A collision between a bicycle and a motor vehicle can result in devastating injuries. As a bicyclist, you are vulnerable due to the lack of a protective framework to absorb the force of the collision. You are also typically at a disadvantage in terms of weight and velocity compared to an automobile.
In addition to the physical injuries, a bicycle accident can also cause confusion when it comes to recovering damages. If you live in a tort liability state, you can make a claim with the driver’s insurance company, just as you would if you were driving a motor vehicle at the time of the accident. However, if you live in a no-fault state, you may not be sure where to turn to recover damages.
When Can You Make a PIP Claim for a Bike Accident?
Personal injury protection is auto insurance coverage that you purchase to cover your medical expenses if you are injured in a car accident. It is a requirement for all 12 no-fault states, as well as three tort states. If two conditions are met, you can make a PIP claim with your own insurance company for a bicycle accident:
- You must have been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle while on your bicycle.
- You must own a vehicle on which you have valid PIP coverage.
If these two conditions are met, you can make a PIP claim in regard to your bicycle accident.
People who don’t own their own cars may nevertheless be able to make a PIP claim for a bike accident under a family member’s policy. For example, a teenager who is injured on a bike in a crash with a car may be covered by the PIP insurance that a parent has on the family vehicle.
What Is the Difference Between Med Pay and PIP Coverage?
Med Pay is similar to personal injury protection in that they both cover medical expenses in the event that you are injured in a collision with someone else, regardless of who is at fault. In all but two states, Med Pay is completely optional. Med Pay is designed to work with your traditional health insurance coverage so that when one reaches its limit, the other one can kick in to cover whatever expenses remain. For example, Med Pay may cover copayments or deductibles not covered by your health insurance. This is different from PIP coverage for which co-pays and deductibles may apply.
Even if you have PIP and/or Med Pay, there are some damages that are not covered, such as pain and suffering. A bicycle injury lawyer in Canoga Park, CA, such as from Unidos Legales, may be able to help you recover such damages. Contact a law office for a consultation.