You're bicycling home one night after a long day at work. You're riding in the designated bike lane, you're wearing a helmet and your head and tail lights are on.
Suddenly, the SUV beside you swerves abruptly to the right, colliding into you from the side. You're thrown from your bicycle and land hard onto the pavement. You sustain a broken leg and collarbone as well as damage to your shoulder. Stunned, you look up to get your bearings, only to see the SUV's taillights growing smaller in the distance.
You've just been the victim of a hit and run accident. What should you do?
After any hit and run, you first need to create a record of what happened:
- Call the police right away and give them a report.
- Talk to any witnesses about what they saw, and collect their contact information.
- Take pictures of the crime scene, your injuries and any other pertinent evidence.
- Get medical attention to treat any injuries right away, and get a copy of your medical record.
When pursuing a hit and run claim, it's a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney. In general, the victim of a hit and run can make a claim through their own insurance, assuming they have uninsured motorist coverage. In Georgia, most policies automatically include this coverage unless you specifically opt out of it. If you have this type of motor vehicle coverage, you can make a claim through your insurance for a hit and run accident occurring on your bicycle.
But what if you don't have this type of insurance? What if you don't own a car?
In such cases, it becomes especially important to consult with a personal injury attorney to understand the specific variables that were at play in your case. Your lawyer will examine every possible contributor to the accident. Were the street lights on the road malfunctioning that night, which limited the driver's visibility? Was there a second driver on the road, whose reckless behavior forced the SUV into your lane? If so, those institutions or individuals could be held partially liable.
Understanding your legal recourse in a hit and run can be complicated and depends on the specifics of your case. Don't go it alone. Consult with a personal injury attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.