4 Steps You Need to Take As the Victim In a Bicycle Hit and Run Incident
Bicycle hit-and-run incidents lead to serious issues, and they may prevent the cyclist from getting their day in court. If the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident, it is a criminal infraction, and law enforcement can apply criminal charges once they discover the perpetrator. Cyclists who become the victim of a hit-and-run accident must take immediate action to get the accident reported, and law enforcement will send emergency medical services if needed. Reviewing hit-and-run accident laws shows victims what to do after they are involved in these incidents.
1. Contact Law Enforcement
After any accident, it is imperative to report the accident to law enforcement. If the accident isn’t reported, the victim cannot seek compensation from the at-fault driver. Law enforcement officers complete a thorough assessment of the accident and establish which party caused the accident. If a cyclist was injured in a hit-and-run incident, it is necessary for them to report the accident and generate records of the incident.
They must provide details to the officers about the incident to help law enforcement locate the individual. Whenever possible the officers will acquire footage from street cameras to determine if the footage shows the incident or any elements that help the officers identify the perpetrator. They will issue a public notice about the accident and contact news organizations to help with locating the at-fault driver and bring them to justice.
The officers will also discuss the incident with any eyewitnesses to collect information about the event, and eyewitnesses could testify when the individual is caught and charged. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, and the individual will face criminal charges when they are located. Victims of these incidents contact an abogado de accidente for further help.
2. Record The Scene of the Entire Accident
Taking photographs of the scene of the entire accident documents what happens and gives the court more evidence of the hit-and-run incident. It’s necessary to take pictures of the cyclist’s bicycle, the roadway, and other elements that could prove a hit and run. Tire marks on the asphalt may show if the driver tried to stop or if they sped up when approaching the cyclist. These details are vital for the attorneys to show if it was an accident or if the driver intended to hit the victim. You can read more about how attorneys will help you in accident cases.
It’s also a great idea to take pictures of the victim’s injuries to show the court what injuries they sustained in the event. If the cyclist sustains serious injuries, the criminal charge could increase, and the individual will face more severe penalties. For example, if the incident was a hate crime, the additional classification increases the prison sentence and the financial penalties the accused will face upon conviction. Documenting the entire hit-and-run incident gives the court credible evidence of the event.
3. Go to the Emergency Room
Seeking medical attention gives the victim complete medical records of their injuries and shows the court how severe the injuries were. When starting a civil claim, the victim will need documentation about the injuries that shows how the injuries affected the victim’s life and if the injuries will cause issues for the rest of their life.
In a hit-and-run incident, it is more likely that a cyclist could sustain traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, loss of a limb, or even a loss of organ function. These injuries present lifelong effects for some individuals, and if they develop a disability, the perpetrator may be required to provide lifelong financial support for the individual.
It is necessary for a doctor to testify in the civil and criminal case to explain the victim’s injuries if they are severe, and the doctor provides an explanation for how the injuries will change the individual’s life. In the civil case, the victim is seeking compensation for their economic losses. This includes lost wages and medical expenses. The victim needs full calculations for all these financial losses to add to their claim.
If they have ongoing expenses related to the injuries, the victim will need to provide projected medical costs for their treatment. The individual can only seek compensation for injuries that happened as a result of the accident. Their medical records show what these injuries are in great detail.
If the individual sustained a traumatic brain injury, they may need 24-hour healthcare for their condition. When seeking compensation, the victim’s family could present a civil case to obtain funds to pay for these expenses. Since the injury altered the individual dramatically, the family may also seek damages because of a loss of companionship or financial support.
4. Attempt An Insurance Claim
The at-fault driver is responsible for filing an insurance claim for the injured cyclist. However, in a hit-and-run accident, the cyclist isn’t given the chance to collect auto insurance information. Once the individual is identified and charged with leaving the scene of the accident, it is possible for the victim to seek compensation through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, they face several penalties for non-compliance with state and federal auto insurance laws. The penalties are applied to the driver through the court and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The individual faces license suspensions, and they could lose their vehicle registration. Since they were involved in a hit-and-run incident, law enforcement may impound their vehicle, too.
Cyclists are at risk each time they travel on roadways. While some cities provide bicycle lanes, this isn’t the case for all areas, and cyclists run the risk of getting into an accident if they do not obey traffic laws. With that said, automobile drivers must proceed with caution when they know cyclists are on the road, and if they become involved in an accident with a cyclist, they must report the accident to law enforcement. Individuals who leave the scene of an accident commit a crime, and law enforcement applies criminal charges once the identity of the driver is discovered. Reviewing hit-and-run accident laws shows victims how to start a legal claim.