A hit and run bicycle accident can leave your body injured, your mind shaken, and your bike broken. Winning a claim after you’ve been hit can help pay for damage to you and your property. It can also give you peace of mind to help you focus on your recovery.
If you’ve been in a hit and run bicycle accident, an experienced Los Angeles bicycle attorney can help. Contact Michael Stephenson at Los Angeles Bicycle Law today to learn more about collecting compensation for your losses.
What Are Common Causes of Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents?
Hit and run bicycle accidents are more common due to the rise of cycling as a legitimate form of transportation. Even with the addition of bike lanes, bicycling as a form of recreation or a commute option is increasingly dangerous. With more people in Los Angeles come more drivers. And with more drivers come more accidents.
Hit and run bicycle accidents are most commonly caused by drivers that don’t share the road with bicyclists. They may ignore the presence of bike lanes and sharrows, unaware that a bicyclist could be nearby. Drivers also hit bicyclists for the same reasons they hit cars: aggressive, drunk, or distracted driving and plain negligence.
What Should You Do to Prevent or Prepare for a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident?
Wearing bright clothing, turning on bike lights and reflectors, and obeying the rules of the road always help prevent accidents. However, anytime you take your bike out, you should be prepared to respond to a hit and run accident.
One way to prepare is to review your auto insurance policy. It could cover the costs of medical treatment and other damages related to a bike accident. A policy’s “medical payments” coverage typically takes care of basic medical care only. But your “uninsured motorist” coverage can provide you up to your policy limit.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been in a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident?
If you cycle seriously and often, a hit and run bicycle accident is bound to occur. Below are five steps to take to win a claim for compensation from a hit and run bicycle accident.
1. Get Medical Attention
If you’ve been injured, call 911. Seek medical help even if your injuries don’t seem serious. Symptoms of serious bodily injuries might show up hours after the accident.
To win a claim for medical expenses, you will need medical records documenting any injuries you sustained in the accident. Without them, your insurance company will likely reduce or deny the compensation you request.
2. Gather Information
If your injuries aren’t serious, you should gather any information you can that might help identify the driver or car. To win a claim against a hit and run driver, you will need physical evidence linking them to the accident. Parts of license plate numbers are helpful to police in identifying hit and run drivers.
Also, talk to eyewitnesses. Be sure to get their contact information and any helpful information they might have. This includes photos or videos.
3. File a Police Report
Contact the police immediately to file a report. They will arrive at the scene of the accident to document and investigate what happened. The police report will be crucial to winning your claim even if the driver can’t be found.
4. Hire an Attorney
Another important thing you can do after a hit and run bicycle accident is to hire an attorney. Retaining a bicycle accident lawyer familiar with California laws will help take away the stress and frustration of seeking compensation. They can hire private investigators to identify the driver and file a claim against them when found. Plus, they can deal with your insurance company in pursuing and winning your claim.
5. Report a Claim to Your Insurance Providers
Once you’ve hired an attorney, it’s time to report claims with your health and auto insurance providers. While the driver who hit you is at-large, your only recourse is to seek compensation from your insurers. But, report the accident to them immediately. That way, you start the clock ticking on medical bills, damaged property, lost wages, and other costs insurance can cover.
Contact a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in a hit and run bicycle accident in Los Angeles, we can help. At Los Angeles Bicycle Law, our experienced bike accident attorneys can may be able to help you win the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.