Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accidents

Aug 31, 2012 View Comments by

There are many situations that can cause motorcycle accidents, but perhaps some of the most devastating are hit-and-run accidents. Victims of hit-and-run accidents can suffer worse injuries, or even die, during the time it takes for someone to notice the accident and for an ambulance to arrive. A driver who flees the scene instead of calling 911 can kill someone, which is why nearly every state has strict hit-and-run laws.

Potential Charges Against Drivers or Bikers Responsible for Hit-and-Run Accidents

Sometimes drivers or bikers who cause hit-and-run accidents are never identified. However, new technologies such as traffic cameras and forensic investigation methods have enabled officials to track down many people and hold them responsible for their careless actions.

There’s no guarantee that the person responsible for a hit-and-run accident will be identified, but if he or she is caught, any of the following may happen:

  • The driver may face criminal and civil charges. Criminal charges range from misdemeanors to felonies – depending on the severity of the accident and the victim’s injuries.
  • The driver may be liable for damages under their auto insurance policy – if they have one.
  • The driver may face additional fines and claims against them.
  • The driver’s employer may be held responsible for the driver, if he or she was working at the time of the hit-and-run accident.
  • The owner of the vehicle the driver was operating may be held responsible for damages if they gave the driver permission to use the vehicle. 

After a Hit-and-Run Accident 

If you’re involved in a hit and run accident, it’s very important to file a police report, take photos of the accident scene and your injuries, get contact information for any witnesses, and contact your insurance agency as soon as possible to tell them you’ve been in an accident. If you’re too injured to take any of these steps, be sure someone else does this for you.

Hit-and-Run Victim? How Your Insurance Applies

If you’ve been hit by a car, SUV, or truck, you have so many things to think about. It’s important to know that, in many instances, your own motorcycle insurance policy can help manage your costs and damages. If available in your state, Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage can provide protection if you’re involved in an accident where the driver is uninsured, underinsured, or if the driver is never identified.

Remember, not all coverage options are available in all states or in every situation. In some cases, motorcycles are written as a separate policy from your other vehicle(s); but if at all possible, keep your motorcycle on the same policy as the other vehicles in your household.

Hit-and-run accidents happen all the time. You can protect yourself by always wearing a helmet and gear, having adequate motorcycle insurance, and filing a police report. Visit these links for more information on state-by-state helmet laws and safety tips.

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About the author

Attorney Michael H. Rosenzweig has over 20 years of experience helping bikers injured in motorcycle accidents. He is a partner and litigation manager at Edgar Snyder & Associates. The Edgar Snyder & Associates Harley-Davidson makes appearances at bike nights and rallies throughout the riding season.