Not all of us drive cars to get around Austin. Many people also walk or use a bicycle for transportation. When an accident happens, these pedestrians or cyclists are looking for compensation for their sudden expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Things are clear cut when two vehicles collide—the driver who is at fault will pay compensation to the injured victims. But things are cloudier when it comes to bicycle or pedestrian accidents because there might not be any applicable insurance policies to tap. As an experienced Austin pedestrian accident attorney, let me walk you through some scenarios.
You are Hit by a Vehicle while Walking or Cycling
If you are a pedestrian or cyclist who gets hit by a vehicle, then you can make a claim with the driver’s insurance company. The driver is probably at fault for the collision, so his or her insurer should pay out compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
But what happens if the driver flees the scene? This is not unusual in Texas (unfortunately). In a hit and run situation, you will probably need to fall back on:
- Your own health insurance, which might pay for medical treatment. However, some policies explicitly exclude payment for injuries sustained in a car accident.
- Medical payments coverage, if you have it, which can pay for medical treatment.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP is no-fault insurance which your insurer must offer, but you might have rejected it in writing.
- Uninsured motorist coverage (UM), if you carry it. Check your policy. Sometimes, UM insurance will cover a hit and run.
If your bicycle was damaged, you should check to see if your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs of repairs or replacement. This depends on the policy language, and not all people will be covered.
You were Hit by a Bicycle
A bicyclist might have slammed into you, causing damage. If the cyclist is at fault, then he or she should pay compensation. Unfortunately, however, I’ve never seen someone with bicycle insurance, though it probably exists. So what do you do?
If you were driving at the time, you could use your collision coverage to pay for repairs to the car. If you suffered a bodily injury, look at your other insurance policies, like PIP or medical payments.
If you were a pedestrian injured by a cyclist, then you probably have no insurance available to you for this type of accident apart from your health insurance, which might pay for medical care.
A Pedestrian Caused an Accident
Sometimes, pedestrians are to blame for collisions. For example, a pedestrian could jaywalk in front of traffic, causing people to swerve out of the way and crash into each other. A pedestrian could also step in front of a cyclist on a bike path, causing a crash. In these situations, a pedestrian can be partially or even fully at fault for injuries.
I’ve also never seen someone carry pedestrian insurance, so it should not be a surprise that those injured by a pedestrian’s carelessness could have a hard time receiving compensation. However, motorists should look at PIP or other insurance policies for possible coverage.
Speak to an Austin Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Accidents cause serious financial distress, but help is available. Robert Littlefield Buford III, attorney at law, has been representing injured pedestrians and bicyclists for years. If you have a question about how to pay for the costs of an accident, please give our office a call.