Legal Tips and Resources
A driver who is caught for a hit and run accident may face a misdemeanor or felony charge, based on the severity of the incident. Unfortunately, bicyclists may find themselves part of a hit and run if they are clipped by a car driver and that person doesn’t halt. Drivers may try to elude responsibility by taking off, in hopes they aren’t found. If they are, the bicyclist may be entitled to filing a lawsuit for compensation of their damages, injuries, and losses. The one major challenge in hit and run accidents is finding the driver who drove away.
If the driver drove away, what do I need to do?
After the accident, it is important that you take certain steps to protect yourself and increase the chances that the driver is found. Call 911 and inform the operator you have been hit by a driver while on a bike and give them information as to your location. If you are able, record your surroundings as you wait for help. Take pictures of your injuries, bike damage, weather conditions, and the overall scene.
Should I still get witness contact information?
Chances are, someone is going to rush over and see if you are okay. Ask this person if they saw the crash happen, and if they are willing to provide a statement. It is possible that a bystander saw which way the driver went, what the driver looked like, and the type of vehicle. These details are going to be crucial as the police search for the person who committed the hit and run.
Is the officer going to take a report of what happened?
Yes, the officer who came to help is going to generate a report of the accident. You can get a copy of this at the law enforcement office for your city in the days following. Be sure to provide your side of the story to the officer so it can be included in the official report. If you decide to pursue legal action after the driver is found, this report can be an influential piece of evidence.
How soon after the accident should I go to the doctor?
Accept medical support at the scene. Do not way to see your doctor. Let your physician know that you were hit by a car while on a bike, and share the entirety of your symptoms even if they seem irrelevant at the time. To protect your right to seek compensation for medical expenses, you must have a medical record created regarding the incident and your resulting injuries.
Should I notify my insurance company about the hit and run?
Yes, contact your insurance provider about the bicycle accident and hit and run, as most policies cover those who travel on bikes. If the driver isn’t caught, then your insurance provider may be able to give you financial support to help cover losses due to the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, contact a bicycle accident lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT right away.
Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and what to do about a bicycle hit and run accident.