Tacoma is a great place to bike. The city even offers a Bicycle Resources page to help bicyclists in the city. But bicyclists are at a disadvantage on the road. Cars and trucks that weigh thousands of pounds are traveling in the same space as these unprotected riders and there is an elevated risk for injury and even death to the bicyclist if a collision with one of these larger vehicles occurs.
Such accidents can be terrifying, life-altering, expensive and traumatic. All of this is magnified in the event of a hit and run bicycle accident.
All Motorists and Bicyclists are Required to Stay on the Scene
When a person leaves the scene of an accident without stopping, it is classified as a hit and run accident. These accidents add complications and stress to the injured party because there is the added challenge of identifying the driver and obtaining compensation for damages.
All drivers have an obligation to stop and exchange information at the scene of an accident. This is a legal obligation and criminal charges can be brought against a driver who leaves the scene of an accident without stopping. In addition, the injured bicyclist can file a claim or civil lawsuit against the offending driver.
What to Do if Involved in a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident
If you’ve been hit by a car while riding your bicycle, you should immediately call 911 and request an officer at the scene. If you’re able to get information about the vehicle that hit you, try to record it.
Write down or take a voice recording on your phone that includes the following important information.
- color of the vehicle.
- make of the vehicle.
- model of the vehicle.
- and, some or all of the license plate number.
The more information you can collect, the better your chances of being able to locate the responsible party. Do not chase the driver, as this can lead to further accidents and injuries. Take photos of the accident scene, especially if there is any evidence of the car’s paint on your bicycle.
You want to have any proof possible of where and how the accident happened to show police, insurers, or the court. Write down everything you can remember about the collision, including time and date, location and possible description of the driver.
If there are witnesses on the scene, ask for their contact information and/or a written statement of their account of the accident and ask if anyone has additional information about the vehicle or driver that hit you.
If you are incapacitated from injury, most of these steps will be impossible to complete and you will need to rely on the professionals and good Samaritans on the scene to help piece together details of the crash. Once you are able to focus on seeking reimbursement, contact police to obtain police reports and witness statements from the responding officer. If you got witness contact information, you may contact the witnesses for testimony as well.
Your Lawsuit in the Event of a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident
Because hit and run accidents are a crime, police will attempt to locate the driver responsible for the bicycle accident. If this person is located and found to be liable for your wreck, you will be able to file a claim and/or a civil lawsuit against him or her. You may enlist the help of a personal injury lawyer to build your case and file a claim.
If you cannot locate the driver, you may have to rely on your health insurance. You may also use coverage on your own auto insurance policy that you might have, such as medical payments or uninsured motorist coverage that may cover you in the event of a hit and run driver.
Max Meyers Can Help in the Event of a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident
If you’ve been injured in a hit and run accident, Max Meyers Law can help. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up a consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.