Three Things You Should Know After Being Injured in a Charlotte Bicycle Accident
Recently, a hit-and-run driver caused the death of a bicyclist in Durham, North Carolina. After a multi-week search by law enforcement, the suspect was arrested and charged with felony hit-and-run with serious injuries, among other charges.
As the bicyclist was crossing a trail, the driver allegedly hit him, and the victim was thrown from his bike, dying from his injuries. Unfortunately, this is only one of many incidents in which a driver collides with a bicyclist and causes severe injury or death. If you have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident in Charlotte, you should understand the process of recovering compensation through the at-fault driver's insurance company.You Can Use Your Own Health Insurance to Pay for Medical Treatment
Sometimes people assume you will not be able to use your own health insurance to pay for medical treatment related to your bicycle accident injuries. However, this is not true. Your medical expenses do not need to be paid solely out of settlement funds. Unfortunately, health insurance policies are complicated, and the billing practices of medical providers and hospitals need to make it easier.
Nonetheless, you should feel confident that you can use your own health insurance as your first resource to pay accident-related medical expenses. For example, suppose you go to the emergency room after a bicycle accident. In that case, you can use your health insurance to cover your hospital stay, surgery, medication, rehabilitation, and any other medical expenses related to your bicycle accident. When you pursue an insurance settlement with the help of your attorney, you can include all of your previous medical expenses when determining the value of your case.Your Auto Insurance Policy May Cover Your Losses
Similarly, many bicycle accident victims do not know that their auto insurance may cover some of their medical bills and other expenses after a bicycle accident. Even if a motor vehicle was not involved in the accident, your insurance might still cover some of your damages. Your policy reimburses you for out-of-pocket medical expenses up to your policy's limit. Additionally, suppose the driver who caused your injury fled the scene and cannot be identified or does not have insurance, or has insufficient insurance. In that case, your insurance policy may cover your expenses. Victims can pursue a claim through their own uninsured motorist coverage.
Suppose the driver who caused the accident does not have insurance or has too little insurance to cover your damages, and you purchased an underinsured motorist policy. In that case, it can cover the difference up to your purchase limit. For example, suppose the at-fault driver only has $25,000 liability coverage, and your medical expenses are $100,000. In that case, you can pursue compensation from your uninsured motorist policy for the $75,000 that was not covered.The At-Fault Party's Insurance Agent May Try to Place Blame on You
Under North Carolina law, victims have a legal right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver's insurance policy. Even if it is clear that the driver caused the bicycle accident, their insurance company may try to blame you for the accident or claim that your injuries are not as severe as they are. For example, they may argue that you were writing too closely to the vehicle, did not yield the right-of-way to the car, or were not wearing a helmet.
Do not be dismayed if the insurance claims you are at fault. This is a standard argument. Instead, we recommend reaching out to an experienced attorney who can begin negotiating with the insurance company, gathering evidence that the driver was at fault, and pursuing a fair settlement agreement for you. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we know how to hold insurance companies, and we will hold them accountable.Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With an Experienced Attorney
Navigating the insurance claims process can be difficult after being injured in a bicycle accident. If a negligent driver injured you, you have a right to pursue compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Discussing your case with an attorney as soon as possible increases your chances of recovering the best settlement possible.
Do not wait to reach out to an attorney. You do not have to handle the complicated legal matters of a bicycle accident alone. The experienced attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are prepared to handle your case from start to finish so you can focus on getting better. Schedule a free case evaluation with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to learn more about your legal rights and options.