A 58-year-old bicyclist was hit by a hit-and run driver, while riding in a bicycle lane in Rancho Santa Margarita on Saturday. He is in extremely critical condition today, according to Orange county Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino.
Deputies arrested 32-year-old Agustin Hernandez Perez, who speaks no English and carried no driver’s license or other identification was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. They say Perez struck the bicyclist.
Orange County is full of 50-year-olds riding their bikes. This accident could have been me in “extremely critical condition”. From an economics/legal prospective let’s analyze the injured cyclist’s options using the facts as we know and I suspect them to be.
I’ll bet Mr. Perez does not have auto insurance. That’s probably why he fled the scene. He was probably so full of fear when the accident happened, he took off. Mr. Perez may have ditched his identification. Bottom line: no insurance and no resources to compensate the cyclist.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Assuming our injured cyclist has automobile insurance on his policy he may have “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage”. This coverage will likely cover the injured cyclist’s medical expenses, lost income and other expenses, just like it was the insurance for Mr. Perez, or hit-and-run driver. It does not matter that the cyclist’s car was not involved. The insurance covers loss or injury that the cyclist may experience from an accident involving a motor vehicle.
There are differences in policies. They have different provisions and different coverage, the only way to know what you are covered for is to read your policy. If you can’t understand your policy, it’s probably because you didn’t spend four hours figuring it out and you didn’t go to law school.
With the number of uninsured drivers on the road, it is wise to carry “uninsured/underinsured automobile insurance”. It is not very expensive to have it added to your policy. I suggest that you carry at least an amount equal to your annual income.
If you have insurance questions, call a few insurance brokers. If you want to know how much insurance to carry, discuss it with a financial planner. If you want to know how much “uninsured/underinsured auto insurance” to carry, I suggest the maximum your auto carrier will allow and the maximum “umbrella” coverage your homeowners’ insurance policy holder will allow.
Have some questions about an accident or personal injury of some type call me. John Bisnar @ 800-259-6373