What to Do if You Have Been Involved in a Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident
Every year, bicyclists become injured in hit-and-run accidents. There are many different reasons why people flee the scene of a bicycle accident. They may be afraid that they will be arrested because they ran into a bicyclist. Perhaps they have been driving while intoxicated or have illegal drugs in their vehicle, or maybe they simply think they can get away with the crime because nobody saw them.
Others may not have insurance or may be undocumented. Whatever the reason, a hit-and-run is a crime in North Carolina. Anyone who leaves the scene of any type of vehicular accident, including bicycle accidents, without stopping to offer aid to an injured person commits a crime and can go to jail if convicted. If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run bicycle accident, you may be wondering what you should do next.Call 911 and Ask for a Police Officer to Come to the Scene
The first step you should take is to call 911 and request that a police officer comes to the crime scene. If you have been injured but you are not sure how hurt you are, it is still essential to have a paramedic come to the accident and evaluate you. If a paramedic recommends that you go to the hospital, take their advice. If you do not go to the hospital, go to your doctor as soon as possible. You will need to establish that you immediately receive medical attention after the accident.Get Medical Attention
Do not put off getting medical attention, and do not miss your doctor's appointments. If you do not go to your appointments, do not take your medication, or do not go to the therapy your doctor has ordered, the at-fault party may claim that you were not really injured by the accident. Following up with your doctor and keeping all of your medical records will help you show that the hit-and-run bicycle accident caused your injuries.Notify Your Insurance Company and Search for the Hit-and-Run Driver
You should also call your insurance company and report you have been in an accident. Most policies require you to call within 24 hours. You should call and report the accident even if you were not at fault. By filing a claim, you will be able to recover your medical expenses and the damages to your bicycle. However, if you can find the at-fault driver, you should file a claim with their insurance company.
At the accident scene, tell the police officer what happened and let them know any details you can remember about the vehicle and the driver who caused your accident. The police department will help you identify the driver using CCTV footage, witness accounts, and any other evidence at the scene. Working with a personal injury attorney can help you identify the driver. If you cannot identify the driver, you will need to file a claim with your insurance policy for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Most comprehensive insurance policies include these benefits. You will be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses, rental car, lost work time, and more.Gather Information at the Scene
If you can safely do so, take photos of the accident scene. If you cannot do so, try to remember everything you can about what happened before the bicycle accident. Try to remember the car's model, year, make, or any other accident details. Providing these details to the law enforcement officer at the scene will increase the chances that you will be able to find the at-fault driver and hold them accountable.
If there are any witnesses at the scene, get their contact information. As you receive medical treatment, keep records of your doctor's appointments and medical bills. We also recommend keeping a journal and writing down all of the symptoms of pain you are experiencing, the days you had to take off of work, and any other details that could help your claim for damages.Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC to Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation
If you or your loved one has been seriously injured in a hit-and-run bicycle accident in Charlotte, you need an aggressive attorney on your side. You may locate the driver and recover the compensation you deserve. Contact the experienced attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation as soon as possible.