When someone is involved in a motor vehicle accident, they cannot leave the scene of an accident without stopping. Doing so is illegal. However, sometimes in the heat of the moment, irresponsible drivers may flee the scene of an accident, especially if they caused it. They may also flee the scene if they do not have insurance, or they are wanted by the police for another reason. Motorcyclists involved in hit-and-run accidents often suffer injury, not only from the wreck itself, but because the other driver leaves the scene and does not call first responders. If you or someone you know is involved in a motorcycle hit-and-run accident, here are some things you should do.
Check Yourself for Injuries
While any accident is traumatizing and you may be in shock, it’s important to stay calm and assess yourself for any bodily injuries. Even if you feel fine, you could have internal injuries. Injuries that are easier to identify include numbness, bruising, bleeding, or swelling. If you are able to move, get yourself out of traffic. The last thing you want to do is be hit by another driver, or cause an accident between other motorists. If you feel any kind of numbness or pain when you try to move, remain where you are. You could have a serious neck or spinal injury that could be exacerbated by even the slightest movement.
Contact First Responders
If you’re able to, call 911 and immediately report the accident. Tell 911 that you were involved in a hit-and-run accident and that the other driver has fled the scene. Even if the accident was minor and you are certain there are no injuries, you still need to report the accident to ensure an investigation is opened and the driver of the vehicle who fled the scene is apprehended. While you are on the phone with 911, of course request an ambulance if you feel you have suffered any form of injury, no matter how severe.
Try to Identify the Other Party
After law enforcement has arrived, try and recall everything you can about the driver and/or the vehicle who hit you. Important details include the make and model of the vehicle, its color, estimated year, etc. It is especially helpful if you were able to get a license plate number, or even a partial number, as the police can use this information to more-quickly locate the owner of the vehicle through the Texas Department of Transportation’s motor vehicle registration database.
Take Pictures of the Scene
Chances are you’ll have a cell phone on you. If so, try and document your surroundings. You may not have anything to write with, but be sure to take photos of the scene, your motorcycle, any other vehicles that may have been involved, and pictures of your injuries. If you able, you may even record a brief video explaining what happened and documenting the surroundings. Key things to take photos of are street signs, tire marks and the direction in which they are, shattered glass, and any other evidence that might identify the vehicle that hit you such as paint streaks on your motorcycle.
Talk to Potential Witnesses
Individuals who saw the accident can be crucial in helping you document what happened and supporting any future insurance claim you file. Even if you didn’t get a good look at the driver who fled the scene, or their vehicle, someone else may have. You might also be in shock and not have a clear recollection of what happened. Witnesses can help put the pieces together and support your case. Be sure to get the names and contact information of anyone you speak with, this way you or your attorney can contact them later if necessary.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel you aren’t injured, you should still be checked by a medical professional. Documenting any injuries, no matter their severity is extremely important when it comes to filing an insurance claim. You may not feel bad at the moment, but there’s a strong likelihood you’ll wakeup tomorrow with soreness. If you do not seek medical attention immediately and your claim later goes to court, the insurance company and/or other party may use that against you, stating that you must not have been injured if you did not see a doctor. This can greatly reduce the amount of financial compensation you may receive for your injuries. Any time you see a medical professional, make sure to keep a copy of all bills and other documentation.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Even though the accident wasn’t your fault, you still need to report it to your insurance company. You want to inform your insurance company that you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident and that the other driver fled without providing their insurance information. Do not discuss the details of the accident, let an experienced attorney who’s handled motorcycle accidents do this for you.
Call the Law Office of Brian Brunson
Negligent drivers present a constant risk to motorcycle riders. If you’re a motorcyclist who’s been involved in a wreck that was caused by someone else, you deserve to be compensated. You can trust Dallas motorcycle lawyer Brian Brunson to work relentlessly to obtain a settlement that is timely and fair. The Law Office of Brian Brunson was recently named one of the Best Car Accident Lawyers in Dallas by Expertise.com. You can trust our firms’ combined experience in handling personal injury cases resulting from car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Contact us today for a free consultation.