What to Do If You Are Injured in a Bicycle Hit-and-Run
June is Colorado Bike Month! Bicycling can be an enjoyable and healthy experience, and this month is a great opportunity to take your bike out on the road or the trail, with a variety of bike-themed events happening in El Paso County and throughout the state. Whether you regularly commute to work on two wheels or you have not pushed the pedals since you were a kid, if you are participating in any Bike Month activities you should be prepared to ride with confidence, no matter what conditions you encounter along the way.
Everyone understands the importance of bike safety essentials like wearing a helmet, making sure your bike is well-maintained and wearing reflective clothing if you plan to cycle at night. However, what you may not be thinking about as you pump up your tires is the possibility of a hit-and-run accident. You should know what to do if the unthinkable occurs.
Bicyclists who are hit by cars are likely to suffer serious injuries; unfortunately, bicyclists are also often the victims of hit-and-run crashes, making recovery and compensation for injuries much more difficult. An experienced Colorado Springs car accident lawyer can help.
Share the Road: Tips for Avoiding Bicycle-Car Collisions
The best way to avoid being the victim of a hit-and-run is to take proactive steps to minimize your risk of a collision with cars on the road. In anticipation of Bike Month, the Colorado Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers and cyclists to exercise caution and to be mindful about sharing the road with other users. Bicyclists should observe the following rules to avoid accidents and injuries:
- Stay within the designated bike lane. Drivers should give you at least three feet of space when passing. You can help by riding as far to the right as possible in your lane.
- When riding side-by-side with another cyclist, do not ride more than two abreast, and move into a single line where needed to avoid impeding the flow of traffic.
- Do not pass another rider if doing so would interfere with vehicular traffic.
- Be predictable in your movements. Use hand signals to indicate your intended movements to other riders and drivers on the road.
- Anticipate possible hazards and be on alert for changing conditions. In particular, be aware of cars parked along the road, as doors may open into your path.
Steps to Help Identify Hit-and-Run Drivers
It is an unfortunate reality that drivers who strike cyclists on the road do not always remain at the scene. This is particularly true if the accident occurs in a remote location, at night or where other people or vehicles are not present. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run while cycling, it may be challenging to identify the responsible driver. However, there are some steps you can take to increase your likelihood of success:
- Call the police or 911 and remain at the scene of the accident, even if you were not seriously injured. A police report will be important documentation to provide to an insurance provider and will serve as evidence if the driver is eventually identified. You will increase the likelihood of locating the driver if you can recall details about the vehicle such as a license plate number or state, color, make, model, and any other distinguishing features. If you were seriously injured, you may be able to take advantage of Colorado’s Medina Alert Program, an Amber Alert-style program for locating hit-and-run drivers where an accident involves serious injury or death.
- Try to identify any potential witnesses, including bystanders, local business owners, or residents in the area. If you are able, knock on doors in the area to determine whether anyone may have observed the accident and can recall relevant details about the vehicle involved.
- Contact a Colorado Springs car accident lawyer. An experienced car accident attorney can help you investigate the identity of the driver and may have other suggestions as to how to locate him or her. A lawyer can also assist you in seeking recovery from your insurance company, if the driver cannot be found.
Let a Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer Help
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing auto accident victims and can help you maximize your chances of recovery, even in the event of a hit-and-run. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.