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If you are struck by a car while on your bicycle, you are going to have to make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will not likely have your best interests at heart and will not likely make a fair offer to settle your case. If the driver who struck you did not have car insurance, which is the case with almost a quarter of all drivers on the road, then you will have to make a claim with your own insurance company.
In terms of who will pay your medical bills, that depends, like a lot of things in law, on the situation of your case. Most of the time the driver who hit you will have PIP, which stands for Personal Injury Protection. This is a form of health insurance purchased through your car insurance. Policies usually range from $10,000 to $30,000. If the driver who hit you had this policy, then that will pay the bills. If the driver did not have this policy, then your health insurance, through work or through the state, will pay these bills.
If, however, the driver did have a $10,000 PIP policy, but your bills exceed this amount, then PIP will pay the first $10,000 and your health insurance will pick up the remainder. If there is no insurance available at all, then unfortunately your only hope is to ask for the insurance company to hold the bills pending the outcome of your case and hope that the driver who hit you had some kind of liability insurance, even if it is only the minimum of $25,000.
One thing to be aware of is something called subrogation. This means that if the at-fault driver’s PIP paid $10,000 of your medical bills, at the time you reach a settlement for your bodily injury claim, they are allowed to have what they paid in PIP be offset for your damages. So if it is determined your case is worth, in total, $20,000, and PIP paid $10,000, then they get a $6,700 credit. This is because that the insurance company has to take a 33% reduction, which is called a Mahler fee reduction.
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