The sun is shining, the air is warm, and you feel relaxed as the day’s stress leaves your body. Nothing is more enjoyable than cruising down the open road on your motorcycle. Then the worst happens.
You’re minding your own business, following the rules of the road. Unfortunately, someone else is not. Next thing you know, you are on the ground with your bike on its side, watching a vehicle drive away.
Now, you need to know what to do after a hit-and-run motorcycle accident. Thankfully, you found this guide. Read on to find out more.
Move to Safety
Not only do you have a legal duty to get out of the road, but you should do so for your safety. However, there is a big difference between getting to safety and leaving the scene of a motorcycle crash.
If possible, move yourself and your motorcycle out of the lane of traffic. That way, you do not endanger yourself and other drivers. However, you should move to the shoulder even if you can’t move your motorcycle.
All drivers in Georgia have a legal duty to stop or return to the scene of an accident they are involved in. If the other driver decides to leave, do not chase them! In doing so, you also leave the scene of the accident.
This makes you just as culpable, as you also commit the same crime as the other party. Georgia takes hit-and-run offenses seriously, with the offense being a felony if a victim involved is seriously injured or killed.
Call the Authorities
Once you are in a safe place, call the authorities to notify them of the accident and have a police officer come out. Just like truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries can affect you long-term. Getting a police report is the first step to documenting your injuries and seeking compensation.
You may also have a legal obligation to notify the police. Accidents with injuries and damages over a certain threshold are required to be reported. Regardless of the law, it is easier to report an accident to the insurance company when you have a police report documenting the incident.
When the officer arrives, factually tell them what happened. Do not embellish or allow your emotions to influence your telling of events. Get a copy of the report and the officer’s information once they complete their report.
Get Medical Care
While it’s upsetting your motorcycle is damaged, this is a replaceable item. What is more important is your health. Check yourself and anyone else involved to determine if you need emergency medical treatment.
Motorcycle riders in Georgia are required to wear a helmet. However, wearing one does not guarantee you won’t get a head injury. It is smart to get checked out even if you are feeling fine.
Adrenaline flows through your body after an accident. When this happens, you may not feel injuries and pain like you normally would. You could have injuries and not know it. If you choose not to get checked out immediately, do not hesitate to go in the following days if you start to feel bad.
Document the Scene
Because the other driver left, you need to document the scene as much as possible. This will help you prove later that another party caused the accident. There are several ways you can document the scene.
- Write down the details of what happened.
- Take pictures of you, your bike, and the scene.
- Take a video of the scene.
- Gather witness contact information.
Your memory can become faulty. So, writing down everything you can remember right away is essential. You can then refer to your notes later to make sure your recollection remains accurate.
Identifying the Driver
If possible, try to identify the driver. Perhaps a witness can describe what the driver or vehicle looked like. Or better yet, they took a picture or video of the other vehicle.
Look around for traffic or security cameras that may have captured the incident. These cameras typically operate on a rolling basis. So, you’ll need to act quickly or risk losing the footage.
In some situations, you may need law enforcement’s assistance with this. Because hit and runs are crimes, the police will also want this documentation to pursue the person who committed the crime.
Hit and Run Accident Claim
If you identify the other driver, you can file a claim with their insurance company. The insurance company will likely agree to a settlement because their customer left the scene.
Unfortunately, many drivers leave the scene because they have other issues. Typically, these other issues also impact the likelihood of there being an insurance policy to submit a claim.
For example, the driver could not have insurance or an active license. They could have an active arrest warrant or are driving a stolen vehicle.
As a motorcycle rider in Georgia, you must have insurance. So, if you can’t pursue recovery through the other driver’s insurance, look to your own. You may be able to file a claim under your uninsured motorists’ coverage.
Speak With a Lawyer
Because the other party left the accident scene, seeking compensation can become more complicated and challenging. Hiring a lawyer can help you feel at ease. Legal services will help you understand your recovery rights and options.
They will negotiate with the insurance company, and they can communicate with the necessary parties to gather evidence.
They could also pursue further steps if you can’t recover through the insurance company. This could include going to trial with the insurance company or filing a lawsuit against the driver.
Get Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accident
You aren’t alone if you’ve recently experienced a hit-and-run motorcycle accident. Our team of experienced lawyers at Blake and Detchemendy Law Firm is here to fight for your rights. Remember, acting quickly after a motorcycle accident is crucial.
Document as much as possible. Seek medical treatment. Then, work to identify the driver and possible options for compensation.
Request a consultation and learn how our lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries.