Bike travelingBiking is a fun activity. What takes the wind out of the sail of a biker, is when you are out biking and somebody hits you with their car and then leaves you alone to suffer in misery. We cannot fathom why some motorists would opt for a hit-and-run when the humane and human item to do is to stay and help the victim of the accident by calling for help. There could be reasons for fleeing such as the driver was distracted or driving under the influence or the driver might be driving without a valid license with lapsed car insurance policy.

Lets look at an example:

You were hit by a reckless driver while biking and that driver fled. You are left with a substantial medical bill for the treatment of your injuries. Substantial here means the amount is greater than $3000 and that you will have to stop working for a while to recover from your injuries (lost income). It is possible you will have fractures and broken bones that require surgery. You might also need assistant devices such as a walker, cane, or wheel chair depending on the extent of injury. Aside from that you might need therapy sessions or future treatments and surgeries for removal of metals inserted to stabilize the bone. This is also a possibility for casts that would need periodic replacement until the broken bone has set. Recovery may take a while and expenses will keep piling up. What are your options?  Your own personal car insurance can bail you out from your financial difficulty since the at-fault driver has fled the scene of the accident and may not be apprehended. You cannot demand the driver’s insurance provider, so make sure your own car insurance is substantial enough to cover all your medical expenses plus lost wages. At this point, you should think of getting a competent personal injury lawyer to help you process your insurance claim.

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Every car insurance policy requires a minimum coverage of $3000 as PIP. This will cover your medical bills for up to $3000. The policy holder can purchase additional PIP coverage up to $100,000. For bikers, I personally believe that PIP should be higher knowing a collision between a vehicle and a bike would leave the biker with greater injury. For this reason, do not go biking without your helmet and other protective gear. Wear your helmet and have a substantial PIP.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) – A motorist can opt for coverage from $100,000 to $300,000. This will answer your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages when your PIP has been exhausted. UM is ideal protection if the at-fault driver fled the scene (hit-and-run) or has a lapsed car insurance policy. Do not let others control your fate; get a substantial UM coverage to protect yourself and your family.

Bikers should not let any reckless driver take the wind out of your sail. Get a car insurance policy that you can afford and which you think can cover adequately your expenses after an accident. Christensen & Hymas recommends to all cyclists an Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage of $100,000 each. For an additional $8 per month you can increase UM and UIM coverage to $250,000 each.

UIM can help you when the at-fault driver has a minimum liability insurance of $25,000. This amount might not be enough to cover all your expenses, so UIM can be used if the $25,000 has been exhausted. Although with the scenario we painted here, you can depend on PIP and UM to help you cover the expenses.

Maybe you also have a health insurance. Let Christensen & Hymas help you with the complexity of insurance claims. There are many things that you should be aware of (such as co-pays for health insurance and statute of limitation for filing of personal injury lawsuits) and a competent personal injury lawyer should be there to help you while you are still reeling from the injuries.

Who knows a witness may call and give some information on the hit-and-run driver. You will have a lawsuit in hand that will be more manageable with the help of a lawyer from Christensen & Hymas. Give us a call at (801)-506-0800.

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