D.C. Council Vote Aids Cyclists in Collecting Insurance After a Crash
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jul 19, 2016 in Car Accidents
Washington, D.C. cyclists and pedestrians have long experienced difficulties in collecting insurance following accidents due to a District law. However, just last week, the D.C. council voted to change this law, providing victims a better opportunity to receive damages.
A long-standing bill previously barred cyclists from collecting insurance payments following their involvement in an auto accident if the vehicle driver was not entirely at fault for the collision. Under this law, if the bicyclist is found to be even a single percent negligent in the cause of the accident, they were legally unable to collect damages.
Following the unanimous vote to alter this law, bicyclists will now be able to argue accident fault with insurers and juries. This right will give bicycle accident victims a greater chance to college damages for medical bills, lost wages and additional damages.
As the District gains more bicycling and walking commuters, supporters say the change is necessary to increase their protection. In the city, an average of 600 pedestrian and 265 bicycle versus automobile accidents are reported annually. In the two weeks prior to the vote, two area bicyclists sustained critical injuries in such accidents.
The bill to change the law was introduced two years ago. The vote has brought the District closer to abandoning contributory negligence standards pertaining to accident responsibility shared among those involved. Forty-six states have already done so.
District councilors say the former law did not consider the injuries caused in a bicycle versus automobile accidents and is unfair. Insurance companies have fought against the change, citing an increase in premiums for Washington D.C. residents by as much as $600 per year.
If you were injured in a cycling accident and are experiencing difficulty accessing the insurance benefits you deserve, the personal injury attorneys of Goldberg Finnegan will fight to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.