If you hit a bicyclist with your car, you know that your car insurance will end up paying for his or her injuries. What happens, however, if a bicyclist isn't paying attention and hits your car? Worse, what if you've already exited your car and are on your way into a building when the bicyclist crashes into you? This is what you should know.
It happens more than you probably realize.
Nobody really knows how many people get hit by bicyclists each year because a significant number of people who are clipped by a cyclist probably manage to get back up again and go on their way without seeking medical care. However, not everyone gets that lucky. A New York study indicates that there were around 1,000 pedestrians struck by cyclists each year over a 3 year period. Your particular odds of being in an accident may vary with your location–those who live in urban areas where cyclists are more common probably face more risk than those who live in rural areas where cyclists are rarer.
Typically, bicyclists may have insurance that covers the cost of their bicycle if it gets damaged but that type of insurance (unlike auto insurance) doesn't cover the cost of your injuries should the bicyclist hit you or your car. However, that doesn't mean that you're automatically prevented from recovering for your injuries if you're seriously hurt. There are often other options.
You may need to explore several options for recovery.
If the cyclist has homeowner's or renter's insurance, his or her insurance company may be required to pay for your injuries. In general, homeowner's insurance covers negligent acts even when the homeowner isn't at home, so if the cyclist has that insurance you will probably be able to file without a problem. It should cover both your personal injuries and any injuries to your car. Renter's insurance can be more complicated because some policies cover more than others.
Another option that you may have is to take the cyclist to court and seek a judgement that requires him or her to pay for your injuries. If the cyclist doesn't have the money to pay for your injuries immediately, you can get a court order to garnish his or her wages until the debt is repaid.
If a cyclist damages your car or hits you personally, try to get his contact information and insurance information. Call the police and file an incident report, the same way that you would if you had hit the cyclist with your car. Make sure that you seek appropriate medical care if you are injured, even if you don't think the injuries are serious at the time, just in case a soft-tissue injury worsens over time. Then consult with a personal injury attorney like Boucher Law Firm about the possibility of a case.