As a cyclist, you have a lot more freedom and mobility than people in enclosed vehicles. You can just exit a traffic jam if you ever find yourself caught in one, for example. Your costs are also lower for your preferred mode of transportation. You don’t have to pay to register your bike, and the state does not mandate insurance coverage for cyclists who use public roads.
However, with that freedom and the lower cost of biking versus driving comes an increased risk to your safety. When you get into a crash with a motor vehicle, the occupants of that vehicle may suffer no injuries at all, while you find yourself off of work for months. What kind of protection do you have against financial losses related to a bicycle crash with a vehicle in New York?
The driver’s no-fault policy should cover you
Everyone driving on the New York roads needs to have liability insurance. Among the kinds of coverage available is mandatory no-fault coverage of at least $50,000. Every driver should have this basic coverage on their policy.
Passengers in their vehicle or anyone involved in a crash with that driver can potentially make a claim against that coverage. You can claim your medical losses, property damage expenses and the wages you didn’t earn after your injury from the insurance company. In situations where the driver was clearly at fault and you suffer severe losses, you may be able to claim more than that from their insurance if they have good coverage. If they do not, then litigation may be necessary.
Personal injury claims can help you cover all of your costs
Although it seems generous at first glance, $50,000 worth of coverage may not be enough if you have to miss six months of work, undergo two surgeries and replace a prestige-brand bicycle.
Especially because bicycle crashes can lead to catastrophic injuries, a cyclist hurt by irresponsible drivers may find that basic liability insurance won’t cover enough of their costs. A personal injury lawsuit can help you connect with more compensation, especially if the driver has very little insurance or a lapsed policy.
Understanding your rights after a bicycle crash can make it easier for you to minimize financial losses caused by someone else’s bad driving habits.