How Motorcyclists Can Recover Compensation After a Hit-and-Run
It is a dangerous situation to be hit by a car while riding a motorcycle. Unlike the drivers that hit them, motorcycle riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle and are far more vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries. This situation is made even worse when the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident without taking financial responsibility for the damage they caused. Fortunately, there may be ways to recover compensation if you are a motorcyclist who has been the victim of a hit-and-run driver.
Prevalence of Hit and Run
Hit and run is a criminal offense in every state in the U.S., carrying serious penalties, such as heavy fines, jail time, and driver’s license revocation. Nevertheless, rates of hit-and-run accidents and fatalities are increasing, as reported by the AAA Foundation. In the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 737,100 hit-and-run crashes nationwide, resulting in 2,049 fatalities. Hit-and-run collisions accounted for 11.7% of all traffic crashes.
Identifying the Hit-and-Run Driver
When a driver leaves the scene of the accident, law enforcement may be able to track the driver down, depending on how much evidence is available. If you are able after a motorcycle crash caused by a hit-and-run driver, it is important to preserve as much evidence as possible, as quickly as possible. This evidence may include:
- Eyewitness statements and contact information
- Dash cam footage
- Security camera footage
- Pictures and videos of the accident scene
- Police reports
If the police can track down, identify, and arrest the hit and run driver, you may want to sue the driver for damages in civil court. In the case of hit and run, in addition to your actual damages, you may be able to recover punitive damages – designed to punish the defendant for particularly bad conduct and to deter others from similar actions in the future.
Filing a Claim on Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If the police are unable to locate the at-fault driver who left the scene of the crash, you can turn to your own insurance company for compensation under your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Although it is optional coverage for you, insurance companies in Wyoming are required to offer at least $25,000 in UM bodily injury coverage per person and up to $50,000 per accident. This could help cover your damages, including past and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other losses. Personal injury protection (PIP) is another optional type of coverage that may provide protection in case of a hit and run.
Don’t Face It Alone.
After a serious motorcycle crash caused by a hit-and-run driver, your best chance of recovering full and fair compensation is to have an experienced Gillette personal injury lawyer by your side. If the hit-and-run driver is identified and arrested by the police, you may need representation for a civil lawsuit against the driver. If you are pursuing compensation under your own auto insurance policy, you may need an attorney to deal with representatives of your insurer on your behalf. Insurance companies are in business for profit and do not have your best interests at heart. Their goal is to collect more in premiums and pay out less in claims.
At Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., we can help you fight to recover the compensation you deserve. Our seasoned trial lawyers work hard for our clients and have a history of success in the courtroom. You can count on us for strong, knowledgeable advocacy. If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, call us at (307) 257-7800 today to schedule a free case strategy session.
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