What is that one thing most cyclists don’t know that could save them a bundle of money and a lot of heartache?
“Under California Law you only have to have what’s called a 15/30 policy when you drive a car. That means you only have to carry per person, $15,000 worth of liability insurance. You could run through that in half an hour in the emergency room.” Attorney Thomas F. Forsyth
recounted seeing, “…people spending three hours in an emergency room and having a $50,000 bill” to show for it. “You could run through $15,000 in a matter of minutes, and be in full compliance with California law.”
“A lot of cyclists don’t know this.” Client’s ask, “Look, you mean that my auto policy would cover these injuries?” “Yes it does”, says Mr. Forsyth. “If you don’t have uninsured motorist protection on your own policy however, you could really be financially devastated by these accidents. I would say the minimum you should try to get is $100,000/$300,000, it doesn’t cost a whole lot, it’s not like thousands of dollars a year to carry this, it’s pretty reasonable. I’ve got so many cases where people luckily have U.M. (uninsured motorist), and thank God they do, because it kicks in and really helps them get some sort of reasonable compensation, and help in the recovery after a bicycle accident. On the other hand, I’ve seen people with catastrophic life changing injuries who don’t have it. The other side might not have insurance, they might be driving around illegally without insurance. They are going to lose their license for a year, but they have no uninsured motorist deduction. While the victim might have healthcare that can take care of them, or some sort of disability insurance, but it is certainly not the same as having really good coverage on U.M.”
Los Angeles is the world capital for hit and run accidents; 20,000 every year. If struck by a hit and run driver, and you have uninsured motorist insurance, there are three (3) things you must do. First, you must file a Police Report. Secondly, as a general rule there must be contact between bike and vehicle. Third. You have to let your own insurance carrier know of the hit and run within a reasonable amount of time. As soon as possible. If you wait six months you may lose your right to recover compensation for your injuries. Call your insurance company today to increase your uninsured motorist policy, better safe than sorry.
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