Bicycle Accidents with Uninsured Drivers

If you were hit by a car while riding your bike in either Kansas or Missouri, you may wonder who you turn to in order to get reimbursed for the cost of your bicycle? Both Kansas and Missouri law mandates that every automobile policy sold must have a minimum of $25,000 of insurance for property damages. Thus, if your bike was damaged because of the negligence of a Missouri or Kansas driver, there should be up to $25,000 of money available to replace your bike, assuming the person who hit you had insurance and they stayed at the scene of the wreck so you could obtain their insurance information.

Paying For Your Bike After A Car CrashMany people who cause accidents, however, do not bother to even purchase automobile insurance or may even let their insurance coverage lapse by not making timely insurance payments. If that is the case, you will be responsible to cover the expense of purchasing a new bike unless you are able to collect personally from the uninsured driver. Most of the time, uninsured drivers do not have a pile of cash sitting around to collect from and you may spend more money trying to collect from them and garnishing their wages for the next few years than the cost of replacing your bike.

Recovering The Cost Of The Bicycle

Because nearly all bicycle’s cost less than $25,000 (a Trek Butterfly Madone that was ridden by Lance Armstrong in the 2009 Tour de France was sold for $500,000), you should be able to recover the cost of the bicycle from the insured driver who hit you. Obviously, the insurance company will reduce what they pay you for the bike because of its age and depreciation assuming you did not just purchase the bike. However, there is always the issue of whether the driver’s insurance company will try to reduce what they need to pay you because they may try to blame you for being somewhat responsible for the wreck. Because of this, if the bicyclist was 20% responsible for causing the wreck, their bike damage claim would be reduced by 20%. Thus, if you had a $1,000 bike but were deemed 20% responsible for the wreck, in both Kansas and Missouri, you would only be entitled to $800. We also recommend that all bicyclists get $250,000 of uninsured motorist coverage in case they are involved in a hit and run and are injured in a wreck. While this will not help pay for your bike, a lot of injuries to bikers on the road are serious and come with substantial medical expenses and damages that need to be covered in case the worst happens.

Brian Wallace
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Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney