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What Should I Do if I’m in a Bicycle Accident and the Driver Leaves?
A bicyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle when driving on public roads. When a negligent driver crashes into a bicyclist, runs them off the road, or hits them by opening a door then leaves the scene, it is considered a hit and run crime. A hit and run accident can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges if the driver is found at fault. Under the law, the bicyclist can also file a lawsuit against the negligent driver to obtain compensation for damages and injuries. However, if the at-fault driver cannot be identified, the bicyclist can obtain some compensation by filing a claim against their own personal auto insurance with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage or a medical insurance policy.
The best compensation will be obtainable only if the unknown driver is identified. If the driver is identified and found at fault, a personal injury lawyer would be able to fight to get you the most compensation possible.
Tips for a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident
Here are some tips for a bicyclist who is hit by someone who flees the scene to catch the responsible driver and protect your ability to file a lawsuit against them.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, the damages to your bike, weather conditions at the scene, skid marks, and your injuries.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information (full name and phone number).
- Call the police. A responding officer will be able to create an accident report. By failing to obtain an accident report, you may lose your right to compensation from your own insurance company and the at-fault driver. Even if you think the at-fault driver will not be found, file a police report with local authorities.
- Receive medical care. Always go to the doctor after any motor vehicle accident. Doing so documents medical records that can later help your case. Tell the doctor you were involved in an accident and report any injuries even if minor. By receiving medical care, your medical records will protect your right to medical expense compensation.
- Notify your insurance providers. Many auto insurance policies cover bicyclists who travel on roadways. Let your insurance company know about the accident if you think you will need to file a claim to cover your losses. Learn as much as you can about the compensation you are owed through your own insurance policies (medical and auto). If the driver is not found, these may be the only compensation opportunities for you.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney Now
Contact our bicycle accident attorneys for a free consultation. The experienced attorneys at Parke Gordon Law Firm in Eugene are on your side and will fight for your rights. Call our Eugene law office now at (541) 485-4878.
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Parke Gordon, LLC
228 E. 11th Ave
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 485-4878