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If a Bicyclist Damages Your Car, Will His Insurance Pay?

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on March 16, 2015 3:13 PM

A driver's car insurance can cover damage that a car inflicts on a bicycle. But does it cover damage that a bicycle may inflict on a car?

Say you're driving down the road, minding your own business, when -- WHAM! -- you get hit by a bicyclist. There are scratches and dents along the side of your car, and your side mirror is gone. Who's going to pay for all of this?

Assuming that the bicyclist is completely at fault, then the bicyclist is responsible for paying for the damages. But, if he can't pay out of pocket, will his car insurance (if he has it) cover the damage?

Bicyclist's Car Insurance

Sadly, no. A bicyclist's car insurance will not cover any damages to you because the bicyclist wasn't driving a car. Or rather, the damage to you wasn't caused by the car covered in the cyclist's car insurance policy.

However, you're not completely out of luck.

Bicyclist's Homeowner or Renter's Insurance

Depending on the terms of the policy, the cyclist's homeowner's or renter's insurance may cover the damages to you or your car. How is this possible?

Homeowner's or renter's insurance will often pay for compensatory damage caused by the insured while participating in a covered occurrence. Sporting activities, such as bike riding, are usually considered covered occurrences. Compensatory damages are the actual costs to you caused by the accident, including repair costs, medical bills, and lost wages.

So while you won't be able to recover money from the bicyclist's car insurance policy, you may be able to recover money from his homeowner's or renter's insurance policy.

Personal Injury Protection

What about the bicyclist's own injuries and damages? Unfortunately for the cyclist, his homeowner's insurance won't actually cover any of his injuries or damages.

However, some state insurance laws guarantee that when a car and bicyclist collide, personal injury protection will cover part or all of the cyclist's medical bills. For example, in Massachusetts, even if a cyclist hits you and is 100 percent at fault, your car insurance will automatically pay a portion of his medical expenses, according to The Boston Globe; if the cyclist wasn't at fault, he could get even more to cover lost wages and other costs.

If you are involved in a bicycle versus car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help evaluate your damages and your options for recovery.

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