Bicycling should be a relaxing, healthy, and above all safe activity that you and your family can enjoy together. Unfortunately, safety takes a back seat when bicycling near traffic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2% of traffic accidents are bicycle-related, accounting for 743 bicyclist deaths and 48,000 injuries.
Sadly, some of these types of accidents are made even more painful when the perpetrator fails to acknowledge the accident and leaves the victim alone, in pain, and with nowhere to turn.
What to Do After a Hit and Run
As a bicycle victim of a hit and run, you can and must take certain steps to secure your recovery and legal options. Even though the person responsible for your injuries may not be identifiable, you can still receive compensation as long as you follow the correct procedures. To secure your claim following a bicycle accident injury, make sure you:
- Report the accident immediately to the police. You need to begin a paper trail and record of the incident as soon as possible to show your insurance company. This record will show the time of the incident, why the guilty party’s insurance isn’t involved, and the general facts of the accident. Furthermore, if possible, you can tell the officer about the make of the car that hit you as well as any distinguishing features to help the police track the driver down.
- Obtain witness statements. If possible, take down witness statements and information (name, address, and telephone number) of anyone who may have seen the accident or may be able to identify the driver. This information can be critical evidence for your claim as well as prosecution for the hit and run driver.
- Seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of your injuries, getting appropriate treatment should be your number one priority. If your injuries are severe or life-threatening, do not wait to give a police report or waste time getting witness statements. Your immediate welfare is more important than a potential claim.
- Call your personal injury attorney. A hit and run case can be extremely tough to prove when the police fail to identify the driver. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you build a strong claim, gather important evidence and documentation, and illustrate the point that your injuries were not your fault. Since you’re a victim of someone else’s negligence and criminal acts, he can argue that you shouldn’t be held personally responsible for the financial consequences of that person’s actions. Furthermore, an attorney knows the intricacies of insurance coverage and how uninsured motorist coverage may be able to cover the expenses caused by the hit and run driver.
- Call your auto and health insurance companies. Your own uninsured motorist coverage may help cover your expenses for injuries and property damage even though you were not driving. However, since the coverage terminology is up to interpretation, you’ll need an experienced attorney to argue your case.
Contact our bike accident attorney John Griffith today for a FREE consultation and allow him to explain your coverage rights and claim options. Call us today at (615) 807-7900 to get the support and guidance you need.