Recovering Damages If You Were a Bicyclist Injured in a Hit and Run
Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Nov 06, 2019 in Auto Accident
Bikes are a big part of Portland’s commuter culture, but how do you make sure you have sufficient insurance – especially if you do not own a car?
If you were the victim of a hit and run accident while riding your bicycle, our experienced Portland bicycle accident lawyers at Rizk Law offer a free, no-obligation consultation. You may have legal options for recovering damages and we may be able to assist you.
Who Pays for Medical Expenses After a Hit-and-Run Car Vs. Bike Crash?
Typically, the liability policy of the driver responsible for the accident should cover your injuries. However, if the at-fault party fled the scene of the crash without providing you with his or her contact and insurance details, it may be difficult to pursue a claim.
Another option for recovering damages if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident is to file a claim against the uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) portion of your policy. This type of coverage pays out compensation for accidents caused by people who have no insurance. It also provides additional protection if an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance by covering the difference between the amount of liability insurance the at-fault driver had and the costs associated with your damages, up to policy limits.
A third option for covering your medical expenses is through your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. There is a minimum PIP requirement in Oregon of $15,000 per accident. PIP insurance covers your medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident, and it is not necessary for you to be in your motor vehicle for this coverage to apply.
Additional insurance options that may help cover your expenses include:
- Health insurance
- Disability insurance
- Cycling insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance
Protecting Yourself Against Potential Risks
Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries that affect you for many years to come. Here are some steps that you can take that may help you when pursuing compensation after an accident:
If you do not own a car, consider checking out various insurance companies that offer "non-owners" insurance. Some insurance companies also offer separate bicycle accident insurance policies that help cover the medical bills and rehabilitation costs you may incur after an accident. Often, these policies cover damages regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
Get a Camera
Investing in a handlebar-mounted camera may help you to capture information about a motorist and an accident if you are hit by a driver who leaves the scene.
Call the Police
If you are injured by a hit-and-run driver, the first thing to do after an accident is to call 9-1-1 and request an ambulance. A law enforcement officer will respond to the scene and investigate. Since a hit-and-run is a criminal act, the officer might be able to obtain evidence that can help establish the identity of a driver, including interviewing witnesses and pulling footage from local traffic cameras or business surveillance.
Give the officer your version of events and stick to the facts to protect your claim. Ask how to obtain a copy of your report since you will likely need it to file an insurance claim.
You should also seek immediate medical attention if you have been injured.
Get Witness Information
If anyone else saw the accident, ask them for their name and contact information. Their testimony may be useful in establishing liability. Additionally, their perspective is more objective and may be valuable in establishing how the accident occurred.
Document the Accident Scene
Debris and other evidence will be cleared up shortly after the crash, so it is important to document it while you have the opportunity. If you can do so without putting yourself in danger, take pictures of the following:
- Any traffic signs that may be involved
- Any debris on the roadway
- Any vehicles or other property damaged in the crash
- Your injuries
- The scene of the accident, including photos that show the weather and road conditions
Contact an Attorney After a Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, it is important that you reach out to a licensed attorney for help with your claim.
The attorneys at Rizk Law work on a contingency fee basis, so you are charged nothing unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation case review.