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Issues with Insurance Coverage in Bicycle accidents

September 16, 2020 • by James Lambka

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Accidents involving bicyclists present interesting questions about insurance coverage. When a bicyclist is involved in a collision with an automobile, it is imperative that all avenues of possible insurance coverage for the bicyclist are considered.

First, the liability insurance of the driver, assuming they are at fault, will be used to cover the bicyclist’s overall bodily injury claim. If the policy limits of the driver are not sufficient, then the bicyclist may look to their own automobile insurance coverage for their underinsured motorist protection to step into the shoes of the underinsured driver.

bike-1389088_640This covers the long run, but more interesting and complex analysis is required to figure out the pressing issues of who covers the bicyclist for their medical bills. The analysis would run something like this:  First in line of coverage would be any Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that applied to the vehicle being driven. If the driver was driving someone else’s vehicle, then the driver’s PIP would be second in line to pay the medical bills. If the bicyclist has PIP coverage on their automobile policy then that PIP would be third in line. If there isn’t PIP applicable to the matter, then the bicyclist’s health insurance would next step up to the plate.

In other types of bicycle accidents, those not involving an automobile, the analysis is different. Under these circumstances, such as when a pedestrian negligently causes an injury incident with a bicyclist, then the bodily injury claim is likely covered by the pedestrian’s homeowners or renters policy and that policy may have a “med pay” provision that takes care of a set amount of medical bills. The bicyclist’s PIP would be next in line and then health insurance would be last.

Depending upon the unique facts of the case, it is important to look for all possibilities of insurance coverage to make sure that the injury event doesn’t also set the injured party back by having to fund their own medical care, essentially adding insult to injury.

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