How do I Claim Insurance After a Bike Accident?
Personal Injury - July 12, 2021
Being involved in a bicycle accident can be a stressful experience. This is particularly true when it comes to securing compensation for your losses if the careless or negligent actions of another driver caused the crash. The good news is that most bicycle accident victims should be able to recover compensation from an at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.
However, securing this insurance compensation can be challenging. Here, we want to discuss how you can go about filing an insurance claim in the aftermath of a bicycle crash in Illinois.
Will Your Insurance Pay Your Expenses?
One of the first things that you will want to do after you are involved in a bicycle accident caused by another driver reports the incident to your insurance carrier. Now, whether or not your insurance provider will pay any expenses depends on the circumstances surrounding the crash. If you were struck by an uninsured driver or a hit and run driver, and if you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance carrier will likely be able to provide coverage for your expenses.
Additionally, if you have any type of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage on your plan, you should be able to recover some compensation for your medical bills. However, without uninsured motorist coverage or PIP coverage, there is very little that your insurance carrier will likely pay.
Your insurance carrier may help you file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, but you may be left to your own devices when it comes to filing your claim.
The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
When you file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, you need to be ready. Even though the other driver’s insurance carrier should be responsible for covering all of your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, they are not going to do so without solid proof showing that their policyholder caused the crash.
As soon as a bicycle crash occurs, the bicyclist involved or someone they know should get the following information from the other driver:
- The driver’s name and contact information
- Their driver’s license number
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle
- The insurance company and policy number
- The vehicle license plate number
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
Steps to Take When Filing the Claim
In order for a claim to flow relatively smoothly, there are various steps injured bicyclists can take, including the following:
- Go to all doctor appointments. It is crucial to go to every doctor’s appointment until the medical professional says that the injured bicyclist has reached maximum medical improvement. Failure to go to all medical appointments could result in the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier denying the claim.
- Keep all receipts of expenses. Injured bicyclists need to keep records of every expense they experience in the aftermath of the crash. This includes medical bills, receipts for out-of-pocket expenses arising due to the crash, bicycle repair bills, and documentation showing any lost income.
- Contact an attorney. A skilled bicycle accident lawyer in Chicago will be able to handle every aspect of your claim for you. This includes investigating the incident to determine liability, helping properly calculate your total expenses, and negotiating with the insurance carriers.
- Be wary of early settlement offers. You need to watch out for early settlement offers made by the other driver’s insurance carrier. Early settlement offers are often far too low, and the insurance carrier is looking to try to entice you with an early offer because they know you need the money. If you are working with an attorney, let them handle the back and forth negotiations to try to recover the most compensation.