A question I am often asked as a Los Angeles auto accident attorney is whether there’s any recourse for hit-and-run victims riding their bicycles.
Sadly, it’s a question that is having more and more real-life applications, most recently in Orange County.
Uninsured motorist insurance coverage, which I’ve discussed frequently on these pages, can come into play when a bicyclist is the victim of a hit-and-run involving another car.
The key issue in these types of cases is whether there was physical contact between the offending hit-and-run vehicle and the bicycle. (Insurance Code 11580.2)
In Los Angeles, for example, there have been increased reports of road rage incidents targeting bicyclists. A common example is when a driver pulls into the bike lane and makes a short stop, running potential cyclists off the road.
While there might not be physical contact in these types of cases, law enforcement is trying to clamp down on this criminal behavior. Just ask Dr. Christopher Thompson, who a few years ago was sentenced to 5 years for targeting cyclists in a fit of road rage incidents.
Bicyclists who ride out and about in Los Angeles should see to it that their auto insurance is up to date, with a healthy amount of uninsured motorist coverage.
It can protect them and offer valuable coverage for medical expenses and pain and suffering in the event they are the victim of a hit-and-run in Los Angeles and beyond.
And remember, if you are the victim of a hit-and-run, the law requires you report the incident to the police within 24 hours.
For questions about your Los Angeles or Orange County hit-and-run case, the Rabbi Lawyer is ready to assist, 24/6!