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Riding a bicycle should not mean that you are in danger of sustaining an injury due to the careless or negligent actions of another driver on the roadway. However, it is not uncommon for drivers to ignore the rights of bicyclists in and around our area. What happens if you are riding your bicycle and get struck by another driver who flees the scene? Here, our personal injury attorneys in Orange County discuss what you should do in the aftermath of a bicycle hit and run accident.
Even if you think you can catch up to a hit-and-run driver, this is only going to place you and others in danger. Never try to chase a driver who flees the scene of an accident, regardless of whether you are on your bicycle or in another vehicle.
You need to call 911 or ask someone else nearby to do so for you. When you are talking to the dispatcher, try to relay as much information as possible about the driver and vehicle that fled the scene. This can include the make, model, and color of the vehicle. If you caught a glimpse of the driver, try to relay a physical description to the dispatcher. You need to get the police to the scene so they can conduct a preliminary investigation into the incident.
Any bicyclist involved in a hit-and-run accident needs to seek medical care as soon as possible. Often, the signs and symptoms of bicycle accident injuries are masked by the adrenaline coursing through a person’s system. That is why we always suggest seeking immediate medical care so a doctor can conduct a complete evaluation. Not only does this ensure the well-being of the bicyclist, but it also establishes a strong link between the crash and the injuries.
As soon as you can, you should write down everything you remember about the incident. Memories fade, particularly as time wears on. The more you write down right after the incident occurs, the more likely you are to get the information correct.
If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, you can begin gathering evidence. This can include using a phone or another camera to take photographs of any damages, injuries, causes of the crash, traffic and weather conditions, and more. If there were any eyewitnesses to the hit-and-run bicycle accident, you need to get their names and contact information so they can provide their testimony to insurance carriers or even to a personal injury jury.
You need to consider speaking to a skilled bicycle accident lawyer who can handle every aspect of these claims on your behalf. An attorney can use their resources to fully investigate the incident, determine liability, and vigorously negotiate with insurance carriers to recover the compensation you need.
You must continue all medical care until a doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement. If a bicycle hit-and-run accident victim discontinues medical care against a doctor’s advice, this could jeopardize the overall claim.