Bicycle Collisions and Insurance
Auto insurance policies vary from company to company and also on what coverages the policyholder chooses to purchase. Having said that, however, most auto insurance policies do cover you if you’re involved in an auto-bike collision. This is true whether you were the driver of the vehicle or the bicyclist. Check your policy carefully to see if you have this coverage and call your insurance company if you have any questions.
Filing a Claim With Your Insurance Company
Assuming your auto insurance policy includes bicycle collision coverage, you can always file a claim with your insurance company if a motorist injures you while you’re out riding your bicycle. Alternatively, you can file a claim with your health insurance company. In both instances, however, doing so will almost assuredly raise your premium rates.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Driver
Your better option almost always consists of hiring an experienced local car accident lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle that hit you. This is true even if you were partially responsible for causing the accident. Even if you live in a comparative negligence or contributory negligence state, you still stand a good chance of obtaining sufficient compensation to cover your medical expenses, loss of salary or wages, and your noneconomic damages, such as for pain and suffering.
Keep in mind, though, that personal injury lawsuits usually take several months, at minimum, to settle or go to trial. Nevertheless, your doctor, hospital, and other health care providers likely will be quite content to wait for payment of their respective bills until your lawsuit concludes, especially if your attorney informs them of your suit and allows them to place liens against your ultimate settlement or jury award for the respective amounts you owe them.
As for attorney’s fees, most lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that your lawyer will take his or her fee, usually around 33% of the ultimate settlement or jury award, out of whatever compensation he or she obtains for you. If he or she obtains nothing, an extraordinarily unlikely event, you will owe no attorney’s fees.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of hiring a car accident lawyer from a firm like Ward & Ward Law Firm is that he or she becomes your staunch advocate when negotiating with the defendant’s insurance company or presenting your story to the jury in the most beneficial manner possible if indeed your case goes to trial.