What to Do in a Bicycle Hit-and-Run Accident
There’s nothing like a bike ride in the open air for exercise, for taking the scenic outdoor views, and as an eco-friendly choice for transportation within your community. But the same unenclosed format and 2-wheeled design that makes a bike ride so exhilarating also leave cyclists vulnerable to serious injuries in an accident, especially in a collision with a large, heavy motor vehicle moving at high speed. While most collisions between motorists and cyclists resolve with the horrified driver stopping to help in any way they can, in some cases, the motorist may leave the scene of the accident to avoid accountability—especially if they were speeding, driving recklessly, distracted, or intoxicated.
When a cyclist is injured in a typical collision with a vehicle, they may experience serious or even grave injuries, but at least they can hold the driver accountable for damages—typically paid through their insurer. But what should an injured cyclist do after a hit-and-run accident?
Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Bike Accident
If a driver fails to follow traffic rules or engages in reckless driving behavior that ends in a collision with you while you’re cycling, you may have such serious injuries that you can do little other than wait for help. But in some cases, you may be able to use your phone or ask a helpful bystander to use your phone for the following:
- Snap a photo of the fleeing vehicle if at all possible, especially their license tag
- Call 911 to report the accident
- Take pictures of your injuries
- Take pictures of your damaged bike and the accident scene
- Use your phone to collect the contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident
- If you have time before help arrives, you can also use your phone to video-record eyewitness statements (with their permission) while the details are fresh in their minds about the make and model of the car and what they witnessed if they saw the accident occur.
- Take careful mental notes or phone-recorded notes of your own memories of the accident and any details you noted
Then, once emergency services arrive, allow transport to the hospital and tell the doctor about all of your injuries and every symptom, even if it seems minor. Ask for a detailed medical report with your doctor’s treatment recommendations and your prognosis. Once you obtain a copy of the police report, save your medical bills, notify your insurance company, and call a personal injury attorney.
Gaining Compensation for Damages From a Hit-and-Run Driver in Utah
Utah is a no-fault state for traffic accidents, including bicycle accidents, so it’s important to notify your own insurance company after a hit-and-run accident. Under the state’s no-fault laws, your own insurance will pay for damages only up to $3,000. After that, the state uses a modified comparative negligence system that allows you to seek damages from the at-fault party as long as you were less than 50% at fault, your damages exceed $3,000, or you’ve sustained very serious injuries like dismemberment, disability, impairment, or disfigurement.
If the police investigators were able to identify and locate the at-fault driver in your hit-and-run accident through your testimony, eyewitness testimony, and/or photos of the scene from your phone or nearby traffic and surveillance cameras, you can pursue further damages from the driver’s insurance company.
Call a Utah Personal Injury Attorney With Hit-and-Run Accident Experience
Personal injury attorneys in Salt Lake City, Utah have access to the best resources, including traffic and surveillance camera footage, and accident reconstruction specialists. They can represent your best interests throughout every step of the claims process to seek maximum compensation for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.