Now that the weather is warming up, more bikes are on our trails, paths and on the roads. Unfortunately, this also increases the chance of bike vs. car collisions. We often hear of bicyclists who have been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, but who didn’t know that they had rights to any benefits for medical treatment or wage loss. If you are on your bicycle and in a collision with a motor vehicle, you have rights to certain benefits, regardless of who is found at fault.
If you are a bicyclist involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, we recommend you take the following steps:
- Call the police to make a report. Get the contact and insurance information for any vehicles involved, including license plate numbers and any identifying information from the vehicle. Take pictures and note down this information right away. If you are able, take down names and contact information for any witnesses to the crash and ensure that the police note your version of events.
- Document any injuries or property damage. Pictures can be very useful to show injuries as well as damage to your bike or other personal property.
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Even if you don’t feel too badly injured, get checked out by a medical professional right away or as soon as you start to feel any pain or other symptoms.
- Call Walther Goss Law for a free consultation to meet with an attorney to discuss your case. We will evaluate your situation and advise what benefits may be available to you. Once we take your case, we will deal with the insurance companies and will take care of all the paperwork for you so you can focus on getting better.
Under Minnesota state law, you have the right to what is known as no-fault benefits. This means that you can and should receive treatment if you are injured, even if you do not own a car. Minnesota’s statutes determine which insurance will pay for your medical bills and wage loss. Which insurer is primary for No-Fault benefits depends on the following:
- If you, the bicyclist, own a motor vehicle and have it insured, you should receive your No-Fault benefits through your vehicle’s insurance policy, or
- If you, the bicyclist, live with a relative (mother, father, sister or brother) who owned and insured a motor vehicle when the collision occurred, you should get No-Fault benefits through your resident relative’s insurance policy, or
- If you, the bicyclist, do not own or insure a motor vehicle nor do you live with any family member who owns or insures a vehicle, you should get No-Fault benefits through a motor vehicle involved in the collision, or
- Should the motor vehicle that was involved in the collision be uninsured (this is illegal but unfortunately happens quite frequently) and you, the bicyclist, do not have insurance through your own vehicle nor a resident relative’s vehicle, you should get No-Fault benefits through the Minnesota Assigned Claims Bureau.
Depending on who was placed with negligence or fault for the collision, you may also have a claim for pain and suffering. These types of claims normally go through the insurance of the party that caused the collision.
If you have been injured while riding a bike, after you call your doctor, call Walther Goss Law to make an appointment for a free consultation. You will meet with an attorney to discuss your case and what benefits may be available to you.
As a reminder to all bicyclists and drivers, please be extra careful year-round. Drivers, always use your side mirrors and check over your shoulder before making turns. Collisions can be avoided if we all take extra precautions and take a moment to ensure the safety of all those sharing the road