This was prepared by Patrick Brown, a lawyer at Mcleish Orlando who gave some pro bono advice to someone who was hit by car and then shared with me these tips.
When a cyclist is involved in a collision, there can be some confusion about how the cyclist can be compensated for any damage to their bike.
If the collision was not the cyclist’s fault, the cyclist is entitled to pursue a claim for the property damage to the bike.
If you have the driver’s insurance information, you should place a call to their insurance company and give details of the claim, the driver’s name and the driver’s policy number.
If you have your own car insurance policy, you may wish to contact your own auto insurance company, who may pursue the claim on your behalf.
The vast majority of property claims do not go to court and are resolved directly with the insurance company. After the insurance company receives notice of the claim, a bodily insurance adjuster will be assigned to the claim and will call the cyclist. Even if the claim is purely for the damaged bicycle, it will be dealt with by a bodily insurance adjuster.
In terms of valuation of the bicycle, the assessment will be based on the make, model, and purchase price of the bicycle.
If the cyclist has a receipt showing the purchase price, that information should be forwarded to the adjuster for consideration of their claim.
When settling the property claim, it is important to make sure that anything you are asked to sign does *not* release the driver from any claim you may have for bodily injury caused by the collision.
If the car driver’s insurance company is not prepared to reimburse you, you can initiate a claim directly against the driver of the car. To be successful, you will need to prove that the driver of the car was at fault. You will also need to prove the costs for fixing the bike or the replacement value of the bike (if it is a complete loss). More than one price quote should be obtained. You can also claim for other damaged property in the crash, including out of pocket expenses. This can be done in Small Claims Court if the amount is less than $25,000.
Cyclists involved in a collision should always obtain the names and contact information from any witnesses who may have seen the collision. Photographs of the scene, the car, and the damaged bike should also be taken and saved. Having this information can save you a lot of hassle when making your claim and will ensure that both you (and your bike) can get back on the road as quickly as possible.