Cyclist Hit by Stolen Car in San Louis Obispo
A cyclist was riding his bicycle on Tuesday June 18, 2019 in San Louis Obispo and was struck by a stolen car. The man fled, but witnesses got the license plate of the car, and then police realized that the car had been stolen. Earlier that day around 12:30 the man stole a black Chrysler sedan from the 400 block of Higuera Street and then after driving around for a few hours, he hit the cyclist.
The cyclist sustained injuries that were non-life threatening. Police searched for the man but were unable to catch him. Later that day, he allegedly set fire to a tree but again fled before police arrived. He was finally captured two days later when police got a call about a suspicious man. The incident’s are still under investigation, and so far, the man faces charges of the theft of a vehicle, hit and run with injury and arson.
Stolen Car Bike Accidents
What happens when you are hit by a stolen car while riding your bike? Will there be any insurance to cover the damages? The answer is maybe.
In a typical accident between a car and a bicycle, if the driver of the car is at fault, then the driver’s insurance will pay for the damages. This is of course why the driver bought insurance in the first place. However, when the in the accident car is stolen, then the owner of the car will have insurance to fix the car, but any injuries that happened in the crash won’t be covered by that insurance policy.
Why: Because and insurance policy doesn’t cover the acts of a thief. This is a long-standing rule of insurance companies not to cover willful acts of the insured. It’s sort of like an arsonist wanting to collect insurance for burning down his own home.
The other reason is that someone gets insurance to cover their acts of negligence and losses that the insured is liable for not the acts of someone else.
Who will Pay the Cyclists Damages?
There is one last hope for the cyclist, and that is if he or she is also a driver with their own insurance and they have one of three provisions, their insurance policy might cover their injuries. These provisions must be purchased as an add-on to the policy before the incident occurs.
- Medpay: This is a provision that drivers can get on their own policy that will pay for medical bills regardless of who is at fault or who is injured so long as the insured or their vehicle is involved.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This works similar to medpay, but it pays medical bills and other damages like pain and suffering and loss of wages. It also pays out regardless of who was injured or at fault so long at the insured or their vehicle is involved.
- Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM): Most insurance policies have uninsured/underinsured provisions that will pay those covered by the policy for all personal injury damages if the other driver is underinsured or has no insurance. This can include when a hit-and-run driver is never found, so long as they were at fault in the accident.
In California, auto insurance is required but not any of the above three provisions, but they are offered by most insurance companies. Unfortunately, without one of those, then the cyclist is left to pay for the damages unless the thief is caught and happens to be wealthy, which is probably not going to be the case.
Do I Need and Attorney?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, then you should talk to an attorney to see if there is any coverage available to compensate you for your losses. If the vehicle was stolen, then the attorney can look at all policy options.
The attorneys at Bay Area Bike Law are the only firm in northern California that deals exclusively with bicycle law, and they have the experience to get you full compensation under the law. Call them at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact then online. If you still wonder if they’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.