Pedestrian and Bike Accidents
If you are injured by a car while walking or riding a bicycle, you may have the right to file a claim for your injuries. The claim process for pedestrian and bicycle accidents is similar to that of car and motorcycle accidents. Typically, you begin a claim process by contacting the other driver’s insurance company.
Compensation for Your Injury
The extent of your compensation for a personal injury claim depends on many factors including but not limited to whether you caused the accident, the severity of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the specific insurance policies involved.
If you are injured and the accident was your fault, then you can only receive compensation from your insurance company, but only if your policy contains personal injury protection coverage.
Personal injury protection coverage provides compensation for special damages such as your medical expenses, wage loss, and loss-of-use expenses, but it does NOT compensate for pain and suffering.
If you are injured and the accident was NOT your fault, then you can receive compensation from the negligent party’s insurance and your insurance company.
An important distinction with pedestrian and bicycle accidents is that you have access to the negligent driver’s personal injury protection coverage. For example, if you are a pedestrian who is injured by a negligent driver, then you can receive compensation from both the negligent driver’s personal injury protection coverage as well as his or her liability coverage.
If the negligent party does not have insurance or has insufficient insurance, then you are entitled to make a claim against your own insurance company for all of your injuries (including pain and suffering), if you have uninsured or underinsured coverage on your policy.
In addition to the driver of the vehicle that hit you, there may be other negligent parties responsible for your injuries. Although less common, the accident may be the result of a poorly designed intersection, a dangerously placed crosswalk, or inadequate lighting. In such cases, the city, county or state may bear some responsibility for your injuries. You should be aware, however, that there are special rules that apply whenever a claim is made against a government entity, and that the failure to follow those rules can result in the dismissal of your case against the government.
Time and The Insurance Claim Process
If you have been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, then the insurance claim process can be extremely complicated and time consuming. The insurance company will often attempt to reach a quick settlement with you before the full extent of your injuries are known. It is very important for you to take your time settling your claim, and that you are not in a rush to do so.
You have three years from the date of your injury to settle with an insurance company. Make sure you do not settle your claim until your injury is resolved completely. Or, if you have a permanent injury, then do not settle your claim until your doctors indicate that your condition is stable.
Dixon & Cannon, Ltd. attorneys provide experienced, compassionate, and aggressive representation for people injured in pedestrian and bicycle accidents.
Call us for a FREE 30-minute initial consultation at 206-957-2247. We can help!
Dixon & Cannon, Ltd. is licensed to practice law in the States of Arizona and Washington. This Web site is created for your general information only and does not represent legal advice. An attorney-client relationship between you and our law firm is not created by you reading this information or calling us. If we decide to work together, we sign a contract to establish our attorney-client relationship.