While there are no specific statistics regarding how many motorcycle crashes involved a hit-and-run driver, a quick glance over any news report shows that they happen with unfortunate regularity.
Motorcycle crashes are particularly devastating for riders because of how exposed they are on the road. An astonishing 80% of motorcycle accidents result in either severe injuries or fatalities.
Time is of the essence after a motorcycle crash. A driver who flees the scene of a wreck not only violates the law (they must stop and render aid), they put the injured rider at risk. They could be struck again by another vehicle or suffer future complications because emergency services weren’t notified immediately.
In tragic cases, a rider dies at the scene, during transport, or in the hospital. If this is the case, we recommend contacting a wrongful death lawyer to help your family file a claim for compensation and benefits.
If possible, call emergency services. Tell them what happened, describe your injuries as best you can, and request a police officer to investigate the incident. If you are unable to make the call due to your injuries or damage to your phone, flag down the nearest witness for assistance.
Cooperate with emergency authorities and the investigating officer. Answer their questions as best you can. The sooner the police can get information about the vehicle that struck you, the sooner they can start investigating.
Gather As Much Information as You Can
Write down as much as you can remember about the accident, the vehicle that struck you, and a description of the driver. Collect names and phone numbers from witnesses who stopped to help. Every detail you can gather makes it that much easier for the police department to track down the hit-and-run suspect.
Even if you were rushed to the emergency room from the scene of the accident or you don’t remember what happened, you can request a copy of the accident report filed by the investigating officer. The report should include a description of the accident scene and any witness statements.
You can also note what businesses or homes were in the area and see whether they have any security footage that they can provide.
Document Your Injuries and Damages
Collecting evidence is crucial for building a strong motorcycle injury case. A picture is worth 1,000 words, and the insurance company needs to see the pain and damages you suffered from the hit-and-run accident.
Take pictures of the damage to your motorcycle, gear and equipment, as well as your injuries.
Tell the doctor everything that hurts. Make sure they mark down the cause of your injuries as a hit-and-run crash. Medical records are a vital component of a motorcycle accident case. The more detailed your treatment notes are, the more likely the insurance company will take your case seriously.
Continue documenting your pain and struggles after being released from the hospital. Keep a journal of how severe your pain is and how your injuries interfere with your daily routine and emotional well-being. Show how the hit-and-run accident has impacted your life and outlook.
Report the Crash to the Insurance Company*
Tell the insurance company about the crash as soon as you are able. Stick to the facts; don’t talk about your injuries until you’ve spoken to a motorcycle accident lawyer. Inform them that the accident involved a hit-and-run and that police are searching for the suspect.
Insurance companies are notorious for refusing to adequately compensate injured victims, especially if a hit-and-run motorcycle accident is involved. If the other driver isn’t found (or they are found but don’t have insurance), your insurance is on the hook for your medical bills and losses.
The adjuster may try to blame the accident on you or inform you that they can’t cover the wreck. If the insurance company is ignoring your calls or pushing you to settle quickly for a small amount, it’s time to seek legal expertise.
Talk to a Lawyer
Motorcycle hit-and-run accidents are traumatic events. Victims may be left suffering from broken bones, painful road rash, or severe concussion. If the suspect is never found, an injured motorcyclist is left with few options.
Before you file a personal injury claim, consult with a personal injury attorney. They can fight for your rights, even if the driver who hit you is never brought to justice.
Don’t face the insurance company alone. Contact an experienced motorcycle hit-and-run accident lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action.
For a free consultation, contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates at (770) 934-8000. We handle motorcycle accident claims for injured riders across Metro Atlanta and Georgia.