The aftermath of a hit and run accident is chaotic at best. Here’s how to respond in the event of a bicycle collision.
Hit and run accidents are the most common type of bicycle accidents. Because bicycles offer little in the way of protection, you can sustain serious bodily injury from even a seemingly run-of-the-mill accident. A driver may flee intentionally in an attempt to avoid liability for the accident and your medical bills; however, it is possible to recover the cost of medical treatment and bike repair or replacement if you take the necessary steps to preserve your case.
If you are involved in a hit and run bicycle accident, there are a few core steps you should take in the seconds, minutes and days following the accident.
1. Seek Medical Attention
Getting hit by a car can leave you dazed and unaware of the seriousness of your injuries. While you may be more concerned about the damage to your bike, you should immediately call 911 or have a bystander contact them for you.
Once you receive medical care, you must comply with any recommendations made by your doctor. Not only is the good for your health, but also insurance companies look at your medical records and bills to determine the amount of money you can recover in your case. If you fail to seek medical treatment or fail to follow your doctor’s treatment regimen, you could seriously jeopardize the success of your case.
Remember that injuries like whiplash can take time to present themselves. Do not make the mistake of exacerbating your injuries or reducing the value of your case by returning to the streets too quickly before you are aware of all damages.
2. File a Police Report
Once you are out of physical danger and have sought treatment for your injuries, contact the police and file a police report. A police report serves two purposes. First, it alerts police of the accident and allows them to begin an investigation to find the driver who caused the accident. Second, it provides evidence of your accident claim that your insurance company will use to determine liability. You can also use the police report to keep track of the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the driver’s license plate number or remember details about the vehicle.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
If the police do not find the person who caused the accident, you can still recover from your own automobile insurance policy. Generally, your uninsured motorist coverage will cover costs for injuries and repairs incurred from a hit and run bicycle accident.
Most states require you to report an accident and open a claim with your insurance company within 24 hours. Once you open a claim, your insurance company will investigate the accident by reviewing the police report, obtaining your medical bills and records, and interviewing any witnesses to the accident. If the police find the negligent driver, you may be able to recover from the driver’s insurance company as well.
4. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury case is probably the last thing on your mind after being the victim of a hit-and-run accident. You may be facing hefty medical bills, lost wages from your inability to return to work immediately, as well as the costs of repairing or replacing your bike.
Dealing with your insurance company can be a difficult task. Your insurance company will attempt to pay out as little as possible to settle your claim. Without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, you could easily miss out on recovering unforeseen expenses like lost wages. An attorney will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure you receive the maximum award for your claim.
If you or someone you love has been injured during a hit-and-run bicycle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney near you who can help.