How To File A Bike Accident Insurance Claim In Chicago
Injured cyclists can seek compensation for their losses
Filing an insurance claim for a bicycle accident in Chicago can be a confusing process. What if a reckless driver caused your bike accident? What is the procedure to file a claim for a bike accident? Does car insurance also cover bike accidents? What about other types of insurance, including renters’ insurance or homeowners’ insurance?
The entire claims process can be overwhelming, especially when you’re injured and trying to recover. The last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for your medical care and other injury-related expenses.
We understand what you’re going through, and we want to help. At Keating Law Offices, our bicycle accident lawyers know how to handle complicated legal cases. That’s because we have years of experience successfully representing injured cyclists in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
Procedure to claim insurance for a bike accident
There are a lot of steps to take when filing an insurance claim for a bicycle accident. First, you need to prove you were involved in an accident and that you sustained an injury. This is why you should report your bike accident to the police immediately and get medical care right away.
By taking these steps, you will create a record of your bike accident and your injuries. Make sure you make copies of all important documents, including the police accident report, your medical bills, and other medical records related to your accident.
Next, you will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This is because Illinois has an at-fault car insurance system, meaning the at-fault driver’s car insurance company is liable for damages to other parties, up to policy limits.
Does car insurance cover bike accidents?
If an insured driver caused your bicycle accident in Chicago or anywhere else in Illinois, their car insurance policy should cover injury-related expenses. That’s how the claims process works in Illinois.
However, be prepared for the insurance company to dispute, delay, or flat-out deny your claim. Injury attorneys have long called this the “3 Ds” of insurance claims. Instead of simply paying victims for their losses, many insurance companies focus their efforts on reducing or denying claims. They take this approach because they’re more interested in saving money than making you whole again.
This is just one reason why you need an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Your lawyer can deal directly with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company and advocate for the compensation you’re entitled to. An attorney can also file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf and move your case forward in court if a settlement can’t be reached.
Does my own auto insurance cover bike accidents?
Along with seeking financial compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you may also be able to file a claim with your own insurance company if you have Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist insurance. However, certain situations need to apply:
- You were hit by an uninsured driver and have UM/UIM coverage.
- You were involved in a hit-and-run.
One-way Illinois bicyclists can guarantee protection, should they become a victim in a motor vehicle collision with a driver that has no insurance, is by carrying what is called Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage. Insurance companies often refer to this as "UM/UIM" coverage. Uninsured Motorist Coverage is insurance that can be purchased through an insurance company that protects a person even if the other person who caused the accident did not have insurance. In other words, you are buying insurance as a "safety net" in the event the driver who caused a crash has no insurance.
There is a similar and related type of insurance called Underinsured Motorist Coverage, which provides additional insurance coverage when the at-fault driver did not have enough insurance. Underinsured Motorist Coverage frequently comes into play when the driver who caused a crash has insurance, but only the minimum legally allowed of $25,000. For example, let's say a claim is worth $50,000 and the driver who caused the crash has $25,000 in insurance.
It is important to note that even though the Uninsured Motorist claim is placed with the injured person's own insurance company, there is no guarantee that the insurance company will treat the injured individual any different than any other "claimant." Insurance companies make money by collecting more in premiums than they pay out in claims. "A claim is a claim" to many insurance companies and unfortunately there is a fight to obtain a fair resolution under the terms of your own insurance policy.
How much is my bike accident insurance claim worth?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault party’s insurance company. The value of your claim depends on many factors, such as the severity of your injuries and the effect your injuries have had on your life (e.g., lost wages from missed work; loss of quality of life; the need for long-term medical care).
Car insurance covers bicycle accidents in Illinois, and if you were hit by a reckless driver while riding your bike, you deserve compensation. That’s how the system works, and that’s why you shouldn’t have to settle for less money than what you deserve.
What can I be compensated for after a bicycle accident?
If another driver caused your bicycle accident, you deserve to be paid for all your accident-related expenses, such as:
- Ambulance fees
- Emergency medical care
- Surgical procedures
- Hospital fees, including overnight stay fees
- Follow-up doctor’s appointments
- The cost to repair or replace your bicycle
- Replacement income if you cannot work while you’re recovering from your bicycle injury
- Future income if you cannot return to work due to a temporary or permanent disability
How much time do I have to file a bike accident insurance claim?
In Illinois, you have two years from the date of your bicycle accident to file a claim or a lawsuit seeking damages. But don’t let the two-year deadline (known as the statute of limitations) fool you into thinking you have a lot of time to act. The longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that evidence in support of your case will weaken or disappear.
Contact our Chicago law firm for a free consultation
Experience matters when it comes to handling claims involving serious bicycle accidents. That’s why injured cyclists in Chicago put their trust in Attorney Michael S. Keating and the rest of the attorneys at Keating Law. One of the nation’s leading bicycle accident lawyers who has been at the forefront of bicycle advocacy for two decades, Attorney Keating serves as the chair of the Bicycle Litigation Group for the American Association for Justice and is a member of the Board of Directors for Ride Illinois. In addition, Keating Law has filed more bicycle accident cases in Illinois courts than any other firm.
We have an in-depth understanding of how insurance policy coverage for bicycle accidents works in Illinois, and we know how to deal with insurance adjusters. That’s why we have such a strong record of success. Discover what we can do for you. Contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation with an experienced Chicago bicycle accident lawyer. We are here to help.