Road rage is an unfortunate trend in many cities today, including Spokane. It also becomes a crime once someone gets injured, and if they die, it becomes a homicide. Unfortunately, around 200 dies from road rage accidents each year.
Spokane Cyclist Road Rage Incident
In February of 2019, a road rage incident was caught on video. Though the victim wasn’t a cyclist, it does illustrate how dangerous a road rage incident can be. In the video, a man is seen beating on the window of a pickup truck. The window breaks and the man starts hitting the driver who then takes off with the man hanging on. Moments after the video ended, a police officer that witnesses the even arrested the aggressor.
When these incidents happen, many times the victim wonders who is going to pay for their injuries. What about the aggressor’s auto insurance?
Road Rage Injuries
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration makes a distinction between aggressive and risky driving and road rage. In a road rage incident, the aggressor has the intent of committing a crime such as assault or even homicide, so road rage injuries can be serious. These can be injuries that come from a crash the resulted from the rage, while others come from the aggressor using a weapon such as a gun or blunt object.
Who Pay for Road Rage Injuries?
However, in a bit of irony, an auto insurance policy still might come into play, but it’s not from the aggressor, but the victim’s own policy.
Assuming the cyclist victim also has a car and auto insurance, then their own policy can potentially be used to pay for their own injuries. If a person is wise enough to have uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM), medpay or personal injury protection (PIP) on their own policy, then they can make a claim on their own insurance for damage incurred in a road rage incident. Why? Because the covered person wasn’t the one who committed the intentional act.
UM/UIM covers someone who is injured in an auto accident when the person who injured them didn’t have insurance. In road rage incidents, since the aggressor’s policy can’t be used because of the intentional act rule, then the victim has been injured by someone who is “uninsured.”
Medpay or Personal Injury Protection
In that same vein, a person’s own policy might have medpay or personal injury protection (PIP). Medpay 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.
PIP works similar to medpay, but it pays medical bills plus 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.
Contact a Spokane Bicycle Accident Lawyer.
If you are cycling and someone intentionally hits and injures you, you need to talk to an attorney to find out your rights under the law. The insurance company might be right that you can’t collect from them because it was done intentionally, however, if you have the same insurance company, chances are they aren’t going to volunteer that your own policy could be used.
Even if they do, using UM/UIM can be tricky as there are certain requirements and rules that govern how it works.