Without the protection of a vehicle body and other safety features like airbags or seatbelts, motorcycle riders face the potential for catastrophic injuries in the event of a collision. Accidents that occur at higher speeds or that throw a motorcycle rider off their bike have the greatest potential of causing severe or even life-threatening injuries.
Examples of common injuries suffered by motorcycle riders in hit-and-run crashes include:
- Road rash, or cuts and skin abrasions that are caused by contact with or sliding across the ground or pavement after being thrown off a motorcycle
- Burns, which can be caused by contact with hot engine surfaces
- Lacerations and bleeding
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Soft-tissue injuries, such as herniated discs or torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken ribs
- Whiplash injuries
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries and internal bleeding
- Crush injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Psychological trauma
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accident
After you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, you should take steps to begin to collect information and evidence that may help protect your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.
Here are some steps to follow if you ever find yourself in this situation:
- Notify the police of the accident so that they can begin investigating and trying to locate the driver who fled the scene.
- Record everything you remember about the vehicle that hit you as soon as possible, including the color, make, model, and license plate number.
- Photograph the accident scene, including any damage to your bike, any visible injuries you suffered, any marks in the road, the traffic controls at the scene, or the lighting, weather, and traffic conditions at the time of the accident.
- Talk to any eyewitnesses to the accident to see if they can provide identifying information about the vehicle that hit you. Ask if they will provide a brief statement about what they saw.
- Get examined by a doctor as soon as possible after the accident to diagnose any injuries you may have sustained and begin receiving treatment for them. This step will also help you connect those injuries to the accident.
- Notify your insurance company of the accident as soon as possible, since you may have coverages in your own insurance policy, such as personal injury protection coverage, MedPay coverage, collision/comprehensive coverage, or uninsured motorist coverage, which can provide you with financial compensation for your injuries and expenses.
- Keep copies of all bills, invoices, and receipts for any expenses you incur due to the accident.
- Maintain a copy of your pay stubs or income statements if you miss time from work following the accident.
- Follow your doctors’ orders regarding treatment and limitations in your life to minimize the impact of your injuries.
- Consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to discuss the details of your case and go over your options for recovering compensation after the accident, such as attempting to locate the hit-and-run driver or filing a claim with your insurance company.
What Compensation Can You Receive in a Hit and Run Motorcycle Accident?
If you were injured in a hit and run motorcycle accident, you might be able to receive compensation for the following damages:
- Medical treatment for your injuries, such as ER visits, doctors’ appointments, surgeries, and other medical procedures, prescription medications, physical therapy, home health care services, medical or mobility equipment, and any other related out-of-pocket expenses for medical care
- Lost wages or income when you miss time from your job or your business while recovering from injuries stemming from the accident
- Lost earning capacity if you suffer a disabling injury that interferes with your ability to work
- Physical pain and emotional and mental distress
- Physical scarring, disfigurement, or physical disability that reduces your quality of life
- Property damage, including the damage to your motorcycle
Typically, you would file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver who hit you in a motorcycle accident. But when you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run driver that you cannot identify or locate, pursuing compensation from the liable party may not be an option. However, you may have other options available to cover the expenses and losses you incur after a motorcycle accident.
For example, you might have your medical treatments covered by your personal health insurance. However, some health insurers may not cover medical expenses incurred due to a motor vehicle accident. In that case, you may have to turn to your motorcycle insurance policy. You may have purchased optional coverages in your motorcycle policy that can provide you with financial compensation when you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, such as:
- MedPay/personal injury protection – MedPay pays for the medical expenses you incur after an accident
- Collision/comprehensive coverage – This type of insurance pays for repairs to your motorcycle or your bike’s cash value if it is totaled in the accident.
- Uninsured motorist coverage – Although uninsured motorist coverage is typically used when an at-fault motorist lacks their own insurance, in a hit-and-run accident where the fleeing motorist cannot be identified, that motorist is treated as not having insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage effectively steps into the shoes of the hit-and-run driver’s insurer, providing compensation for the full range of losses and expenses that you may have incurred due to the accident.
An experienced hit-and-run motorcycle accident attorney can help you evaluate your options for obtaining compensation after a crash.