What To Do After A Hit-And-Run Bike Collision
If you are a cyclist who was injured in a hit-and-run collision, it goes without saying that you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. But if your injury is not catastrophic or immediately life-threatening, there are things you can do from the moment of the collision that will make it easier to hold the driver accountable in court:
1. Get the license plate number, make, model and color of the vehicle that hit you.
A hit-and-run collision is always unexpected, and the vehicle may be able to get away before you are able to focus on these details. But if at all possible, keep your eyes on the vehicle and memorize the license plate number before it drives away, and write it down quickly before you forget it – on a scrap of your paper, on your phone, even with a stick in the dirt. Being able to identify the assailant’s vehicle will have a major impact on your ability to seek financial compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Whether or not you are able to record the vehicle’s license plate number, you should also try to record the make, model and color of the vehicle.
2. Call the police and wait for them to arrive.
A hit-and-run collision is a criminal offense, so you have every right to contact the police and report this incident. In fact, filing an official police report is a crucial step in documenting your injuries. Before the police leave the scene, be sure to ask for departmental contact information in case you need additional documentation as your personal injury case moves forward.
3. Take photos.
Photographs of your injuries are another excellent way to record the incident you have survived. Take photos of bruises, cuts and any other injuries to your body. Also be sure to take pictures of your bicycle, any debris on the road or any markings such as tire tracks that might indicate a sudden stop.
4. Identify witnesses.
If passersby witnessed your hit-and-run accident, be sure to approach them and ask them for contact information. They may become important witnesses in court. If your phone has the ability to record video or audio, you may even ask any witnesses to describe in their own words what they have just seen. This is a good way to capture memories while they are still fresh. Just be sure to ask open-ended questions that don’t seem biased, such as “Can you please describe what just happened on the road here?
5. Get medical attention and ask for copies of all relevant medical records.
It’s important to get medical treatment even if it doesn’t immediately seem like you sustained any serious injuries. Some very serious conditions, such as concussion as well as other injuries to the brain and spine, may not appear immediately. Be sure to accept medical attention from paramedics and request a record of their assessment. You should also make a point of seeing a doctor in a hospital for a more thorough evaluation including X-rays. Again, be sure to obtain a copy of records generated from this visit.
6. Contact a lawyer.
Criminal law and personal injury law are both complex. The best way to obtain justice and financial compensation for your injuries is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. To schedule a free initial consultation with Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler, call 814-240-3339 or contact us online.
From our office in Erie, we serve clients throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.