Hit and Run Bicycle Accident
If you are injured in a bike accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, the chances of recovering damages for your injuries are reduced because there is no one to sue.
A study conducted by the Chicago Department of Transportation 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 insurance companies to identify available insurance coverage to pay victims in bicycle crashes where the 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, and 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 any means of compensation for medical bills or lost wages.
Bicyclists are at a disadvantage 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 accident flees the 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. They may also be unlicensed or have a suspended license, so they cannot legally drive.
Another reason why hit-and-run accidents happen is that drivers panic because it can be difficult to understand and control what has happened after a car accident because we rely on our senses' information.
What Are the Legal Ramifications of Fleeing the Scene?
Of course, if a hit-and-run driver injures you, they must be caught and held accountable for their actions. In addition, the motorist could face criminal charges under state laws. Most states have felony penalties for hit and run accidents when someone is injured.
The civil penalties for failing to remain at the scene of an accident may be more significant than for a non-injury related accident and, in some cases, could include:
- Driver license suspension or revocation
- Fines up to $5,000.00 or one year in jail
- Mandatory community service
In addition to civil and criminal fines, most states allow the victim to recover economic damages (medical bills and lost wages) and non-economic losses (pain and suffering). In addition, the insurance company representing the fleeing driver will also be financially responsible for the accident.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Help
When a bicyclist is injured in a hit-and-run accident, they may feel that they have no recourse to receive financial compensation for their injuries. However, even if the negligent driver flees the accident scene, legal action options are still available to obtain compensation, especially if you contact the police department promptly.
The bicycle accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC handle all types of 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 crash 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 motorist claim with your own insurance company.
We can help get you financial compensation for your severe injuries, property damage, and medical care using uninsured motorist claim procedures. Complete our online form for a free review of your Chicago hit-and-run bike accident case.
We routinely help car accident victims in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Chicago, Elgin, Naperville, and all across Illinois.
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 together, making the data relevant to both those on foot and those riding their bicycles.
The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) collects data on all fatal motor vehicle crashes. According to data in 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.
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 hit and run bicycling fatalities:
- 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 hit the bicyclist if they make a turn without realizing someone is in their blind spot.
- Chasing crash: A common type of collision between cars and bicycles occurs when a car tries to get away from another car but hits the bicycle instead. It also happens at intersections when a car is trying to beat the light and hits the bicyclist.
- 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 cars do not expect bicyclists to come from their direction.
- Motorist exited vehicle crash: This type of bicycle accident occurs when the car hits the cyclist and then immediately leaves the crash scene. It means that the car drives away while the cyclist is on the ground, leaving them dead.
Hit-and-run Bicycle Accident Injuries
The severity of bicyclist injuries in hit-and-run bicycle accidents depends greatly on how fast they are traveling, 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 up to 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.
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
Many of these injuries are life-threatening and life-altering. 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 life if they survive at all.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run bike accident due to another person's negligent actions, the consequences can last a lifetime. Therefore, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately, even if you feel fine after the bike crash.
Contact an attorney specializing in hit-and-run bike accidents and bicyclist deaths and injuries immediately to ensure that all evidence has been preserved. You may also be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries, no matter how much time has passed since the accident, even if the vehicle involved left the crash scene.
Finding the Person Responsible for a Hit and Run Bicycle Accidents
It is harder than ever to get away with a crime in our technological world. However, more tools and resources are available now than ever before for law enforcement to catch criminals.
The first step in any hit-and-run bicycle accident is to reach out to local police and the police department. 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
- 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
Even if the police are unsuccessful in tracking down the driver who hit a bicyclist and left them injured, the injured party might have other options. For example, an attorney can help the injured bike rider obtain financial compensation through their own auto insurance policy.
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 vehicle driver was at fault for the hit and run accident, most insurance companies will payout for the injuries sustained to their client who was riding the bicycle involved.
Fair Compensation for Injuries Sustained in Hit-and-Run Bicycle Crashes in Illinois
Whether the hit-and-run driver is found or the cyclist uses their insurance policy, an insurance company will most likely pay for the damages.
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 costs in an injury accident that are not covered by what the insurance company is willing to pay. 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 own 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.
Kids and Bicycle Safety
According to bicycle accident statistics, bicycle deaths are on the rise. Many cases involve hit-and-run drivers who fail to stay at the scene after colliding with an adult or child.
Many parents can guide their children to minimize being involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Bicycle safety guidelines for children could include:
- Cycling with other children at the same level
- Being trained and licensed to ride legally on the road
- Following common-sense rules, like stopping at all red lights and stop signs
- Not riding a bicycle after drinking or doing drugs
- Teaching your kids that they are safe cycling if they wear safety gear like helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards
- Not sharing the road with motor vehicles, making eye contact with drivers in their lane when crossing intersections and driveways
Implementing safety rules for your children will not only protect them from injury but also provide guidelines for how to be responsible cyclists.
If you have any questions about bicycle safety or would like more information on protecting yourself after a bike accident, contact an experienced Illinois personal injury lawyer today.
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 was 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 different 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 for all of the damage (medical expenses, pain, lost income, etc.) that the Chicago hit-and-run bike accident caused you. You may also be able to pursue insurance benefits through your UM policy as much as $100,000 per event for personal injuries sustained in the incident.
Typically, the victim's automobile insurance company will provide compensation through insurance coverage. This compensation may include medical expenses, lost income, and other damages.
Is a Hit and Run a Felony in Illinois?
If someone kills another person in the course of 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 Do You Have to 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 that you lose your license or at least get 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 motorist strikes another vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian and drives away. Leaving the scene of an acceptance relates to when a person fails to report an accident generally. Both are serious offenses under Illinois that result in severe monetary fines, license suspension, and jail time.
Chicago 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 case for financial compensation.
Are you an injured bicyclist hurt by a negligent driver who fled the scene? Call our trial lawyers to discuss receiving financial recovery about your bicycle crash during a free consultation.
Our experienced Chicago auto accident lawyers handle cases nationwide and in the State of Illinois in Cook County, Lake County, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights, and throughout the Chicago area.
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 today at (888) 424-5757 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.