Bicycle accidents involving cars can cause significant injuries, which can be disastrous for a victim’s body, mental health, and finances. The recovery process may be long, painful, and expensive. If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident, you may be wondering whether you might be able to file a claim for your damages with the car driver’s auto insurance. The good news is that, in many cases, these types of claims are allowed.
When Can I File a Claim With the Car Driver’s Auto Insurance for a Bike Accident?
Washington state operates under a fault-based system when it comes to car and bicycle accidents. Therefore, a bicyclist can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance to recover damages. Your settlement from the car insurance company may cover damages such as bicycle repair fees, personal property replacement, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
But what happens if the driver flees the scene and you cannot identify them, or if the driver does not have car insurance? If you carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance as part of your own car accident coverage, you can file a claim with your insurance for your medical bills and lost wages up to the limits of your coverage. There may also be other options for recovering compensation from uninsured or underinsured drivers, so it is recommended to contact a personal injury lawyer to learn about all your legal rights.
What Are My Options if I Am at Fault for the Accident?
Washington is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that even if you shared some fault for the accident, you could still seek compensation from the other party. However, it is key to remember that your settlement will be proportionally reduced by the amount of fault assigned to you, and the insurance company will probably attempt to prove that you were mostly or wholly responsible for the crash. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can push back against these accusations and help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you are found 100% at fault for your accident, you will more than likely be unable to file a car insurance claim. Still, your health insurance may cover some or all of your medical expenses, and your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance might pay for damage to your bicycle.
When Should I Consult a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident with a vehicle, it is in your best interests to take advantage of a free consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer. They can assess your situation and explain all the legal options available, including filing a claim with the driver’s car insurance. Hiring a lawyer can be very beneficial when the insurance company attempts to fight, delay, or minimize your claims. If you are looking for someone to fight for your rights, our skilled lawyers can help. Call our office today at 206-447-1425.