Fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run accident is a truly deplorable act, which is only exacerbated when the injured individual was riding a motorcycle. The law requires that everyone involved in the accident remain at the scene to avoid facing serious legal consequences, and to help those that are injured. Often times, hit and run accidents are caused by the negligence of under-insured or uninsured drivers, and continue to be an all too common occurrence.
Hit & Run Motorcycle Accidents Are All Too Common
When the hit-and-run driver is found, the assailant is often charged criminally and punished with significant fines. When catastrophic injuries, death or major property damage is involved, prison time is almost always certain. Many times, the motorcycle accident victim feels helpless by the anonymous attack, but compelled to take whatever steps are necessary to seek retribution.
What to Do First
When involved in a serious motorcycle accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, it is essential to stabilize your health. In addition to calling law enforcement, and seeking out immediate medical care, gather as much information as possible involving the assailant. This would include a partial plate number, make and model of the vehicle, and any other identifying features like bumper stickers or special decals. If gathering information is not possible, a skilled attorney can use a variety of forensic techniques, eyewitness testimonies and possible surveillance video to ensure that the assailant is caught quickly.
Responsibility for Injuries
When the offending party is caught, identified and charged, you can take necessary steps to obtain financial compensation. You can seek to obtain recompense for a variety of expenses, including:
- Ongoing medical care, therapies, surgeries and rehabilitation
- Ongoing prescription medications
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of productivity
- Property damages
- Mental stress and emotional anxiety
- Pain and suffering
Unfortunately, motorcycle accident victims tend to suffer greater injuries compared to other accident victims. The pain endured is often the result of extensive brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, lacerations, broken bones, and loss of limbs. In addition, many victims of serious motorcycle accidents suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety, depression and distress. The economic and non-economic damages caused by the motorcycle accident have a direct impact on the injured victim, along with family and friends.
Because most hit-and-run assailants are under-insured, special steps need to be taken to seek compensation. When the negligent driver is located, a skilled attorney can review their auto insurance policy, to interpret and evaluate the fine print of coverage. Many times, there are significant opportunities to obtain compensation in a minimal policy.
Personal injury attorneys that specialize in hit-and-run motorcycle accidents preserve your legal rights, ensuring you receive an adequate settlement. This is often done with the negligent driver’s insurance coverage, along with the victim’s insurance policy.
Reaching a Settlement
The attorney will provide legal counsel and experienced negotiation skills to work directly with the insurance carrier of the responsible party to reach a settlement out of court. The attorney can counteract the tactics used by insurance carriers to minimize the amount of your compensation. By gathering evidence, speaking to witnesses, and reconstructing the scene of the accident, the personal injury attorney can prove the value of your claim to the insurance company.
Filing a Lawsuit
If a settlement cannot be reached, the attorney can file a lawsuit in Illinois courts.
When an attorney presents an effective strategy to obtain success in a lawsuit, juries are often inspired by the grossly negligent actions of the hit-and-run assailant and assign the victim major punitive damages.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run motorcycle accident with serious injuries or damages, it is essential to contact a reputable personal injury attorney right away. This is because evidence can be lost, witnesses can forget, and it is imperative to provide law enforcement as much information as quickly as possible to catch the assailant.
Personal injury attorneys that specialize in motorcycle accidents handle claims on contingency. No upfront fees are required, and the law firm is paid only through an award at trial, or from the out-of-court settlement.