Hit and Run Bicycle Accident
If you are injured in a bike accident caused by a fleeing driver, the chances of recovering damages for your injuries are reduced because there is no one to sue. A Chicago Department of Transportation study found that approximately 2% of all traffic accidents were hit-and-run collisions.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for injured bicyclists harmed by another's negligence.
In addition, our bicycle accident lawyers work directly with automobile insurance companies to identify available insurance coverage to pay victims in bicycle crashes where the at-fault driver fled the scene.
Contact a Chicago bicycle accident attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Hit and Run Accident
Getting hit by a car while riding your bike is scary, even more, if the driver flees the scene. Hit-and-run motor vehicle drivers are cowards who take advantage of their victims. They leave them to suffer without compensation for medical bills or lost wages.
Bicyclists are disadvantaged when involved in a motor vehicle collision, with little to protect them from serious injury even when riding in a bike lane or stopped at a red light.
When the motorist responsible for the collision flees the bike accident scene without regard to the injured cyclist, it is a horrendous act of double victimization.
Why Motor Vehicle Drivers Might Flee the Accident Scene
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), many hit-and-run accidents occur because the offending driver knows they will be at fault and fear legal consequences. A driver with a revoked or suspended license cannot legally drive.
Another reason why hit-and-run accidents happen is that negligent drivers panic because it can be difficult to understand and control what has happened after a car accident. After all, we rely on our senses' information.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Help
When bicyclists are injured in a hit-and-run accident, they may feel they have no recourse to receive financial compensation for their injuries. However, even if the negligent driver flees the scene, legal action options are still available to obtain compensation, especially if you contact the police department promptly.
The bicycle accident lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC handle all Chicago bike accident cases, including those involving a hit-and-run driver. Our office will investigate the matter for victims of hit-and-run crashes and help locate the offending vehicle and at-fault driver.
Our Illinois personal injury law firm will reconstruct the scene of an accident, perform a bicycle collision analysis, and build a strong case.
In addition, our law offices will provide immediate legal advice on obtaining economic and non-economic damages and help file an uninsured/under-insured motorist claim with your automobile insurance carrier.
Using uninsured motorist claim procedures, we can help get you financial compensation for your severe injuries, property damage, and medical care. Complete our online form for a free review of your Chicago hit-and-run bike accident case.
Hit and Run Bike Accident Fatalities
Although there is no specific data on bicyclist hit-and-run fatalities, there is important information on pedestrian hit-and-run fatalities.
Many federal data reporting includes bicyclists and pedestrians, making the data relevant to both those on foot and those on their bicycles. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) collects data on all fatal motor vehicle crashes.
According to data from a 25 years analysis done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 1 out of 5 fatal pedestrian accidents are perpetrated by hit-and-run drivers.
This alarming number reflects how many bicyclists might have been injured or killed after being struck by the hit-and-run driver due to many different factors.
Common Hit-and-Run Bike Accident Fatalities
Bicyclists are especially prone to be killed in hit-and-run accidents. As mentioned before, because bicyclists are relatively unprotected by metal and glass surrounding them, they are more susceptible to fatal injuries after the initial impact of a crash.
Should a cyclist be thrown from their bike and on the concrete or asphalt surface of the road, their chances of survival decrease if the offending driver leaves the scene.
Here are some common bicycling fatalities where drivers flee the scene:
- Left blind spot collision: Bicyclists sometimes get caught in the "blind spot" of larger vehicles, especially commercial trucks. Without an additional mirror or side-view mirror, bicyclists are difficult to see by a truck driver. As a result, if a bicyclist is riding behind a truck, the truck may unintentionally strike the bicyclist if they make a turn without realizing someone is in their blind spot.
- Chasing crash: A common collision between cars and bicycles occurs when a car tries to get away from another car but hits the bicycle instead.
- Reversing crash: Trucks are notorious for backing up without looking. For example, a trucker may back onto a sidewalk with pedestrians or into a bike lane with bicyclists, not realizing they are there because they cannot see them.
- T-bone crash: These types of bicycle accidents occur when a car is making a turn but hits the bicyclist riding in front. These crashes are especially common at intersections because motor vehicles do not expect bicyclists to come from their direction.
Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accident Injuries
The severity of bicyclist injuries in hit-and-run bicycle accidents depends greatly on how fast they travel, what surface they land on after being thrown from their bicycle, and whether or not they are wearing a helmet.
According to the US Department of Transportation, bicyclists traveling at 20 miles per hour have a 90% chance of killing the person hitting them if no seatbelt is involved in the crash.
If they are thrown from their bike onto hard pavement, the death rate rises to 95%. Forty-two percent of cyclists killed in bicycle crashes involving a car were not wearing a helmet.
However, bicyclists risk suffering severe harm and death if they wear safety gear but come into contact with a car or truck in the collision.
Common injuries in hit-and-run bicycle accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Paralysis, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, and tetraplegia
- Traumatic brain injury or concussion
- Spinal cord injury or paralysis
Suffering many of these injuries can be a life-threatening and life-altering experience. For example, a bicyclist who suffers a traumatic brain injury may be left with permanent memory loss, paralysis, or other disability. Some require constant care and treatment for the rest of their lives if they survive.
The consequences can last a lifetime if you or a loved one has been hurt in a hit-and-run bike accident due to another person's negligent actions. Therefore, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately, even if you feel fine after the bike crash.
Finding the Person Responsible for Hit-and-Run Bicycle Accidents
It is harder than ever to escape a crime in our technological world. However, more tools and resources are available now than ever for law enforcement to catch criminals.
The first step in any hit-and-run bicycle accident is contacting local police to generate a police report. Law enforcement can help track down the driver responsible for the accident.
When investigating the collision, the police might find evidence to lead them to the perpetrator from:
- Witnesses and possible cell phone camera footage
- Dashcam video from other drivers
- Street and parking lot cameras
- Local municipality and business security surveillance
- Vehicle descriptions
Never assume that the police will not find the culprit, even if you think no one was in the area to witness the crime. Always file a police report and allow the authorities the opportunity to do their job to investigate the unfortunate event.
Seek immediate medical attention, even if you believe you were not hurt. Bicyclists in crashes are not always aware they have a head injury until days after the motor vehicle accident.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance Protecting Injured Cyclists in Hit-and-Run Accidents
Most uninsured motorist coverage will pay for injuries in a hit-and-run accident, even if the person is riding a bike at the time of the accident.
Therefore, as long as the driver was at fault for the hit-and-run accident, most insurance companies will payout for the injuries sustained by their client who was riding the bicycle.
Fair Compensation for Injuries Sustained in Hit-and-Run Bicycle Crashes in Illinois
An insurance company will most likely pay for the damages if the hit-and-run driver is found or the cyclist uses their insurance policy.
However, the insurance industry's business model makes money for investors. Because of that, insurance carriers will only pay the bare minimum that they can get away with to resolve the claim.
There may be unforeseen medical bills in an injury accident that the insurance company does not cover. Therefore, it is essential to have legal assistance on the victim's side to ensure they get the financial compensation they are entitled to receive.
If the injured bicyclist dies from the bike accident, family members can file an uninsured motorist claim on behalf of the victim of a hit-and-run.
In addition, bicycle accident attorneys can take legal action and file a claim against the decedent's insurance company to cover medical expenses and loss of companionship. The family's efforts will serve the best interest of their loved one's estate.
Hit and Run Bicycle Accident FAQs
Our personal injury law firm understands that bicycle accident victims don't know what to do after a loved one is injured or killed by hit-and-run drivers. We want to provide you with some answers to common questions we routinely receive from persons involved in bike accidents:
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident?
If you are injured in a hit-and-run crash, you should immediately call an ambulance and seek medical attention. Then, you should record as much as you can remember about the incident. It will help with an eventual lawsuit or settlement.
If you lost a loved one in a wrongful death bicycle accident case, write down what you believe happened and how the crash occurred.
How Much Can You Get from a Hit and Run Lawsuit?
When a bicyclist is struck by a vehicle, many factors can affect the outcome of the incident. The driver may attempt to flee from the scene of an accident and leave you with no information about who they are so that you cannot recover damages for your serious injuries.
You can sue negligent drivers for all of the damage (medical expenses, pain, lost income, etc.) that the Chicago hit-and-run bike accident caused you.
Is a Hit and Run a Felony in Illinois?
If someone kills another person during a hit-and-run accident, they could be charged with a felony in Illinois.
Also, not aiding an injured person could result in one to three years in jail, and leaving the scene could result in five years of jail time if that person subsequently passes away.
How Long Can You Report a Hit and Run Accident in Illinois?
You should report involvement in a hit-and-run accident within ten days of the event in Illinois. Failure to report a hit-and-run accident in Chicago or the rest of the state could mean losing your license or at least getting it suspended.
What Is the Difference Between a Hit and Run and Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
A hit-and-run bike accident is when a driver strikes another vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian and drives away. Leaving the scene of an accident relates to when a person generally fails to report an accident.
Both are serious offenses under Illinois that result in severe monetary fines, license suspension, and jail time.
Hit and Run Crash Lawyers for Injured Bicyclists
If you were injured in a hit-and-run bicycle accident in Chicago, we are on your side to help you recover the maximum monetary settlement you deserve.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC has successfully represented many of our bicyclist clients involved in a hit-and-run car accident and successfully resolved their personal injury cases for financial compensation.
Are you an injured bicyclist hurt by a negligent driver who fled the scene? Call our attorneys to discuss receiving financial recovery for your bicycle crash during a free consultation.
Let our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys help you get the monetary award you need to pay for your medical costs, lost wages related to your bodily injury, and other losses.
Call our bicycle accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for a free consultation. Our bike crash attorneys will discuss your hit-and-run bicycle accident in Chicago and provide you with legal options to proceed through a contingency fee agreement.