A recent Huntsville news article tells the story of a bicyclist injured in a hit-and-run. This accident happened on a roadway in the City of Madison. But, the story is all too common.
A car hits a cyclist. Instead of stopping and helping, the driver speeds away. The cyclist is left on the road injured. Hit-and-run accidents involving cyclists are very common.
Afterwards, the police search for the offender. Maybe a witness saw something that helps identify the vehicle. Maybe a business along the roadway has a camera. In the last few years, we’ve obtained some good video footage in several car accident cases. Sometimes, the police locate the driver. But, in many cases they do not. In most cases, the driver who caused the crash is never identified.
If you’re riding a bike, you have to follow the Alabama Rules of the Road. That’s the general advice most lawyers provide. It’s mostly true. Those rules do apply to bicycle riders. However, Alabama law also has a few additional requirements for cyclists. I’ve discussed those on our law firm website. Before you ride a bike on the roadway, you should be familiar with these additional requirements.
The biggest issue with bike safety is that many car drivers are not paying enough close attention. Too often, car drivers fail to see the cyclist in time to avoid a crash. Because of this, cyclists must take extra precautions and stay alert.
Cyclists Injured In A Hit-And-Run May Have A Claim For Uninsured Motorist Coverage
What can you do if struck by a hit-and-run driver? Can you get compensation if injured in a hit-and-run? Can you still recover for your damages? Yes, you often can.
Several years ago, a local Huntsville personal injury attorney hired me to help with his bicycle accident case. That’s right. Another attorney hired us. That attorney was riding his bike near downtown Huntsville. He often rode his bike for exercise. One day, a SUV hit him. After knocking him from his bike, the SUV stopped. The driver rolled down the window and called to the cyclist. But, when the SUV driver realized the attorney was alive, he sped off. He fled from the scene. The police were never able to find the hit-and-run driver. The lawyer suffered pretty serious personal injuries. He ruptured two discs in his neck. He saw a Huntsville neurosurgeon who recommended spinal surgery. Fortunately, the lawyer had Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) on his personal auto policy.
If you have uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage on your own personal auto policy, you can make a claim for it. We made a claim for those benefits against the insurance company. Eventually, we went to trial and won a verdict for our lawyer client. We were able to recover damages for his medical expenses, the cost of his future surgery, his permanent restrictions, and for the pain of his cervical injury.
You Need Uninsured / Underinsured Coverage To Protect Yourself
Alabama has a huge problem with uninsured drivers. Plus, many other drivers only carry the minimum level of required liability coverage (currently $25,000). So, uninsured / underinsured coverage is extremely important. This coverage provides valuable compensation for your injuries when a negligent driver has no liability insurance are too little liability insurance. I’ve written numerous times about the need for every Alabama driver to carry significant uninsured / underinsured coverage.
This coverage also applies to hit-and-run accidents. It covers you for injuries caused by a negligent driver that cannot be identified.
In Alabama, all auto insurers are required to provide a minimum amount of uninsured / underinsured coverage on every policy unless you specifically waive it. Yes, some drivers do waive this coverage. But, no driver should ever waive valuable UM / UIM. In fact, they should consult their agent to make sure they purchase sufficient coverage beyond the minimum to protect themselves and family members. Make sure your policy provides plenty of valuable coverage. If you are injured by another driver, you may need it.
We are Alabama Accident and Injury Attorneys helping people with serious personal injuries. Our lawyers have handled and tried cases in courtrooms across Alabama. We develop each case with the goal of obtaining the maximum possible compensation for our injured clients.