Thousands of bicyclists are catastrophically injured and killed each year in accidents with vehicles. When accidents happen between motorists and bicyclists, typically those on bicycles tend to suffer the most injuries or even death.
However, if you are involved in a bicycle accident where the driver leaves the scene of the accident, there are additional complications to an already challenging situation. Learn more about what to do if you were involved in a hit-and-run bicycle accident.
Common Causes of Accidents Between Bicycles and Cars
As a bicyclist, you should understand the most common causes of accidents between bicycles and cars to avoid these scenarios. The most typical accidents include the following:
- Driver distraction
- Driver’s failure to yield
- Dangerous road conditions
- Riding a bicycle at night
- Bicyclist inattention
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Steps to Take if You Are in a Hit-and-Run Accident as a Bicyclist
Follow these steps if you were hit by a motorist while riding a bicycle and they left the scene of the accident.
- Get Off the Road. You may feel panic or confusion. Try to get off the roadway as quickly as possible if you can move safely. This may prevent you from receiving further injuries.
- Call 911. Call 911 immediately. Even if you do not think you have severe injuries, call the police as soon as you are away from the roadway and safe.
- Try to Determine the Severity of Your Injuries. Your injuries may seem minor at first, but adrenaline and the shock of an accident can cause many severe injuries to be masked initially. If you feel you need immediate medical attention, seek a medical professional from an ambulance crew or get to an emergency room as soon as possible.
- Witnesses. If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, witnesses’ testimony may be vital to your case. They may have seen the car or license plate and can offer descriptions of the vehicle that left the scene of the accident. Other “witnesses” can include traffic cameras and businesses that may have cameras that captured the incident. Attempt to see if there are any cameras near the scene of the accident that may be used in an investigation following your accident.
- Contact Insurance. Contact your insurance company and let them know what happened. Never take responsibility for the accident.
- Have Your Bicycle Inspected by a Professional. Your bicycle is likely damaged, and if they do find the person that drove away from the accident, they will be liable not only for your medical bills but also the damage suffered to your bicycle. Make sure to take your bicycle to a professional shop to have the damage assessed.
- Accident Documentation. If you are physically able, try to take photos involving the accident, such as your injuries, the scene of the accident, skid marks, the surrounding environment, road conditions, the weather, and your bicycle. Always keep track of your lost wages and medical bills as well as keep a diary regarding your pain and suffering.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
The most important thing to do after being involved in a hit-and-run bicycle accident is to contact an attorney. Visit with an experienced personal injury attorney at Jolly Berry Law at (949) 515-9000 or online today to find out how you can receive the compensation you deserve due to someone else’s negligence.