I was involved in a hit and run bicycle accident, can I recover compensation if I don’t know who the driver was?
Hit and run bike accidents are more common that many people might think. In nearly all cases it is the driver of a car who leaves the cyclist on the side of the road, with no regard for their injuries. The cyclists has been rendered as a double victim: one who was hit by a car and then left to fend for themselves. The best situation for the cyclist is to have had witnesses at the scene who can offer their help, and even identify the fleeing driver.
One of the most common concerns of a cyclist who was involved in a hit and run accident involves the feeling of having no recourse to receive monetary compensation for their injuries and financial losses. Luckily, there are options.
Most law firms, particularly those who handle personal injury claims, are conversant with bike accidents including those that involve a hit and run. A lawyer can assist in conducting an investigation and also look for the offender. If the offender cannot be located or is found, but uninsured, a learned lawyer will understand the necessary protocols to help the injured cyclist recover compensation.
The Responsibilities of a Driver
The driver of a car who has been involved in a bicycle accident has a number of duties to perform including: stopping the vehicle and pulling to off to a safe place on the side of the road, calling the police or 911, exchange contact and insurance details with the cyclist, and wait for the police to arrive. If the driver leaves the scene before the aforementioned duties are completed, it may be considered a hit and run. Not only is this unethical, but it is illegal and punishable by law.
Finding the Driver
It is not easy to escape a hit and run in today’s technological world. Law enforcement, private investigators, lawyers, and witnesses have access to a variety of tools and resources that can monitor road activities and catch those in hiding. The first step in finding the responsible party may be to turn to the local police. They will likely conduct their own investigation and look for valid evidence to aid them. Footage from surveillance cameras, mobile phones, and dash cams may be sought in addition to witness statements.
In most cases, the police will be able to find the fleeting driver. However, it is very common for that driver to have no insurance; hence the reason for leaving the scene of the cycling accident. This is when it can be very beneficial to have a lawyer help to recover compensation from the cyclists’ own insurance policy. If the driver does have insurance, but left the scene for other reasons, a lawyer may pursue a civil claim against him or her. Police might also file criminal charges.
Compensation for a Cyclist
Regardless of which insurance company pays out the compensation, they will try to settle for the least amount possible. This is their job. In many cycling accidents, especially those that are serious, there are many unforeseeable costs that may not be taken into consideration. A good lawyer will understand these costs and be able to include them in the claim. Compensation for a bike accident may include:
- Medical costs
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- + More
To sum this question up, if you were injured in a hit and run bicycle accident, you can pursue compensation, but you should have a good personal injury attorney Chicago trusts on your side.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into LLC and business law.