According to information provided by the California Highway Patrol, a hit-and-run accident occurs at least once every 18 minutes in the City of Los Angeles. Hit-and-runs comprise about 50% of all accidents in the city. That’s staggering news when about 11% of all accidents nationally are hit-and-runs. As per bicyclists, about 2,000 of them are injured or killed in Los Angeles every year.
Why Do Hit-and-Run Drivers Flee?
There are a variety of reasons why drivers flee the scene of a crash with a bicyclist. Here are a few of them:
- The driver either had no license, a suspended license or a revoked license. Nearly half of all hit-and-runs involve such drivers.
- The driver was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two, and he or she either didn’t know that they hit a bicyclist, or they were afraid of being prosecuted for driving under the influence.
- The driver had no insurance and acted irresponsibly because of that.
- The driver knew that he or she had outstanding warrants.
- The driver was fleeing from another hit-and-run or another crime.
What to Do After Being Injured in a Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident
At-fault drivers, insurance companies and even police officers can complicate a hit-and-run bicycle case. Here’s what you must do:
- Either you or somebody at the scene needs to call 911 and ask that both police and paramedics be dispatched to the scene. Police can investigate the crash and speak with any witnesses. Paramedics can stabilize you and transport you to an emergency room. Important records will be made by both paramedics and emergency room personnel. Do not refuse immediate medical care and treatment under any circumstances. Follow all discharge instructions and call us right away.
- Notify your auto insurance company of the crash immediately. This is extremely important if the driver who caused your crash can’t be found or is uninsured. If you had uninsured motorist insurance, we can probably still file a claim for compensation on your behalf, even in the event of a hit-and-run.
- Obtain a copy of your police accident report. If you’re unable to get a copy, we can get one for you.
- No matter what its representative says, refuse to give any type of a statement to any insurance company without speaking with a bicycle lawyer first.
Preserve Your Evidence
There are a variety of defenses that an insurance company can assert in a hit-and-run bicycle crash. You’ll need all of the evidence that you can gather in your favor in order to build a solid case. Torn or bloody clothing should be saved. Don’t wash it. Take photos of all visible signs of injury on your body. Don’t have your bike repaired right away either. Take photos of it from every angle and talk to us before having it repaired.
Contact a Bicycle Injury Lawyer
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident as a bicyclist anywhere in or around Los Angeles, contact our offices at your earliest possible convenience for a free consultation and case assessment. Our law firm’s practice is focused on and dedicated to injured bicyclists and their families. Our experienced and aggressive Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys can help you obtain the compensation that you rightfully deserve.
Los Angeles Bicycle Law represents bicyclists because we are bicyclists. We know first-hand how rewarding, yet dangerous, cycling can be in the Los Angeles area. Even though the law treats bicyclists with the responsibilities and rights of a motor vehicle, the road itself offers far fewer protections. That is why we actively fight to protect bicyclists in our community. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, contact Los Angeles Bicycle Law today.