A cyclist died after being struck by a car Saturday night, February 15, 2019. According to a Florida Highway Patrol officer at the scene, the cyclist was crossing U.S. 19 at Salt Springs Boulevard around 8:40 p.m. when he was hit by a 2004 Saturn Ion which then drove off.
Tragically, the cyclist died from his wounds, and police are looking for the driver of the Saturn for questioning. Police are asking anyone with information on the accident to call the FHP at (813) 558-1800.
Bicycle Hit-and-Run Accidents
Anytime a cyclist is hit by a car and injured it can be traumatic for the cyclist. A car outweighs a bike and cyclist by about 20 times, and even a small impact can cause great injury. However, when the driver of the car flees the scene, it creates even greater trauma and risk of injury.
When a cyclist or pedestrian is hit by a car, typically the driver of the car is uninjured and is able to render assistance and call for help. However, once the driver leaves, the victim is left to fend for himself or herself.
This might mean a delay in aid or the injured is left vulnerable to a second impact. Also, the injured person can feel twice victimized, once by the collision and then by the driver leaving them laying on the street.
Insurance Claims and Hit-and-Run
In most collisions, the at-fault person is liable for the damages to property and to the person. However, in a hit-and-run, there are unknowns. First, it’s difficult to assess blame when there is only one person’s word for what happened. Second, even if the driver seems to be at fault, the fact that the driver’s identity is unknown makes it impossible for the victim to make a claim against their insurance policy.
Many questions arise such as:
- Who is going to pay for my injuries and loss time from work?
- Can I make a claim against my own insurance company?
- If so, even if I was riding a bike?
- Am I know an enemy with my own insurance company?
- What if I settle and then they find the person who did it?
All of these are great questions that often have different answers depending on the circumstances. You might be able to make a claim against your own auto insurance policy if you have a provision that pays out regardless of fault. In some policies, the uninsured or underinsured provision of your own policy might come into play.
This might put you at odds with your own insurance policy, and many feel that then their rates might go up. The injured has to balance all of these concerns against the prospect of absorbing the financial loss for the injuries.
The best thing to do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run as a cyclist is first to get medical attention, and then (even at the scene if possible) get pictures and save all damaged or even undamaged bike equipment so they can be useful later. Even if the police do their own investigation, make sure the items from the crash are not discarded.
Do I need an Attorney for a Hit-and-Run?
It doesn’t matter if the insurance company is yours or the other driver’s, they still have one job to do: pay as little as possible. Insurance companies don’t make a profit if they give out too much money, so they only pay out what they have to.
If you are injured, contact a competent attorney to find out if you are entitled to compensation. RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head on!” Anyone injured due to the negligence of another driver in Florida may should us for a free consultation. Our legal team will offer you advice to help you get the compensation you deserve.