Christensen & Hymas recently settled with Geico Insurance and AAA Insurance on behalf of a client who was seriously injured when he was hit by an automobile while traveling on his bicycle.

The Case

Our client was traveling westbound on his bicycle on the shoulder of 14400 South in Bluffdale, Utah, when he approached the intersection of 14400 South and 2700 West, a 4-way stop, and came to a stop to yield to traffic. After waiting for a vehicle in front of him to turn right, northbound onto 2700 West, our client proceeded westbound through the intersection. As he was in the process of doing so, the at-fault party who was traveling behind our client in an automobile, failed to keep a proper look-out, didn’t yield the right-of-way, and collided into our client while attempting to make a right-hand turn, northbound onto 2700 West.

Our client was knocked to the ground, and the at-fault party fled the scene of the accident.

Our client suffered numerous injuries as a result of the collision, including a head injury, a left clavicle fracture, and injuries to his neck and back. He was driven by ambulance from the scene of the accident, required surgery to repair his fractured left clavicle, and ultimately accumulated more than $28,000 in medical bills as a result of an accident that occurred through no fault of his own.

Our client contacted our firm just a few days after the accident. Despite the facts of the accident, Geico questioned whether the at-fault party was really to blame for the accident, because the police report did not list any witnesses. However, our attorneys were not dissuaded by the lack of witnesses on the police report and instead, conducted an investigation of their own. They contacted the person who initially dialed 911 to report the accident, and then they traveled to the scene of the accident and knocked on the doors of nearby houses and spoke with anyone who may have witnessed it.

The Settlements

Armed with facts that they learned as a result of their own, independent investigation, our attorneys demanded the full policy limits of $25,000 from Geico. Confronted with the results of our investigation, Geico settled for the full policy limits.

With mounting medical bills, however, the $25,000 in settlement proceeds from Geico was not enough to cover our client’s medical expenses. Fortunately, our client carried Underinsured Motorist Coverage with AAA. Although AAA was our client’s own insurance company, they also questioned whether the at-fault party was to blame for the accident because of the lack of witnesses on the police report. However, like Geico, when our attorneys presented them with the results of our own, independent investigation, AAA also rolled over and agreed to settle for $35,000.

With $60,000 in settlement proceeds, our client has been able to cover all of his medical bills with room to spare.

 5 Important Lessons from this Case:

1. Drivers must understand that cyclists have equal rights on the road.

  • This means that at stop signs and when making left and right-hand turns, motorists must yield the right-of-way to a cyclist just as they would to another motorist. Sometimes this means that drivers must exercise patience while waiting for a cyclist to cross an intersection, but this is the law. If, as a motorist, you find yourself behind a cyclist traveling in your lane, remember it is his/her right to do so!

2. If you actively ride bicycles on our Utah roadways, it is extremely important to have proper car insurance coverage before going on a ride.

  • Most cyclists do not realize that if they are involved in an automobile versus bicycle accident, their car insurance may cover the damages, including lost wages and pain and suffering. Utah law only requires drivers to carry a minimum limit of $25,000.00 per person and $65,000.00 per accident ($25,000.00/$65,000.00). This means that one person’s claim cannot exceed more than $25,000.00. If two or more people are injured in the same vehicle, their combined claims cannot exceed $65,000.00. Since the injuries from a bicycle accident can be serious, the at-fault driver’s insurance limits may be insufficient to cover all the damages. Once the at-fault driver’s policy limits have been exhausted, your personal car insurance policy becomes applicable. In order to financially protect you and your family after a bicycle accident, it is important to have the right amount of car insurance.

3.We strongly urge every cyclist to have at least $100,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage before getting on a bicycle.

  • If you can afford higher coverage, you should purchase $250,000.00 in coverage. Increasing the coverage to $250,000.00 could cost less than an additional $8 each month!

4. If you are involved in an accident, find eyewitnesses!

  • It is vital to any case to have reliable eye witnesses who are capable of sharing what they saw in accurate detail. Get names and contact information from anyone who may have seen what happened. Getting accurate and pertinent information is best done while staying calm and thinking clearly. Writing things down in the moments directly following the accident will empower you with information in the future. Often times, the outcome of a claim depends on basic information that would have otherwise been lost or forgotten had it not been written down right away.

 5. Seek professional help.

  • Remember, fighting the insurance company alone can be challenging and often results in frustration and, unfortunately, many unfair settlements. Having experienced legal counsel in your corner can often make all the difference in your bicycle accident case.


If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident, contact our top-rated attorneys at (801) 506-0800 for a free consultation and a copy of our free book, The Utah Bicycle Accident Handbook.