Hit-and-run accidents happen all the time in New York City. Some negligent drivers feel like they can get away with it, and a lot of times they do. Victims of hit-and-run accidents often think that they do not have a chance at catching the driver. Cyclists should know that it is possible to catch a hit-and-run driver even if they did not see what happened. Here are the four steps to take if you ever find yourself in the situation of a hit-and-run.
Step 1: Get medical attention
Any obvious or painful injuries should be attended to immediately. The problem with bicycle accidents is that the adrenaline and shock will often mask any immediate feeling of internal injuries. Cyclists will try to walk it off only to realize they have a broken rib or are feeling sick. Make sure to take it slow and plan on getting checked out by a doctor. Concussions can easily be mistaken for a simple bump on the head but are dangerous if not monitored by a physician.
Step 2: Check with witnesses
As long as you are not in dire need of medical attention then check in with people who may have witnessed the accident. It is likely that you did not catch the vehicle license plate and may have not even have seen the vehicle type, but someone else probably did. People will probably be gawking on the sidewalk so ask them if they can help. Jot down any information they can give you about the vehicle and driver description. Which direction did they go? Was there anything distinct about their car? Get the witness’ information and phone number.
Step 3: File a police report
Always file a police report after an accident. This is where many cyclists go wrong after a hit-and-run. They feel like it is pointless but that is not true because the police have many avenues for catching a criminal. Give them all the information from any witnesses and your exact location when it happened.
Step 4: File a claim with your car and health insurance companies
Next you will want to file a claim with both your vehicle and health insurance companies. They will want a description of the accident and will likely ask for a police report as well. Filing a claim can give you back some of the damages you may have suffered, but it is helpful to contact a lawyer to get the best results from your claim.