Get Covered: An In-Depth Look at Your Coverage in a Washington, D.C. Bicycle Accident
Many countries rely primarily on the bicycle as a mode of transportation. In crowded areas suffering from pollution, this is a welcome trend that offers a more economical, cleaner way of travel. In these countries, there are often insurance policies dedicated specifically to cyclists. These policies serve a nearly identical purpose as auto insurance policies, protecting bicycle riders from property damage (including to the bicycle itself) and bodily harm.
The United States is facing a similar increase in bicycle travel—and for many cities, it could not come soon enough. There is a concerted effort to make towns and cities more “bike friendly,” by widening shoulders and adding dedicated bike lanes, and this effort has been appreciated by both drivers and cyclists alike.
Unfortunately, the United States has yet to offer specific insurance coverage for bicyclists, so these people must rely on one of—or a combination of—the three following insurance types if they are injured in a Washington, D.C. bike accident:
- Health Insurance: Perhaps the most frequently sought-out help, your health insurance plan is often the first place you would turn if you were injured in a Washington, D.C., Virginia, or Bethesda bicycling accident. If your wreck was the result of another driver’s negligence, your health insurance can typically cover your medical bills until you are able to reach a settlement with the other driver’s auto insurance policy.
- Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Insurance: Another excellent resource for avid cyclists, the UM/UIM coverage on your auto insurance policy can cover you in the event of a collision with a vehicle that is either uninsured or has opted for minimal coverage. Unfortunately, Maryland and Virginia cycling accidents often result in catastrophic injury, and the bare-minimum insurance coverage will not even begin to cover the medical bills incurred.
Living where we do—where auto insurance is not even required by law—most of us with vehicles have a considerable amount of UM/UIM coverage on our auto insurance policies. That is the one problem with using this coverage as a cyclist—you must have an insured car or truck to rely on this as a method of coverage. Many cyclists, especially in metropolitan areas, may not have a car, so the other two coverage methods may be the best bet.
- Homeowner’s Insurance: Sometimes, damage to your bike may occur because of your own negligence. Your bike may even be stolen (an all-too-common issue in cities). Where do you turn in these circumstances to recover damages or replace your bicycle?
Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance can often cover the cost of replacement or repair for your bike should you damage your bike on your own, or if your bike is stolen. Just make sure that your bike is insured for the cost of its replacement, rather than the amount of its depreciated value—that way, you avoid paying out of pocket if a bike that was expensive a few years ago is stolen today.Preventing You from Paying for Your Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland Bicycle Accidents
Any time you have to deal with the insurance companies, whether it is for your car, health, or bicycle, you are up against a tough competitor. These companies want to pay you the least amount possible. If you feel like you are owed more, talk to the Bethesda, D.C., and Prince George’s County bicycle accident attorneys at Lewis & Tompkins. They will fight to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve—call today at 202.296.0666 for a free consultation.