Bicycle Hit and Run Accident: What Should You Do?
Motor Vehicles Accidents - July 8, 2021
Bicycle hit and run accidents often result in devastating injuries for the bicyclists involved. These particular types of crashes can present incredible challenges when it comes to securing compensation for the bicyclist’s injuries, property damage, and other losses. Here, we want to discuss what you should do in the aftermath of a bicycle hit and run accident in Illinois.
Do Bicycle Hit and Run Accidents Occur?
When we look at the information available from the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that more than 2,300 total bicyclists were injured as a result of vehicle crashes across the state during the latest reporting year. Unfortunately, 12 bicyclists lost their lives in these crashes. The state of Illinois does not give us exact data for how many hit and run crashes occur each year, much less how many of them involve bicycles.
However, we do know that hit-and-run bicycle accidents occur, and there are steps that victims can take to help ensure that they are properly cared for.
1. Call 911 immediately
If you have been involved in a bicycle hit and run accident, you need to call 911 and report the incident immediately. Relay as much information about the other driver as possible, including their physical description, a description of the vehicle, and the direction the vehicle fled. Make sure that police and EMS personnel are on the way to the crash scene.
2. Do not pursue the driver
Under no circumstances should you pursue a hit and run driver. This will place you and others in more danger. Sometimes, people flee the scene when they are intoxicated or have a reason to run from law enforcement. You do not want to get yourself entangled with that.
3. Seek medical care
It is crucial to seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if your injuries do not seem very severe, please understand that the signs and symptoms of many bicycle accident injuries do not appear until hours or days later. A doctor can conduct an evaluation and ensure your well-being. Additionally, seeking medical care immediately following a hit-and-run crash helps establish a timeline of events.
4. Gather evidence
If it is possible to do so at the scene, you can use a phone or any other type of camera to take pictures of everything that seems relevant. This can include injuries, debris lying around the scene, the damaged bicycle, traffic and weather conditions, and more. If there were any eyewitnesses, their names and contact information need to be written down promptly before they leave the scene.
5. Examine your insurance documents
After the initial emergency dies down, you need to examine your own auto insurance policy. If you carry uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses. Additionally, some insurance carriers offer various types of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance that can be used to cover medical bills in these situations.
6. Contact an attorney
You should contact a skilled Chicago bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can handle every aspect of these cases, including investigating what happened, communicating with law enforcement officials investigating the crash, and handling insurance carriers.