Good Samaritan Finds Cyclist Injured After Fresno Hit-and-Run
An alert and good-hearted soul is possibly responsible for saving the life an injured cyclist in an accident that occurred Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Fresno. The accident happened on Highway 180 under the Belmont Ave overpass. According to police, around 8:30 a motorist saw a man laying on the ground with his smashed bike nearby. He stopped car after positioning it to block traffic from hitting the cyclist.
After finding the man unconscious, he went to assist the man and called 911. Paramedics arrived and gave CPR and the man responded and was able to talk to EMS personnel. It’s unknown how long he laid there before the Good Samaritan arrived, but officials credit the quick-thinking with potentially saving his life.
So far police have no leads on the driver of vehicle that hit the cyclist and are still conducting an investigation. If found, the driver potentially faces a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident with serious injury.
Cyclists Injuries When Driver Flees
When a driver flees the scene of a bike accident, the victim is often at greater risk of further injury or even death. This is simply because in many cases, the driver is the one that calls for help. If the driver takes off, then help could be delayed. Also, by leaving an unconscious driver on the ground, there is a risk of being hit by another vehicle.
A cyclist is especially vulnerable to injuries from a car or truck because of the weight difference and the relative lack of protection for the cyclist. Many of these injuries need quick medical attention to avoid further injury or death. Some of the common injures that fit that category 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
If the driver flees, who is going to pay for the injuries of the cyclist? Typically, the at-fault driver’s insurance will pay, but in a hit-and-run, the identity of the driver is unknown and thus their insurance company is unknown as well.
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
If the cyclist has a car and auto insurance, then that policy might come into play if the driver is never found. California motorists are not required by law to have PIP or medpay, but many drivers have these added on.
California does require that all auto insurance policies have UM/UIM coverage which can be used by a cyclist so long as he or she was hit by a car which then triggers the coverage for the cyclist.
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.