Will Car Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?

In Washington, car insurance will cover bicycle accidents. Insurance provided by the bicyclist, as well as, the motor vehicle driver could be used to pay for the injured cyclist’s medical bills, bicycle repairs and other expenses. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Vancouver, contact an attorney at NW Injury Law Center for assistance with the insurance claims process.

What Are Washington’s Insurance Laws?

In Washington if someone sustains an injury or property damage in an automobile accident, he or she can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. The accident victim may also file an insurance claim with their own insurance, regardless of fault.

In Washington, the following type of motor vehicle liability insurance is required by law:

  • At least $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident.
  • At least $50,000 for bodily injury or death to multiple people in an accident.
  • At least $10,000 for property damage or destruction in an accident.

This type of liability insurance may pay for losses suffered by someone else in a car accident. They cover the policyholder by protecting them from litigation or loss of their personal assets. A pedestrian in Washington can access the first-party Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) insurance on the vehicle—in addition to any other insurance available to them personally, such as their own PIP, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist and collision insurance.

Who Pays for a Bicycle Accident in Washington?

When a motor vehicle and a bicycle collide, the party held financially responsible for the victim’s losses will depend on the cause of the crash. If the driver is at fault, such as for distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding or other acts of negligence, his or her car insurance company can pay for losses. The injured bicyclist must prove that the other driver is at fault to access third-party liability coverage.

If the driver does not have insurance or the bicyclist is injured in a hit-and-run car accident, the bicyclist may use his or her own insurance for coverage. If the cyclist has insurance on a motor vehicle, this may be used to pay for medical costs and other losses. Examples include uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

If both parties are allocated a percentage of fault for the accident, the injured victim can still recover financial compensation under Washington’s comparative negligence law. Chapter 4.22.005 of the Revised Code of Washington states that any fault allocated to the claimant diminishes the amount awarded as compensatory damages, but does not bar recovery. Under this rule, the victim’s financial recovery will be reduced by an amount equivalent to his or her percentage of fault.

Tips for Dealing With an Insurance Company During a Bicycle Accident Claim

When you file an insurance claim for a bicycle accident in Washington, an individual known as the insurance claims adjuster will be assigned to your case. The adjuster may seem friendly, but it is important to remember this person’s role. The adjuster assigned to the third party liability claim for the insurance on the motor vehicle, is tasked with only protecting that driver and not you.

During conversations with an insurance claims adjuster, keep your answers to questions short and simple. Do not speculate as to fault for the bike accident or agree to give the adjuster a recorded statement, even if the adjuster says one is necessary to process your claim. State that you will provide a statement later, after speaking to a lawyer. You may, however, ultimately be required to provide a statement to your own insurance company to access benefits.

Before you accept a fast insurance settlement for a bicycle accident case in Washington, consult with a Vancouver bicycle accident attorney at NW Injury Law Center. Your case may be worth more than the insurer is offering. We can review your case and take over negotiations with an insurance company on your behalf to help you pursue maximum compensation.

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