If you’ve ever been the victim of a hit and run accident, you may feel angry, frustrated, or unsure about where to turn for help. After all, you never got to meet the party responsible for your injuries or damage. It’s tempting to assume there is nothing you can do in the wake of this type of auto accident. Before you give up on pursuing legal action, however, it may be wise to slow down and learn what has happened in other hit and run situations. We recently received a question about this from our reader, an avid bicyclist:
“I’m a bicyclist who was run over by a full-size pickup truck. It was a hit and run that broke my back in four places. What do I do now?”
Answer: Hit-and-run accidents can be difficult to settle simply because you don’t know who’s responsible. However, they could also be a misdemeanor or felony crime. Remember, there are more cameras at most intersections than you may be aware of, so it may be possible to find the perpetrator who fled the scene of your accident.
Step one is to call the police and report the accident, if you haven’t already. Then, reach out to a lawyer to evaluate the appropriate next steps. Your lawyer will know where to turn — with the help of law enforcement — to locate the person who hit you and fled the scene.
Let’s Look at Another Injured Bicyclist’s Auto Accident Payout for Comparison
With the injuries you’re describing, you could potentially win a large settlement. For example, in a recent case involving a women who hit a bicyclist like yourself, the plaintiff did avoid jail time once he was identified. Regardless, he also had to pay the victim restitution of $3,380 for damage to her bike. In your case, the at-fault driver may owe you a much larger payout. This cash settlement could cover your medical bills as well as your pain and suffering, given your serious injuries.
In this case, a woman in Ohio hit a bicyclist with her vehicle in May 2019. Next, she left the scene and tried to get her car fixed before the police could locate her damaged vehicle as evidence. This woman ended up facing two felony charges:
- Failure to stop after an accident
- Tampering with evidence
She also faced two misdemeanor charges of negligent assault and falsification in connection with the auto accident. She received these charges because she told her insurance representative she hit a trash can instead of a bicyclist. In the end, the police suspended her license for six months and she received one year of probation. While this may not sound like a big enough consequence, the victim did receive her day in court. Depending on the details of your case, you may receive an even bigger payout.
It’s Time to Talk to An Auto Accident Attorney
Each case is a little bit different when it comes to hit-and-run situations. After you contact police about what happened, the next step is to talk to a lawyer who has experience handling cases like your own.
Most auto accident lawyers work on a contingency fee, meaning you’ll only pay them a portion of your settlement should you receive one. Therefore, there is no cost to talking with one. A lawyer can explain what you can expect and if your case is strong enough to pursue.
Reach out to an attorney in our network today for a free case review by phone.
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Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.