Last month, a light-colored pickup truck struck a bicyclist at 45 miles per hour and dragged the cyclist 60 yards. Then, the truck drove away, leaving the cyclist for dead in what became a horrible hit-and-run bicycle accident. The 53-year-old cyclist sustained broken bones, deep lacerations to his face and required surgery.
Though he was wearing protective gear, including a helmet, reflective vest and jacket, all of these items were stripped off him as he was dragged along the pavement. He woke up in the hospital four days later and the culprit had not been caught.
Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accidents are Fairly Common
Unfortunately, hit-and-run bicycle accidents are more common that most would anticipate and cyclists are at a much higher risk of suffering from serious injuries. Typically, negligent drivers are distracted and many do not stop to even check to make sure the cyclist is okay. However, if you are a cyclist who has experienced a hit-and-run accident, there are steps you can take to help the situation, including the following:
- Contact the police and file a report. Some cyclists may feel like there is no point in contacting the police, given the driver that hit them left the scene of the accident. However, you must treat this like you would any other car accident. Stay at the scene and file a formal police report. Moreover, it is possible for police to find the driver so that you may file charges against him or her. Even if the driver is not found, any insurance claims that you file will almost certainly start with an investigation for which the first step would be to see if you filed a report.
- Contact your insurance companies. File a claim with your auto insurance company, as this may end up being the only source of damage compensation for your medical bills or lost wages.
- Gather witness information. If there are any witnesses who were kind enough to pull over to help you out, get their contact information and statements, in case there is an investigation.
- Get medical attention for your injuries. When cyclists take a tumble, they tend to either be more concerned about their bike or simply try to get back on it. It is important you do the opposite and allow yourself time to heal.
The best thing that you can do after you’ve followed these steps is contact a bicycle accident attorney who can help assess your rights in this rough situation.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12