Should I File a Claim if I Was Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jun 19, 2020 in Car Accidents
If you were involved in a bicycle accident as a rider, you could be eligible for compensation, as the driver may be at fault. Many bicycle accidents are the result of drivers not looking for bicyclists, not giving riders enough space or being distracted.
Below, learn more about filing a compensation claim for a bicycle accident, including drivers’ responsibilities when sharing the road with bicyclists.
The Silver Spring bicycle accident attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan offer a no-cost claim evaluation to determine if you may have a valid case. You will not be charged any attorney fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Insurance Coverage for Bicyclists
Like most states, Maryland assigns financial liability for a crash based on who is found at fault. If the driver is to blame, your lawyer may file a claim for compensation from the liability coverage in the other driver’s auto insurance policy.
You may also be able to file a claim against the driver’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, if he or she purchased it. This coverage provides compensation no matter who is at fault for the accident. PIP pays medical bills and 85 percent of your lost income, up to the limits of the policy.
If the other driver does not have PIP coverage, filing a claim for compensation from the PIP coverage in your auto insurance policy might be an option. You may also have the option of obtaining compensation from your medical payment coverage, if you purchased it.
If the driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own insurance may provide compensation through uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. For insurance purposes, a car vs. bike accident is still considered an auto accident.
Rules of the Road for Drivers and Bicyclists
Drivers and bicyclists have rights and responsibilities while sharing the road. If a driver or bicyclist violates rules of the road, he or she could be held liable for the accident.
It is important to note Maryland is one of only a handful of states with a pure contributory negligence law, which means if you are even one percent liable, you cannot recover compensation from the other driver’s liability insurance. You also cannot recover compensation through a lawsuit.
Drivers have the following responsibilities when it comes to bicyclists:
- Leave at least three feet of space when passing bicyclists.
- After passing, make sure you are clear of the bicyclist before you make a turn.
- Yield to bicyclists on the shoulder or in a bike lane when you are entering or crossing occupied bike lanes or shoulders.
- Do not open your door with the intent to strike, injure or interfere with anyone riding a bicycle or motor scooter.
Bike Rider Responsibilities
Bicyclists have the following responsibilities:
- Ride as far to the right side of the road as possible.
- Bicyclists should not wear headphones or earplugs that cover both ears, however, there are some exceptions.
- Both hands should be on the handlebars while operating a bike - this means no cellphone use.
- Lighting and reflectors are required when conditions do not allow objects to be visible within 1,000 feet.
- Driving on sidewalks and riding through crosswalks is not permissible for cyclists, unless otherwise stated in local ordinances.
Bicyclists going at the speed of traffic can ride in any lane, just like other vehicles. Bicyclists can also use the shoulder if there is no bike lane.
Seek Legal Assistance from a Licensed Lawyer
Bicycle accidents can sometimes result in severe injuries that leave a lasting impact, physically, mentally and financially. Hiring a licensed attorney after such an accident could be an important step.
Our experienced attorneys have a proven track record of recovering compensation for motor vehicle crash victims – more than $30 million recovered over two decades.
Free consultation. No upfront fee. Call Goldberg Finnegan at (888) 213-8140.