Hit and run crashes on the rise…here is how you can protect yourself

Jul 18, 2022

Unfortunately, there has been a significant increase in hit-and-run crashes involving cyclists. Because of this, we want to remind everyone of a crucial and inexpensive way to protect yourself on the bike; carry adequate Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage.

Bicycle crashes often result in significant injuries to the cyclist, and too often, the motorist either does not have liability insurance coverages, has insufficient coverage, or flees the scene of the crash. If you carry UM/UIM coverage, it may help save you from extreme financial hardship if you are seriously injured in a collision.

As an example, in the State of California, drivers are only required to carry $15,000 of automobile liability insurance coverage…that’s it. Protect yourself and check your automobile policy now for your UM/UIM coverage. Call your agent and increase your UM/UIM coverage to the highest amount that is financially feasible for you. It is inexpensive and may help compensate you for bodily injury damages in the event that you are struck by a driver who did not have any, or enough liability coverage to properly compensate you for your injuries.

Here are two case studies that help illustrate the importance of UM/UIM coverage:

Case A: Uninsured Motorist

In this case, our client was riding his bicycle in Los Angeles and was struck by an older vehicle. The driver did not have automobile liability insurance coverage. The client suffered very serious injuries and had significant medical expenses. Fortunately, our client had $250,000 in Uninsured Motorist coverage.

We were successful in negotiating for the client and ultimately got his insurance company to tender the Uninsured Motorist bodily injury policy limit.

Case B: Underinsured Motorist

In this case, our client was struck by a car while participating in a group ride in Southern California. Our client suffered severe injuries and incurred over $125,000 in medical expenses. The motorist responsible for the collision only had $15,000 in bodily injury coverage, but our client had $500,000 in Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage.

Within 30 days of representing the client, we settled the defendant’s underlying $15,000 minimum policy, and eventually got our client’s insurance carrier to tender the entire Underinsured Motorist policy limit. Without this Underinsured Motorist coverage, our client would have never been made whole, because the driver was essentially judgment-proof.

Your UM/UIM coverage is just as important as the purchase of your bicycle. Please take the time to review your insurance coverages as soon as possible. The best part about UM/UIM coverage is that it is relatively cheap to obtain.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a cycling collision, please call us and to speak to one of our cycling attorneys. Our bike accident lawyers have years of experience in handling cycling cases and are ready to help you.

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