Is it legal if my daughter was hit by a car while riding her bike on the sidewalk and the driver’s insurer is saying that they will only pay half of the medical bills because she should not have been on the sidewalk?

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Is it legal if my daughter was hit by a car while riding her bike on the sidewalk and the driver’s insurer is saying that they will only pay half of the medical bills because she should not have been on the sidewalk?

Our city has no laws restricting bikes from being on sidewalks. The driver was pulling out of a parking lot on to the street and hit her as she was going by on the sidewalk. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance immediately after the accident to evaluate her injuries. She was bruised and swollen, had difficulty walking for over a week but thankfully she did not have any serious injuries.

Asked on October 20, 2019 under Personal Injury, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Since your city does not prohibit bikes from being ridden on sidewalks, the at-fault party's insurance company does not have a valid reason for only paying half the medical bills.  
If you cannot get this resolved with the insurance company, contact your state's Insurance Commissioner.  If it is not resolved through the Insurance Commissioner, you may want to consider suing the insurance company on a bad faith claim.
When your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain her medical bills and medical reports.  Your daughter's claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document her injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.
If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, no lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with the settlement offers, reject them and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter because she is a minor.
If the case is not settled, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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