Hit and run bicycle accidents are all too commonplace. National bicycle accident statistics reveal that over 800 pedalcyclists died in accidents in 2015. This is bad enough, but sometimes irresponsible drivers, who may be driving while under the influence or without a license, often flee the scene of an accident out of fear of reprisal. Fleeing the scene makes it exceedingly more difficult for bicyclists to recover financial damages after suffering at an accident scene.
There’s no viable excuse for the illegal and unethical act of leaving the scene of an accident. If you or your loved one suffered a bike accident hit and run, you'd likely need to look to your insurance policies to pay for your damages.
Finding the Driver Responsible for Your Accident
If you were hurt by a hit-and-run driver, don’t assume that all is lost. Drivers with a conscience sometimes come back to turn themselves in. Likewise, law enforcement investigation efforts sometimes prove successful. They are often able to use evidence such as traffic or surveillance camera footage and eyewitness testimonies to identify the driver.
You might want to call the local news station and request they cover your story. If they air your hit and run accident story, viewers may be able to tip law enforcement. Once a driver is identified, s/he will not only face criminal charges, but you will be able to file a claim with their insurer or sue them directly for the harm you’ve sustained.
Obtaining Compensation after a Hit and Run Bike Accident
If the driver stays put or the police find him/her after the crash, you would be able to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company to cover your damages. If the driver flees, your damages may be compensable under your auto insurance policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM).
UM/UIM covers your damages in these instances:
- The driver doesn’t have insurance.
- The driver lacks enough insurance to cover your damages.
- The driver flees the scene.
Coverage is usually extended to include traffic accidents when you are a pedestrian or bicyclist. Not all auto policies include UM/UIM though. It’s an optional coverage in Iowa. If you do carry it, the minimum coverage is $20,000 for each person/$40,000 for each accident. You’ll need to check with your insurance agent to determine what your coverage entails.
Options for Financial Recovery Include Walker, Billingsley & Bair
Don't let negligent drivers get away with hurting bicyclists. Call the bicycle injury attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair in Des Moines. We can review your case, determine your options, and then help you seek the recovery you need. Contact our office today at 515-440-2852 for a free consultation.