Cyclists in Hit and Run Crashes Often Have Long Road to Recovery
We read about hit and run accidents involving cyclists all the time. So much so that it’s almost not news. But it’s all too real for the victim involved. One such story is about a woman who was out for a bike ride on Elkhorn Ave in Sacramento with a group of fellow cyclists and was run down by a pick-up truck, only to have the driver flee the scene.
The woman said she never heard or even felt the car hit her from behind, she just remembers being suddenly on the ground. She realized her wrist was broken, and couldn’t get up. But the reason she couldn’t get up was because of her broken spine and sternum. Fellow cyclists came to her aid, and they later told police that they saw a light-colored pick-up truck speed off.
On May 18, 2020, three weeks later while at a rehab facility, she says that she still can’t get up on her own. She is having to relearn to walk and do some of the things that she used to take for granted. Her case is especially tough because she has spent three weeks in the hospital without family or friends to visit her because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Hit and Run and Financial Responsibility
This story highlights a problem that is played out many times a year in cities like Sacramento where a cyclist is injured by a motorist who then flees the scene never to be found again. When this happens, the impact on the victim goes well beyond what happened that day as the reality of the seriousness of the injury sets in.
The surgeries and treatment and then the rehab take their toll, and in many cases, there is no money to cover the added and often hidden expenses. The victim might have health insurance, but there are copays, coinsurance, time off work, and possible future disability that is not covered.
Finding the Driver
There is little the law can do under those circumstances. If the driver is found and does have insurance or money, then the victim can get compensation. But when the driver is never found, then it can’t be determined what insurance company is responsible for paying the damages.
There is also an emotional component to being a victim of a hit and run accident. Victims will often tell you that it hurts to know that someone hit them and then just left them to die. This adds to the anguish the victim goes through in a hit and run bicycle accident.
In some cases, the victim might be able to use their own insurance policy to cover their costs. If they have uninsured and underinsured motorist’s coverage on their own auto policy, then it will cover their losses because they were in an auto accident and there is no insurance to cover their injuries and other financial losses.
For those who are fortunate or wise enough to have uninsured and underinsured coverage, this helps in relieving some of the stress that comes with the financial uncertainty after a hit and run. For those who didn’t, they can only hold out hope that the driver is someday found.
What to do If You’ve Been Injured in a Hit and Run Accident
If you were out riding your bike and were struck by a car that sped off, you need to talk to an attorney as soon as you are able. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney is going to be able to work with the system to make sure that everything is being done to find the motorist.
The attorney will also look for any sources of compensation to pay you for your injuries. In the meantime, wait to talk to even your own insurance company regarding the accident. If you have UM/UIM, then you will be handed off to the claims side of your insurance company, and they will more than likely treat you much differently.
Northern California’s Bicycle Accident Lawyers.
Bay Area Bicycle Law works with clients all over the State of California and is one of the state’s only personal injury law firms working exclusively with injured cyclists.
We handle cases in your area, and there are many benefits to working with a specialist.
Years of advocacy for bicycle crash victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest. Contact us today for a free consultation.