you or your bike, you’re eligible for compensation under your UM insurance.
Expect Your Insurer to Fight Your Claim
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. After they collect premium payments, they invest that money in order to make even more money. Then, when claims arise, they pay as little as possible or even nothing on them. That’s why you can expect your insurer to fight your UM or UIM claim. How long you’ve been a loyal policyholder with that insurance company becomes irrelevant. You’ll find out quickly how loyal that insurer is to you.
Contact a Bicycle Injury Lawyer
Los Angeles Bicycle Law represents bicyclists because we are bicyclists. We know first-hand how rewarding, yet dangerous, cycling can be in the Los Angeles area. Even though the law treats bicyclists with the responsibilities and rights of a motor vehicle, the road itself offers far fewer protections. That is why we actively fight to protect bicyclists in our community. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, contact Los Angeles Bicycle Law today.
Don’t worry about your insurance rates being raised if you make a claim under your UM or UIM insurance. It is against the law for an insurance company to do that in California. You don’t want to make that claim by yourself though. It is likely that you will make mistakes that will operate to reduce its value. After being in any kind of a bicycle crash that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, contact our offices right away for a free consultation and case review. You will be able to discuss your crash and injuries with an experienced and dedicated Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer. If we are retained to represent you, no legal fees at all are due unless we obtain a settlement or award on your behalf.