Cycling enthusiasts are calling for new insurance regulations to protect cyclists from underinsured and uninsured drivers in the event of accidents.
Bob Mionske, a well-known cycling lawyer, criticized lenient insurance regulations of some states in cases where vehicles and cyclists were involved in violent crashes.
In his blog “Road Rights”, Mionske said that while the law requires motorists to be insured, the minimum liability coverage is usually very low. For an example, he mentioned the state of Ohio where the liability coverage is just $12,500. As a result, Mionske explained, cyclists whose injuries exceed the minimum liability coverage of negligent drivers have to pay extra medical costs that are more than what the driver is insured for.
While victims may choose to file lawsuits, the outcome may not always be in their favor, especially if the negligent motorist is found “judgment proof” or unable to pay for the cyclist’s injuries.
The lawyer argues that in cases like these, the underinsured driver effectively passes on the heavy financial burden to injured cyclists.
Mionske also expressed disappointment over the rise in the figures of uninsured drivers. He added that statistically speaking, uninsured drivers are more likely to be involved in vehicular crashes and are more likely to be repeat violators or offenders.
The cycling lawyer is an advocate for the rights of cyclists and is a former US Olympic and professional cyclist during the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. He is also the author of “Bicycling and the Law”.