Cyclist Fighting for Life after Hit-and-Run
A cyclist was found unconscious and bleeding by a passing motorist who alerted police. The accident happened around 2 a.m. Saturday, April 25, 2019, around Alhambra Boulevard and T Street in Sacramento. According to authorities, the cyclist had to have part of his skull removed remove pressure from swelling on his brain.
He is still in critical condition fighting for his life. Police say they have no idea how long he laid there and have no leads yet on the identity of the driver who hit him. If anyone has information on the incident, they are encouraged to call the Hit-and-Run Tip line at (916) 808-6030 or Sacramento Valley Crime Stoppers at (916) 443-HELP (4357).
Hit-and-Run Bike Accidents
When a cyclist is hit and the driver flees the scene, this puts the cyclist at risk for much greater injury. Compared to car occupant, a cyclist is unprotected in a collision with a vehicle. The initial impact, coupled with the cyclist hitting the pavement, can produce serious injuries, and when the driver flees and fails to get help, this delay can be disastrous to the victim.
Injuries at Further Risk in a Hit-and-Run
There are many types of injuries that can happen in a hit-and-run with some putting the victim at higher risk of death or more serious injury. They are:
- Neck Injuries: Neck injuries need to be stabilized quickly and delays might cause more problems.
- Deep lacerations: Any loss-of-blood injuries can put the victim in danger if first aid is delayed.
- Punctured Lungs: Broken ribs can lead to a punctured lung which can deprive a person of their ability to breath and get oxygen.
- Heart Attack: The stress of an accident can cause a heart attack, and a quick response from EMS can make a difference.
- Pregnancy/Delivery: An accident can put a pregnant woman into labor, and the quicker the response, the more likely there will be a good outcome.
Liability in a Hit-and-Run
Not only does a hit-and-run increase the risk of serious injury, the stress and anxiety for the victim is compounded by the worry over who is going to pay for the damages. Typically, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay for the financial losses, but in a hit-and-run, the identity of the driver is unknown.
However, there are some resources that someone might be able to use to compensate them for their injuries if the driver is never found:
- Medpay: This is a provision that drivers can get on their own policy that will pay for medical bills regardless of who is at fault or who is injured so long as the insured or their vehicle is involved.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This works similar to medpay, but it pays medical bills and other damages like pain and suffering and loss of wages. It also pays out regardless of who was injured or at fault so long at the insured or their vehicle is involved.
- Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM): Most insurance policies have uninsured/underinsured provisions that will pay those covered by the policy for all personal injury damages if the other driver is underinsured or has no insurance. This can include when a hit-and-run driver is never found, so long as they were at fault in the accident.
California Auto Insurance
In California, drivers are not required to PIP or medpay, but many drivers have these as add-on provision. Thus if a hit-and-run victim has either of these, then their own insurance company will pay some of their bills.
However, California does require that all auto insurance policies have UM/UIM coverage. This can be used in a hit-and-run to pay for all financial losses from an accident the same if the at-fault driver’s insurance was being used.
Do I need an Attorney for a Hit-and-Run?
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run, you need to talk to an attorney who can evaluate your circumstances and find all sources of compensation for your injuries. Don’t wait around for the other driver to be found, act quickly and get the right advice.
The attorneys at Bay Area Bike Law are the only firm in northern California that deals exclusively with bicycle law, and they have the experience to get you full compensation under the law. Call them at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact then online. If you still wonder if they’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.