What to Do if You’ve Been in a Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident is a traumatic disaster that can leave you with serious and life-changing injuries. It can be even more difficult to recover from a motorcycle accident if you do not know the identity of the driver who hit you. If you are a victim of a hit-and-run motorcycle accident in Alabama, take the following steps our Birmingham personal injury lawyers recommend to protect yourself and your rights as much as possible.
Put your physical safety and well-being first by trying to remain calm and assess yourself for injuries. If you can, move your disabled motorcycle out of the road to prevent further collisions. If you are seriously injured, wait for help to arrive. If you notice potential signs of a spinal cord injury, such as back pain or numbness or tingling anywhere in your body, try to limit your movements until paramedics arrive. Moving the wrong way after a back injury could lead to more severe spinal cord damage and paralysis.
Get Medical Attention
If you are able to do so, use your cell phone to call 911 to report the motorcycle accident and request paramedics immediately. Even if you initially feel fine, you could have hidden injuries that are masked due to your adrenaline. It is critical to be seen by a health care professional after any motorcycle accident. Receiving prompt care can aid in your overall recovery. It is also an important step for the insurance process later, as your insurer will check to see if you went to a hospital.
Notify the Police
Always call the police to report a hit-and-run accident, no matter how minor the crash appears. A hit-and-run is a crime in Alabama that can come with serious penalties. The police will need to conduct an investigation of the accident to identify the suspect. They will try to find the at-fault driver using all evidence available, such as pieces of the other driver’s car left at the scene, eyewitness statements and video surveillance footage.
The police will also ask if you saw anything. Give them all of the information you have, including any descriptions of the driver or other vehicle, partial license plate numbers, and details about the collision. Notifying the police will give you a police accident report that you can use for the insurance process.
Do your best to gather evidence while you are still at the scene of the motorcycle crash. This includes taking photos of the area where the crash occurred and your damaged motorcycle. If anyone witnessed the accident, write down their names and phone numbers. For your own records, write down a description of the crash as soon as you can, while the details are still fresh in your mind. Write down your police report number so that you can obtain a copy later.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If the police do not identify the other driver, you will need to seek financial compensation for the crash through your own insurance provider. First-party insurance to cover your losses is not a legal requirement in Alabama. You will need to have purchased an optional type of insurance to cover your own medical bills and damage to your motorcycle, such as collision, comprehensive or medical payment insurance.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance is the type that will most often cover a hit-and-run accident. If you have this type of insurance on your policy, your insurer will treat the claim as if the other driver did stop at the scene but did not have enough insurance to cover your losses. Contacting your insurance company can help you understand your coverage and what steps you need to take to file a claim.
It can be difficult to obtain the financial compensation that you deserve after being injured in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident. If you need assistance with the claims process, contact a Birmingham motorcycle accident attorney at Drake Law Firm for a free consultation.