Bicycle hit-and-runs are one of the most common types of bicycle accidents, but there are steps you can take to protect your rights to justice.
The number of preventable bicycle-related deaths has increased by six percent in recent years. Although drivers have the responsibility to stop, some choose to continue driving and leave you to fend for yourself. As a cyclist, you need to know what steps to take after an accident to preserve your legal rights.
Bicycle Hit and Run Accidents in Utah
A “hit-and-run” is an accident where the driver leaves the scene of the crash. If you have been involved in an accident in Utah, you have a legal obligation to stop at the site and report the incident. Failure to do this can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the severity of the incident.
Bicyclists may file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to receive compensation for any associated losses. The challenge of bicycle hit-and-runs lies in identifying the offender. If the driver flees the accident, your insurance company will likely be your main source of a settlement.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Hit and Run Incident
Each year, about two percent of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists. If you fall victim to this statistic, it’s important to remember to take the following steps:
- Call the police – Filing a police report is an essential part of receiving compensation for your accident. Even if you believe that you’ll never be able to identify the offender, you should still contact your local authorities as soon as possible after the incident.
- Record the scene – If you can, you should document as much as possible about the scene. Take pictures of your injuries, the bike, the surrounding setting, and any other information that would be crucial for filing a claim.
- Look for witnesses – If there were any people around at the time of your hit-and-run, ask them if they witnessed the accident. They might have remembered key information about the driver, vehicle, license plates, or how the crash occurred. Write down their name and phone number and ask them to stay on the scene until the police arrive.
- Seek medical attention – Even if you were wearing a helmet or other protective gear, bicycle crashes often result in injuries such as broken arms, scrapes, bruises, and more. Small injuries might not seem like a big deal in the moment but could become more severe in the coming days. For this reason, it’s important to seek medical attention for any degree of injury you obtain.
- Contact your insurance company – Filing a claim with your insurance company is a crucial part of receiving the compensation you deserve. It’s important to inform them as soon as possible.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help
If you have fallen victim to a bicycle hit and run accident, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is here to help. It can be challenging to establish fault when the driver flees, but our attorneys can find ways to help you recover the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Our offices are located in Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah, and we serve residents in all of the surrounding areas. Give us a call today to get in touch with an accident lawyer that will be by your side every step of the way.