Frequently Asked Questions -Bicycle Accidents

Am I insured when I am riding my bicycle and get in an accident?

If you ride bicycles in Utah, it is vital that you purchase car insurance. Your car insurance covers bicycle accident costs, including damages, lost wages, and medical bills. In order to ensure you are properly insured on your bicycle, talk to your car insurance agent about your coverage.

What if I was involved in a hit-and-run, or the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance?

If the at-fault driver cannot be located, you will still be able to make a claim for damages under the UM (uninsured motorist) coverage of your own automobile policy. In this case, it is crucial that you already carry UM insurance at the time of the accident, which applies to both car and bicycle accidents. If you do not hold UM coverage, you can often make a PIP (Personal Injury Protection) claim under your own personal car insurance policy. PIP coverage comes standard with all car insurance policies at a minimum of $3,000 of payout (although coverage of $5,000, $10,000, and even $100,000 can be purchased) to pay for your primary medical costs.

My bike was stolen, can I be compensated?

If you own a valuable bicycle, you can often connect your homeowner’s policy to cover the cost in the case of theft. Contact your insurance agent to ask about “Special Personal Property Insurance” if your bike is worth a considerable amount (i.e. $10,000). In some policies, you can recover stolen items even if they were stolen from a location other than a house. Other less-valued items in your house are already covered under a standard homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.

Is there any way I can purchase more insurance besides on initial PIP (Personal Injury Protection)?

Yes, Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) can be just important as liability coverage. UM pays for your medical expenses and other damages from an accident where the at-fault driver does not have car insurance. UM can be a great benefit to you and your family if you are ever involved in a hit-and-run accident.

My medical bills and expenses from a bicycle accident now exceed my limit for PIP (minimum $3,000), what can I do?

Once the PIP insurance coverage is exhausted, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not continue to make payments for your medical costs as you incur them. Instead, they will seek to pay a one-time settlement check for all your damages and losses. Therefore it is crucial at this point that you consult with an experienced accident attorney before making a permanent settlement.

When should I hire a bicycle injury attorney?

If you have incurred significant medical costs (more than $3,000) and the insurance company isn’t willing to fully reimburse you, you should definitely consult with a bicycle accident attorney. Insurance companies will often try to pressure accident victims into making an official statement (You are not required to make one), and settle for less money than the sum of injury costs may turn out to be. If you feel you will continue to require ongoing medical care, an attorney can help establish a much fairer settlement.

What should I do if I have been injured on a bicycle by someone else?

  1. Do not admit fault: be sure to acquire as much evidence as you can and don’t make any statements of guilt.
  2. Call 911: if you are hurt, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. Make sure you are honest and accurate with the Police, they can be your best ally in your case. Sometimes the at-fault party can change their story, but a police report carries a significant weight in establishing your credibility.
  3. Find Eye Witnesses: to further back up your story, other onlookers often provide necessary details and corroboration.
  4. Take pictures: Photograph both your bicycle and the at-fault car, your injuries, and anything pertaining to the accident.
  5. Gather and Record all Details: License Plates, VIN number, make and model of the car can greatly help your case. Physical characteristics of the driver, and information about the time, location, and any other people involved are other valuable details to have.

Are hand signals required when riding a bike in Utah?

Yes, Cyclists must give proper hand signals in order to turn right, left, change lanes, or stop. The following are necessary hang signals in their context:

  1. Left turn—left hand and arm extended horizontally.
  2. Right turn—left arm bent at the elbow with the hand extended upward, or right hand and arm extended horizontally.
  3. Stop or decrease speed—left hand and arm extended downward (§804).

How should cyclists behave with other automobiles on the road?

A bicycle is considered a vehicle, and with a few exceptions, a cyclist has the same rights and obligations as the operator of any other vehicle (§1102).  This includes obeying traffic signals (§305), stop and yield signs (§902), and all other official traffic control devices (§208).

  1. A bicycle must also ride with the flow or direction of traffic, the same as other automobiles (§1105). (Riding on the right-hand side of the street).

Must a cyclist stop and yield at an intersection, the same as a car would do?

Yes, a cyclist must stop at all stop lights, stop signs, and yield pedestrian and give right-of-way as would any motorized automobile. According to Utah law (SS1105) “A bicycle may ride straight through an intersection on the left side of a right-hand turning lane.”

Are cyclists allowed to ride on the sidewalk in Utah?

Yes and no— it depends on where you live. Laws concerning bicycles on sidewalks vary depending on local city ordinances, but there is no statewide ban on it (S1106). For example, Downtown Provo and University of Utah campus have prohibited biking on sidewalks. Other than that, you may ride on the sidewalk but must ride at a slower pace and yield to all pedestrians. Click here for more information.

Any other questions we didn’t answer here? If so contact the Utah Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Christensen & Hymas.

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