Walking or Riding a bicycle can be a relaxing pastime or a great way to keep in shape. However, the risk of serious injury from being struck by a car or truck while walking or riding is an ever-present danger.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation and Share the Road Texas, each year there are more than 2,000 crashes involving bicycles, most with injuries, and some with fatalities. In 2018 alone, there were 2,426 crashes and 72 fatalities involving bicycles.
Similarly, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, approximately 6,000 pedestrians are struck and injured by motor vehicles in Texas each year. In 2019, of the nearly 6,000 pedestrians that were hurt, 68 people died in those crashes.
Where do you turn for help with medical bills, property damage, lost wages, or other losses, if you were struck by a motor vehicle while walking or riding your bike? Generally, the first place to turn is the automobile liability policy of the negligent driver that hit you. But, where do you turn if the negligent driver does not have any auto insurance? Or, where do you turn if the negligent driver does not have enough insurance to fully pay for all your serious injuries?
If you are like most drivers, you expect your car insurance to provide insurance coverage if you are involved in a car accident while you are driving. Also, if you are like many insurance policyholders, you have never bothered to read or understand the fine print contained in the insurance policy or on the declarations page. A failure to read the fine print, however, can lead you to miss out on coverages that you did not realize that you have. Other times, it can lead to claim denials. For example, If you have been hit by a car, truck or other motor vehicle while walking or riding your bike and the driver does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance to fully compensate you, the uninsured motorist coverage or the underinsured motorist coverage contained in the fine print of your insurance policy may compensate you for your injuries.
Uninsurance refers to the situation where a negligent driver lacks of a policy of insurance that actually provides coverage. They may have never had insurance. Or their policy may have expired. Or, their insurance company may have gone bankrupt. There are typically two types of uninsurance motorist coverages. One type is called uninsured motorist bodily injury (UM) and covers bodily injury caused by an uninsured driver. The second is called uninsured motorist property damage (UPMB) and covers damage to your personal property by an uninsured driver. Uninsurance is mandatory in many states, including Texas.
Underinsurance refers to inadequate, or too little, insurance coverage held by the insured. Similarly, there are also two types of underinsured motorist coverage. One is called underinsured motorist coverage (UIM or UIMBI). It provides additional insurance coverage when negligent driver causes an accident while not having enough liability insurance to cover all the damages. The second type of underinsurance coverage is underinsured motorist property damage (UIMPD). It provides additional insurance money for property damage caused by a negligent driver. Underinsurance is an optional coverage in most states, including Texas.
Yes, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist, injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorists can be covered under their own UM, UPMB, UIM and UIMBI coverages. The following conditions must be met before an of the uninsurance or underinsurance coverages are triggered:
Both underinsurance motorist coverages and underinsured motorist coverages will pay family members residing in the same household as the insured for the losses they incur when struck by a negligently driven motor vehicle. The definition of pedestrian is broad, and includes people standing, walking, running, rollerblading, roller skating skateboarding and similar ways of getting around.
Whether you were involved in a car accident while driving or were hit while riding your bike, you deserve legal support from an attorney who cares. We're determined to provide the high-quality counsel and representation you require at this difficult time. Contact us at your earliest convenience to get started with an accident case consultation. Mark Underwood is a serious accident lawyer in McKinney, TX. (972) 535-6377.
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