Cycling is a terrific way to exercise, have fun, or just get from one place to another. Even if you are riding your bicycle in a safe and responsible manner, drivers of motor vehicles may fail to see you or fail to give you right of way.
According to Virginia DMV, in 2013 there were 45 traffic accidents with cyclist in Norfolk alone. Every single one of these cycling accidents involved injury. Simply put, you are at risk for serious injury if a car, truck or SUV hits you on your bike.
How can you avoid a more serious injury while cycling? Start with a helmet that earns high marks from independent ratings agencies, like Consumer Reports (sometimes the most expensive helmets do not provide the best protection, so choose carefully).
Use clothing that is easily visible, and use LED lighting on your bicycle at night. Follow the rules of the road. Give a signal for all turns, and travel at a speed that is safe under the circumstances. (There are reports that Old Dominion University Police will issue speeding tickets to cyclists, too).
Last but not least, make sure that you have adequate uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage through your car insurance carrier.
To understand why, consider this example: you are struck by a vehicle while cycling in Norfolk and receive serious injuries. Your legal damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.) total $100,000, but the driver who hit you has a minimum limits car insurance policy of $25,000. This leaves you in the hole for $75,000!
Suppose instead that you have $100,000 in uninsured/underinsured coverage through your car insurance. In that case, your own coverage will kick in after the defendant driver’s $25,000 is exhausted, and fill in that $75,000 gap.
Don’t expect your insurance company to simply hand over that money to you, however. They will probably deny at least part of your claim, even though they are your insurance company and you are asking for the coverage that you paid for.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a car while riding a bicycle, contact an experienced Norfolk injury attorney right away.