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Hit While on a Bike or on Foot? This Critical Insurance Might Cover You

a bike after a car accident

Cycling is more than a hobby; it’s a passion, and even a lifestyle for many. However, cyclists face unique risks on the road, often encountering reckless or uninsured drivers. Little known fact: UM (Uninsured Motorist) and UIM (Underinsured Motorist) insurance can protect cyclists, providing crucial coverage even when they’re not in their car. As a seasoned personal injury attorney and avid cyclist, I want to share my insights on why every cyclist should carry UM/UIM insurance and the importance of seeking legal help after an accident.

The Unique Risks Cyclists Face

Cyclists navigate a landscape fraught with dangers. Unlike motorists, they lack the protective barriers of a car, making them more vulnerable to severe injuries in collisions. Common causes of bicycle accidents include reckless driving, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Even a momentary lapse in a driver’s attention can result in catastrophic consequences for a cyclist. Weather conditions, poor road maintenance, and inadequate cycling infrastructure can also contribute to the risks cyclists face daily.

Moreover, the aftermath of a bicycle accident isn’t just physical. Cyclists often face significant emotional and psychological challenges, including the loss of a cherished lifestyle and community. The trauma of an accident can lead to anxiety, depression, and a fear of returning to the road. The social aspect of cycling, which provides a sense of belonging and camaraderie, can be abruptly disrupted, leaving the injured cyclist feeling isolated.

The road to recovery demands immense strength and endurance, both physically and mentally. Rehabilitation can be a long and grueling process, requiring extensive medical treatment and physical therapy. Throughout this journey, the support of family, friends, and fellow cyclists becomes crucial in helping the injured individual regain their confidence and rebuild their life.

How UM/UIM Insurance Helps Protect Cyclists

The unique risks bicyclists face means that a different kind of protection is needed. UM (Uninsured Motorist) and UIM (Underinsured Motorist) insurance provide critical protection when the at-fault driver lacks adequate insurance coverage. UM insurance covers you if you’re hit by a driver without insurance, while UIM insurance steps in when the driver’s insurance is insufficient to cover your medical expenses and damages.

For cyclists, this coverage is particularly important. Many people are unaware that UM/UIM insurance extends beyond car accidents to incidents that occur while cycling. If you’re struck by a motor vehicle while riding your bike, your UM/UIM insurance can help cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, regardless of whether the driver has sufficient insurance.

Imagine you’re on a ride, and a reckless driver hits you, causing significant injuries. Your medical costs could skyrocket if that driver has no insurance or only minimal coverage. With UM/UIM insurance, you have an additional source of recovery, alleviating the financial burden during a difficult time.

Investing in UM/UIM insurance provides cyclists with a crucial safety net, ensuring they are not financially devastated by another driver’s negligence. This coverage is a small but significant investment in your safety and peace of mind while cycling.

bike after car accident in category Bicycle Accident
Image by toa55 by Canva.com

The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney in Cycling Accidents

Navigating the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be overwhelming. This is where the expertise of a personal injury attorney becomes invaluable. As an experienced attorney, I aim to provide both guidance and support and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

One of the primary benefits of consulting a personal injury attorney is their deep understanding of insurance policies and accident claims. They can help you navigate the complexities of UM/UIM insurance, ensuring that you maximize your benefits. Attorneys are skilled at identifying all potential sources of compensation, including insurance claims, medical payment coverage, and other avenues of recovery.

In addition to financial recovery, an attorney can assist with the emotional and legal challenges that arise after an accident. They handle communication with insurance companies, gather necessary evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. This allows you to focus on your recovery without the added stress of legal proceedings.

Moreover, personal injury attorneys often work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement makes it easier for accident victims to seek legal help without worrying about upfront costs.

How Much Insurance Do Bicyclists Need?

Determining the right amount of UM/UIM coverage is crucial for cyclists to ensure adequate protection. While the minimum required by law varies by state, it’s often insufficient to cover the high costs of serious injuries. Experts generally recommend carrying at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in UM/UIM coverage. This level of protection can help cover substantial medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. For avid cyclists who spend significant time on the road, considering higher limits, such as $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident, can provide greater peace of mind and financial security in a serious accident.

How Kane Personal Injury Helps with Cycling Accidents

I wish we lived in a world where bicyclists never had to fear an accident caused by a vehicle—and that if accidents did occur, the motorist would always have enough insurance to cover any damages.

But the sad reality is that the kinds of drivers who choose to forgo insurance or don’t carry enough are often the ones who take risks in other areas, like driving. As a cyclist, I believe one of the best things we can do to protect ourselves is to carry enough UM/UIM insurance to cover our needs in the event of an accident. 

However, if you or a loved one is in an accident, the next best thing to do is contact an attorney. My staff and I are always here for a free consultation to work through the merits of your case and ultimately help my clients receive the maximum compensation they’re owed. If you need help, contact us today to get started.