Injured cyclist | What’s up with that?
Are there options for recovering losses in a hit-and-run?
I was riding my bike when a car pulled out in front of me. My bike is toast, and I have a broken arm. The driver fled, so I couldn’t get his info. Do I have any options for recovering the losses?—D.D., Gold Coast
First off, be sure to file a police report. Not only will this create a record of the incident, but a witness who noted the vehicle license may have already reported the accident to police. If the wheelman is discovered, you could pursue a claim against the vehicle owner, whose insurance company would pay. But in a hit-and-run situation in which the driver is never found, there is another way to recover your losses that isn’t widely known. If you or someone in your household has car insurance, you can make a claim for damages—if certain conditions are met, such as your inclusion on the policy and the premiums being paid. This is known as “uninsured motorist” coverage, which includes cases in which a victim is injured by an automobile whether or not he or she was in the vehicle. There are deadlines to file a claim and other technical legal issues, such as whether there was actual contact between you and the car. In a recent case, an injured cyclist was able to recover reimbursement for medical bills, lost time from work and other harm sustained.
Ken Levinson is a child injury lawyer at the Chicago injury law firm Joseph, Lichtenstein & Levinson. Send your legal queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.