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Bicyclist injured by an automobile?

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As our country tries to become more environmentally conscious or more " green ", Americans are searching for ways to leave a smaller footprint on our environment by reducing carbon emissions. We had the " cash for clunkers " program where the U.S. government gave cash rebates to consumers who traded in their old gas guzzling motor vehicles in exchange for new more fuel efficient motor vehicles. Likewise, more people are returning to using bicycles, both as a great form of exercise and for short trips or running errands. Whether it's biking to the grocery store, dropping off mail at the neighborhood mailbox, or to peddle your bike to visit a neighbor who lives a few blocks away, riding a bike saves both gas and reduces carbon emissions.

With the increase of bicyclists on our roads in the Orlando area there is a corresponding risk of being injured in an accident with an automobile. As a bicyclist you need to protect yourself from the hazards of riding along our streets by using sidewalks whenever available, rather than riding along the side of the road, to reduce the risk of being struck by an automobile. Where there are not any available sidewalks, then ride in the designated bicycle lanes, if available. Unfortunately, more often than not our roads in the Orlando area do not have designated bicycle lanes, which gives bicyclists no alternative but to ride along the side of the road.

Furthermore, regardless of age, you should always wear a safety certified helmet whenever you are on your bicycle and make sure the helmet is securely fastened to provide you more protection should you be struck by an automobile. Also you need to try to be as visible as possible to other motorists on the road. Wearing light colored clothing, having an orange or yellow fluorescent flag attached to the back of your bike, having reflective tape and decals on your bike all help ensure greater visibility on the road. Finally, at night you should always have operational headlights and taillights to draw attention to yourself in the dark.

If you are injured in an automobile collision while on your bike and are an automobile owner, you can make a claim under your own automobile insurance policy under your PIP ( Personal Injury Protection ) coverage. PIP coverage will pay 80% of your bicycle accident related medical expenses and 60% of your gross wage loss for time missed from work due to your bicycle accident related injuries, regardless of who is at fault. If you do not own a motor vehicle but reside with a relative who owns a motor vehicle then you can make a PIP claim under your resident relative's automobile insurance policy. If as a bicyclist you are not an automobile owner and do not reside with a relative who owns a motor vehicle then you can make a PIP claim under the automobile policy of the at fault motorist that struck you on your bike.

Also, if the driver of the motor vehicle that struck you is at fault you can make a BI ( Bodily Injury ) claim against the motorist's automobile insurance policy for any medical expenses and gross wage losses not covered by PIP as well as pain and suffering damages if you sustained a permanent injury. If the at fault motorist did not carry BI coverage or had inadequate BI coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries and losses, you can make an UM ( Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist ) claim under your own automobile policy or under your resident relative's UM policy, if applicable. Finally you can make a claim for any damages to your bicycle or personal property such as your helmet, your wristwatch or sunglasses that were damaged in the collision with the at fault motorist's vehicle against their PD ( Property Damage ) coverage.

If you have been injured as a bicyclist by an at fault motor vehicle driver, please call The Nuebel Law Firm today at 407-703-5999 so that we may help and assist you.

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