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Insurance Claims in Bicycle Accidents
If you are riding your bicycle and are hit by a vehicle, and the accident was the fault of the driver, their insurance is supposed to cover your injuries and property damage. However, this is easier said than done. Insurance companies do not like to pay out money, even when the accident clearly falls within their policy coverage. If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you should contact a skilled Palo Alto bicycle accident lawyer at Ziff & Cohn. We can help you fight for the full amount that you are entitled to receive in an insurance claim following a bicycle accident.Establishing Fault for a Bicycle Accident
Generally, cyclists need to follow the same rules of the road that car drivers do. When there is an accident, however, it usually results from the careless actions of a driver of a car. In some cases, both parties bear some fault for the accident. When this happens, the court will allocate fault between the parties. California uses a comparative fault system, which means that even if you were partially responsible for the accident, you still may be able to recover some portion of your damages, discounted by your amount of fault.
You will want to make sure that you see a doctor immediately after the crash, whether you have obvious injuries or not. Some injuries will not show up until later, such as some types of head injuries, and you may need imaging to uncover the full extent of the harm. You should also keep your bicycle in the condition in which it was after the accident until the case is resolved. Even if it can be repaired, you will want to wait until the process is over so that you preserve this evidence.Insurance Coverage
All drivers in California are required by law to have a certain amount of insurance coverage before they can legally be on the road. Drivers are required to have bodily injury liability coverage of at least $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident, as well as $5,000 of property damage protection.
If you have an uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage policy of your own, that can also help cover you if you are in an accident while riding your bike. As noted above, the minimum policy amounts that drivers are required to carry are not very much, especially when you take into account medical bills, lost wages, and other kinds of damages. You can also use this coverage in an insurance claim following a bicycle accident if you are injured in a hit and run and are unable to identify the person who hit you.
Unfortunately, insurance companies may try to argue that they do not need to pay you the full amount of your damages. It is important that whenever you are talking with the driver or their insurance company that you do not admit fault, apologize, or do anything else that can indicate that you were responsible for the accident. It is also critical that you contact a knowledgeable injury attorney as soon as you can to help make sure that you do not fall victim to any of the insurance company’s tricks or low-ball offers. Your attorney can help keep the insurer honest and hold it accountable for any bad faith during the process of bringing an insurance claim after a bicycle accident.Discuss Your Claim With a Bike Accident Lawyer in Palo Alto or Beyond
If you have been injured in an accident in a bike lane or another type of bicycle crash, you should contact a knowledgeable accident attorney as soon as possible. We can help you pursue the compensation that you are due for your injuries. Ziff & Cohn represents victims throughout the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Stanford, Portola Valley, Woodside, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, San Jose, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Redwood City, Burlingame, San Mateo, San Bruno, Daly City, San Francisco, Alameda, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Leandro, and Union City. Call (650) 329-0851 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.