Factors for Filing Bike Accident Insurance Claim
Bike accidents can be devastating due to the lack of protection cyclists have. So, if you or a loved one was injured in a bike accident you may be wondering if you should file a bicycle accident insurance claim and the factors that affect your claim. Let’s take a look at them below.
Statute of Limitations
The first factor is the statute of limitations. After a bicycle accident, there is a time limit for you to resolve your bodily injury claims before having to file a lawsuit in court. If you are injured by a private citizen, you have two years from the date of the accident.
However, if some type of governmental agency or officer caused the injury, then you have six months to file a claim against that governmental agency and officer. If you are getting close to the statute of limitations, then you may need to file a lawsuit.
The second factor is liability. In bicycle accident cases, there is a prejudice against bicyclists due to the fact they share the road with drivers. Therefore, drivers believe cyclists are a nuisance. A traffic collision report will be by law enforcement in collisions where there are injuries serious enough for an ambulance to arrive.
A traffic collision report will state the information on the car driver as well as yourself, the bicyclist. The officer will note the direction of travel by all parties, witness statements, traffic devices like a stop sign or signal, and oral statements. Finally, the officer will write down his conclusion on who is at fault for the collision.
Expert testimony may also be needed to determine fault by using factual data of time, speeds, and distances. Depending on the conclusions by the police report and expert testimony, bike accident insurance claims may need to be filed.
Injuries Suffered from Bike Accident
The third factor is bodily injury damages. Since auto versus bicycle accidents have a greater chance of having severe injuries, experts may be needed for medical opinions, especially for future care.
With serious injuries, experts are also needed to calculate the cost of those future treatments and care. These opinions will help you get compensated for your injuries. When experts are used in a case most often a claim is needed.
What are the insurance restrictions?
The final factor is insurance limits. The size of the insurance policy is a factor in whether to file a claim or not. If you have serious injuries and the negligent party has large policy limits, then the insurance company will probably dispute the amount of compensation.
With big injuries and small limits, there may not be any dispute regarding the compensation. Depending on your facts of liability and damages, and the insurance company scope responsibly will all factor into whether a claim will be made or not.
Steps for Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim in California
Obtain Information From the Responsible Party
You should get the names, phone numbers, and insurance information from all drivers involved in the car crash. Don’t converse with anyone beyond the exchange of information. Do not speculate on fault or contributing factors in the incident.
Gather Medical Records
When filing a claim for injuries due to a bike accident, you must support your position with appropriate documentation. Collect all medical records showing the diagnosis of your condition. This includes treatments used by healthcare providers, and any documents showing your medical prognosis. In addition, if you missed work as a result of your injuries, submit your payroll information for lost wages at the time you file your claim.
Document Your Experience
Your own experiences after the bike accident can be useful when approaching an insurance company about a claim. Keep a journal while recovering from your injuries. Include such topics as your level of pain on a scale of 1-10, your emotional well-being, and how you’ve had to change your routine.
File Your Claim with the Responsible Party’s Insurer
There are forms that you need to fill out to file a claim with an insurance company. You may also include a cover letter that goes into more detail about your demand. Make sure you include the dollar figure on what you’d be willing to accept to release all claims.
Await the Insurance Company’s Response – And Expect to Counter
Once the insurer receives your claim, the company will process it. In most cases, you will receive a rejection or counteroffer for a lower amount. When you cannot resolve your claim with the insurance company, don’t delay in filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations on these cases is three years in California, so you cannot recover compensation if you wait too long.