Cyclists Seriously Injured in Hit-and-Run in N.E. Fresno
Police are looking for a late-model white GMC Yukon with a aftermarket chrome grill seen leaving an accident scene heading toward Quincy Avenue on Audubon Drive. According to witnesses at the scene, the Yukon appeared to have attempted to pass another vehicle in the right land when he collided with a cyclist.
The bike rider was knocked off his bike and suffered a fractured pelvis and other injuries. He was taken to the Community Regional Medical Center and is listed in stable condition. His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accidents
Hit-and-Run accidents are reaching epidemic proportions across the country fatalities up considerably over the last few years. This trend is having a disproportionate impact on cyclists in California and the Bay Area as hit-and-run accidents involving cyclists have skyrocketed by 42 percent in the last decade.
This begs the questions why there are more cyclists involved in hit-and-run accidents? While it’s a fairly complex questions, in the Bay Area, it might be as simple as there are more people turning to cycling and thus more bikes out on the street.
However, in come cities, with the advent of ebikes, e-scooters and cheaper fares with ride-share options like Uber and Lyft, the number of daily bicycle commuters has dropped some. Unfortunately, what hasn’t dropped are the number of hit-and-run bicycle accidents.
Hit-and-Run Victims Face Challenges
When a driver flees the scene of an accident with a bicycle, it places the injured rider at risk for further injury by possibly delaying medical treatment. Many times, the driver is the one that calls for help and offers first aid. A hit-and-run victim is deprived of this aid.
This delay can be the difference in a full recovery or suffering long-term injuries or even death. It also piles on the mental anguish suffered by the victim as they deal with the prospect of just being hit and then just left on the street to fend for themselves.
Who Pays in a Hit-and-Run?
Another challenge is getting compensated in a hit-and-run accident. With the at-fault driver’s identity unknown, then it’s impossible to put in a claim to the insurance company. This places the burden of the financial losses on the victim.
There are some options if the victim has their own automobile insurance and has the right coverage.
- 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.
The bad news is if the cyclists doesn’t have auto insurance or the policy doesn’t have some of these provisions, then there may not be any compensation unless the at-fault driver gets caught.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Many cyclists that have been involved in a hit-and-run wonder whether getting an attorney would help them get compensation. The answer in almost every case is yes. The reason is that an experienced attorney who knows bicycle laws, insurance policies and personal injury laws can make sure the victim gets all of the compensation allowed under the law.
The attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle 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.