Who Pays in a Bicycle vs. Car Accident?
More than 425 bicyclists sustained injuries in bike-car accidents in Illinois in 2012. With an increasing number of bicyclists on the road, the number of injured cyclists is only growing. If you were unfortunate enough to get hurt in an accident with a motor vehicle while riding your bike, then you likely have questions about how you will pay for your medical care and related damages. While there is no straightforward answer to this question, you can gain a better understanding of the potentially responsible parties.
When the Driver Pays
If the driver who hit you caused the accident, then that driver is at fault and will eventually need to pay you for your injuries and medical bills. Common at-fault scenarios include:
- Hitting you while opening a car door
- Side-swiping you when trying to pass
- Hitting you when trying to make a right turn
Even if the driver is at fault, his or her insurance company will not pay for anything until you and that insurance company come to a final settlement agreement. This agreement can take months, and sometimes years, to reach. So what happens in the meantime? You pay, either out of pocket or through your own insurance means.
When You Must Pay for Your Injuries
Medical bills after a bike accident are ultimately your responsibility. That does not mean you are on your own, though. You should reach out to both your health insurance company and your medical payments carrier through your own auto insurance. One or both of these companies will step in to help cover all or a portion of your medical bills while you await a fault determination from the auto insurance claim representatives.
If a final determination finds you caused the accident, your insurance companies will remain the payers on file and will cover your bills up to the limits you have chosen. If the at-fault party is the driver, your insurance companies can then seek reimbursement from the driver’s auto insurance policy to cover medical expenses already paid out.
What You Should Do After a Bike Accident
If you find yourself facing extensive medical bills after a collision with a motor vehicle, make sure you seek continual medical care and always follow your doctor’s orders. You should also speak to a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your options for seeking compensation from the driver.
Learn More About Bicycle vs. Car Accidents in a Free Consultation
At The Rooth Law Firm, we offer more than 28 years of experience and knowledge representing injured parties like yourself in claims against negligent actors and their insurance companies. Let us be your advocate. Call our Chicago-based firm today at 877-356-3007 or send our injury lawyers an email. We’ll meet with you during a free initial consultation, listen to what happened, and offer our experienced guidance as to what steps you can take to move forward.