The warmer weather is here, and that means it’s the perfect time to hop on your bike and hit some of the trails or commute to and from the office in a more eco-friendly manner. However, as more cyclists enter the picture, the number of bicycle-related injuries claims also increases. If you are struck by a vehicle while you are riding your bike, you need to know about your legal options for compensation. Below, we explain how bicycle injuries are typically handled in Minnesota, and what you should do if you are injured while biking.
How Is A Bike Accident Handled In Minnesota?
You may be aware that Minnesota is considered a “No Fault” state when it comes to automobile on automobile accidents, but what happens if you aren’t in a vehicle at the time you’re struck by another car? Even though you are not inside a vehicle while you are injured, you’ll be able to file a claim through your automobile insurance policy in the event you are struck by someone else in a vehicle. That means that even though you were on a bicycle at the time of the accident, because it involved a car, you can pursue compensation through a No Fault claim with your insurance provider.
But what happens if you don’t have automobile insurance because you don’t drive, or you’re not even old enough to drive? In these instances, you are able to file a No Fault claim through the insurance provider of a relative that you live with. That means children can oftentimes go through their parent’s automobile insurance policy in the event that they do not hold a car insurance policy. If this also isn’t available, you can likely pursue compensation through the insurance provider of the vehicle that was involved in your accident.
As we’ve talked about on the blog before, No Fault insurance through your Personal Injury Protection policy is limited to the first $20,000 of medical expenses and $20,000 of any lost wages you incur as a result of your injuries. As you might imagine when the situation is bicycle versus vehicle, oftentimes the rider exceeds one or both of these limits. When this happens, you may be able to attempt to recoup the additional expenses through the driver’s liability coverage.
In order to do this, you’ll need to prove that the driver of the vehicle was at fault for the accident. They don’t need to be completely and totally at fault, but they do need to carry the majority of the fault as determined by either the insurance company, an arbiter or a judge. A lawyer can help explain exactly how the driver failed to uphold their duty of care and explain the extent of your injuries to prove negligence and fault.
Time Constraints For A Bicycle Injury Case
When it comes to collecting compensation for damages that occurred as a result of a bicycle versus vehicle accident, Minnesota sets the statute of limitations at two years from the date of the injury for individuals who are over the age of 18. If the injured party is under the age of 18, the two-year time limit doesn’t typically start until the individual turns 18, but you’ll want to ensure this is the case by checking with a lawyer.
Even though you have two years to file for injury compensation as a result of your accident, it’s never wise to take more time than necessary in order to file your claim. The longer you wait, the harder it is to collect evidence and make a convincing argument. If your case becomes harder to prove because your memory fades or you’re unable to track down witnesses, you could miss out on the compensation you deserve.
We understand that it can be difficult to move forward with an injury claim while you’re recovering from the fallout from an accident, but that’s where a lawyer comes in. We’ll take over your case, put forth a strong claim and get you every penny you deserve while you focus on your health. Trust your case to a firm that has won countless injury cases for cyclists in the event that you need a legal team by your side after an accident.
For more information about cycling injuries in Minnesota, reach out to the team at Hey Workers today at (844) 439-9675.