When dealing with accidents involving a bicycle and a car, the hit and run accident wherein the car driver strikes the cyclist and then leaves the scene of the accident is all too common and statistics indicate that the frequency of driver’s fleeing the scene of the accident are on the rise.
As our country goes green and people look to more affordable means of travel there are unquestionably more bike riders on our city streets. What is also true unfortunately is that drivers seem to be way more focused on other cars and crossing pedestrians than bike riders. Chicago has significantly increased the number of bike lanes which puts cyclists in close proximity to parallel parked cars and cars rolling forward through stop signs. The increased traffic places cyclists in real danger.
So, here are some things for bike riders to focus on in the unfortunate event they care hit by a car. First, get the license plate number of the driver and as many facts as you can about the car – they type, the make, the color, bumper stickers, etc. Once you have this information, immediately call the police to report the accident. Most pedestrians or bike riders do not realize that they can pursue an injury claim with their auto insurance company even though they weren’t in the car at the time of the accident. This is a very common misconception. In order to pursue an injury claim with your auto insurance company or the driver’s if you or the police are able to locate them, the accident must be immediately reported and an accident report must be completed.
Next, you need to identify any witnesses at the scene of the accident and get their contact information. The witness will corroborate your story and may have additional information about the identity of the hit and run vehicle. Next, seek immediate medical attention. We are often in shock following an accident and don’t truly feel the pain and severity of our injuries – often times we are home hours later when the greatest level of pain starts to kick in. Do not delay in seeking medical attention. The longer you delay or gap in time between the accident and the first visit to the doctor in seeking medical attention the more likely it will be that the insurance company will argue that your pain was not related to the car accident. In addition to the emergency room visit which should be the first thing you do, you should immediately call your family doctor and schedule an appointment with their office. You may need a referral to a specialist depending on what types of pain you are experiencing and your family doctor has specific doctors that they refer patients to that are great doctors. Your family doctor is the best person to advise you as to what additional medical attention you need and who you should be referred to.
Also, very often you will have significant cuts, road rash and visible injuries. Take pictures of these injuries because they demonstrate the severity of the crash and can often lead to permanent scars so you must document that the eventual scar was the result of injuries suffered in this accident.
Lastly, call an attorney right away – do not delay. Calling our office is FREE and the consultation is FREE. We have been doing this for many years and our experienced lawyers may have advice and knowledge that will help you successfully bring an injury claim where you thought none existed. Take advantage of our experience and expertise. Call us at (312) 422-0500.