Bicycle/vehicle accident liabilty

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 10, 2012

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Insurance Question from Coraopolis, PA

Asked on 07/10/2012

Bicycle/vehicle accident liabilty If a 13 year old is on a bicycle and the brakes fail, causing the child to hit an oncoming vehicle, where does the liability lie? The vehicle was not speeding, but the front left of the fender was damaged and the child was injured and taken to the emergency room in an ambulance. The driver is demanding payment of his $1,000 deductible and refusing to have his insurance contact us. He claims that the claim has to be paid by us BEFORE being submitted to his insurance.

Answer given on July 11, 2012

If the cause of the accident was the bicycle and they struck the car, then the responsibility is with the bicycle. This type of coverage would come under the homeowner insurance for the bicycle owner (or their father). You should contact your homeowner insurance company and file a claim. This would fall under the liability portion of the homeowner policy. Explain what happened and let the insurance company deal with the driver or owner of the car. They will determine if there is negligence and if so they will pay for the repairs to the car.The injuries to your child would have to be covered by your health insurance since the driver of the car was not negligent. Your homeonwer insurance does not cover injuries to household members.Once you have reported the incident to your insurance company, have the driver of the car talk to your insurance company. After reporting the whole thing should be handled by the insurance company and you do not need to get involved any further.

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