Hit and Run Dangers for Cyclists

Riding a bicycle can help you remain in shape, save money, and lessen the environmental effects. Cycling does, however, carry considerable risk, particularly while sharing the road with moving cars. Bicycle collisions with cars can cause serious injuries including traumatic brain injuries. Being a victim of a hit-and-run collision is one of the most terrifying hazards.

Understanding Hit-and-Run Collisions

A hit-and-run collision occurs when a motorist strikes a pedestrian, cyclist, or another car and then speeds away from the scene without stopping to offer assistance, exchange information, or call the police. In 2021, there were 966 bicycles killed in motor vehicle traffic collisions, up 1.9% from 948 in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Two percent of all traffic fatalities involving motor vehicles were bicycle-related. Hit-and-run incidents accounted for almost 25% of bicycle-related fatalities in 2020.

Cyclists are particularly vulnerable to severe injury or even death in hit-and-run crashes because they are not adequately protected. Furthermore, it could be difficult for cyclists to obtain compensation for property damage, medical expenses, and pain if the at-fault driver’s identity and insurance status are unknown or untraceable.

What to Do If You’re a Victim of a Hit-and-Run

Being the victim of a hit-and-run can cause emotional and physical distress and have legal and financial implications. Knowing what to do to safeguard your rights and interests is crucial if you were a cyclist in a hit-and-run accident. Following a hit-and-run collision, you should take the following actions:

Ensure Safety First

Evaluate your physical well-being. Move yourself gently to a safe location away from traffic if you are hurt and able to do so. If you suspect a spinal, neck, or head injury, stay still until medical assistance arrives. To alert other drivers, make use of any accessible safety equipment, such as reflective materials or hazard lights.

Make an Emergency Services Call

Immediately dial 911 for emergency assistance. Give them factual information regarding the occurrence, such as the location, any injuries received, and, if available, a description of the vehicle and its direction of travel. Ask for both law enforcement support and medical care.

Preserve the Scene

It’s critical to preserve the scene following a hit-and-run. If it’s safe, don’t touch any debris or your bicycle. Take pictures or videos of the situation, paying close attention to the damage to the vehicle, your injuries, and the state of the road. This documentation, which gives a comprehensive picture of the incident, is essential for insurance claims and court cases. Nothing should be moved unless it’s necessary for safety. Your precise documentation can play a crucial role in recreating the incident and guaranteeing that the relevant authorities have a clear picture of what happened.

Seek Out Witnesses

Approach passersby or those in the vicinity politely and calmly when you are looking for witnesses. Inquire about their names and contact details, stressing the significance of their testimony in verifying the incident. Urge them to stay until the police arrive and give their statements about what they saw. Accurately record their information as soon as possible, and express gratitude for their help.

At the same time, look around for any surrounding cameras that may have captured the accident on video at traffic lights, buildings, or establishments. If possible, find out about surveillance systems and access to film from neighboring businesses or houses. Any prospective camera locations should be immediately noted, and their presence should be reported to law enforcement. This footage may prove useful in identifying the car that is fleeing or in confirming the occurrence.

Call Law Enforcement

Report the hit-and-run to the police within 24 hours. Give as many details as you can, such as the time, place, and make and model of the involved car. A copy of the report should be sent to you for your records since it will be required for insurance claims and legal actions.

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    Seek Medical Care

    Even if you initially feel fine get checked out by a doctor. Certain injuries, such as internal trauma or concussions, can be quite serious even though they may not show symptoms right away. Keep a record of every medical examination, diagnosis, course of treatment, and follow-up appointment.

    Notify Your Insurance Company

    Get in touch with your insurance company to report the hit-and-run occurrence before you file for the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF). Follow their instructions, submit the police report, any evidence gathered at the site, and your medical records to initiate a claim. Keep a record of every interaction and conversation with your insurance provider.

    Consult with Legal Representation

    Consider talking to a lawyer who has handled hit-and-run cases before. They can help you navigate the legal system, defend your rights, and, if needed, represent you in court or negotiations with insurance companies. Make sure you inform them of any developments regarding the incident.

    Stay Updated

    Maintain regular communication with law enforcement to discuss the status of the investigation. Get in touch with your insurance provider again to make sure they have all the paperwork needed and to find out how your claim is progressing. Keep a record of each exchange for your records.

    Document Everything

    Keep a comprehensive record of all conversations, including the topics discussed, the dates, times, and the content of any mail that pertains to the incident. Organize all records, including medical bills, estimates for repairs, police reports, and information from insurance claims, in a safe file that you can easily access.

    It can be stressful to be in a hit-and-run collision, but you don’t have to go through it alone. You can protect yourself, obtain the necessary medical care, and pursue the compensation you are entitled to by taking the actions listed above. As a cyclist, keep in mind that you have rights, and you shouldn’t let a hit-and-run driver escape punishment for their actions.

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    Hit and Run Dangers for Cyclists — Bike Hacks