When an accident occurs, all parties involved are supposed to pull over to a safe location, exchange information, and call law enforcement if there are any injuries or substantial property damage. However, sometimes motorists flee the scene to avoid liability.
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident while riding your motorcycle, you could be entitled to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and the other losses you suffered because of the accident. However, obtaining that compensation can be challenging if the at-fault driver cannot be located, so it’s important to learn about your legal options for financial recovery.
Common Injuries Sustained in Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. Motorists have a range of safety features, such as airbags, seatbelts, and the metal frame of their vehicles to protect them from the force of a collision. However, motorcyclists have very little to protect them. As a result, motorcyclists are typically directly impacted by a collision.
Some of the most common injuries suffered by motorcyclists in hit-and-run accidents include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are often caused by a violent blow to the head. They can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage. Many TBIs are life-threatening, as they can cause bleeding and swelling of the brain. They can also result in memory and psychological issues, including mood swings and personality changes.
- Back and spinal cord injuries – Back sprains and strains, fractured vertebrae, pinched nerves, and slipped discs frequently occur in motorcycle accidents. If the spinal cord is severed or crushed, paralysis can occur.
- Internal injuries – Internal injuries may not always be immediately apparent after an accident, which is why it is critical to be checked out by a medical professional right away. Common internal injuries include punctured lungs and ruptured organs. Internal bleeding is life-threatening and requires emergency medical care.
- Whiplash – Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that occurs when the head and neck are jerked violently back and forth, often when someone is hit from behind.
- Fractures – Fractures of the legs, knees, hips, arms, wrists, and ribs commonly occur in motorcycle crashes.
- Burns – If a motorcyclist is exposed to fire or toxic chemicals, they could sustain burns. Burns can cause chronic pain and permanent disfigurement.
- Road rash – Road rash can occur if a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike in a collision. As they slide across the pavement, abrasions develop due to friction between the victim and the asphalt.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident with a Motorcycle
If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident while riding your motorcycle, there are several steps you should take right away to protect your rights:
- Call 911 – Call law enforcement to the scene. When they arrive, you should provide them with as many details as you can about the driver who hit you. This includes license plate details, the make, model, and color of the car, and any other identifying information.
- Gather evidence – Take photos of the damage to your motorcycle and any injuries you sustained. You should also take pictures of the full accident scene from various angles. Speak to witnesses and ask for their contact information. They might be able to offer more insight into the vehicle that hit you.
- Seek medical care – You should seek prompt medical attention as soon as possible. Many insurance companies require you to be evaluated within 72 hours. If you fail to be seen within that time and later notice symptoms of an injury, you may have a more difficult time bringing a successful claim.
- Gather documents – Maintain a file that contains all of your medical records, hospital bills, the police report, and other documentation pertaining to your case.
- Keep a pain journal – You should keep a record of your recovery, including your daily level of physical pain and your psychological state.
Lastly, you should consult with a hit-and-run motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the crash to discuss your options for compensation.
What Are My Options After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Mississippi?
If you were hit by a motorist who fled the scene, there are a few options you can pursue for compensation:
- Finding the hit-and-run driver – Although it may sound challenging, a skilled hit-and-run attorney might be able to track down the at-fault driver using evidence such as police reports, traffic camera footage, private surveillance recordings, witness testimony, and even private investigators. Law enforcement might also be able to locate the driver based on the information they have. If the driver can be located, you could pursue compensation through a claim or hit-and-run lawsuit against the driver.
- Uninsured motorist coverage – If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you could turn to that policy for coverage. In this case, the hit-and-run driver would be considered “uninsured” because they cannot be found. Your insurance premiums should not be affected since you didn’t cause the accident.
- MedPay coverage – If the driver can’t be located, you could turn to your own MedPay (medical payments) coverage, which can help cover the costs of the medical expenses related to your injuries.
- Health insurance – If you have health insurance through your job or have purchased a private policy, you can also use your health insurance to cover many of your medical expenses.
Your attorney can explain your options and help you identify all possible sources of compensation. They can also handle all communications with the insurance company involved and negotiate aggressively for a fair settlement on your behalf while you focus on your recovery.
Compensation Available in a Mississippi Hit-and-Run Accident Claim
If you were injured by a hit-and-run driver, you could be eligible to claim compensation for a range of losses, such as the following:
- Medical expenses
- Long-term care expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages, in some cases
- Motorcycle and other property damage
A hit-and-run lawyer can help you document your financial losses and quantify your non-financial losses to determine the full value of your claim.
Contact Our Experienced Motorcycle Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers in Jackson, MS Today
If you are a motorcyclist who was injured by a hit-and-run driver, contact Derek L. Hall, PC today to speak with a Mississippi motorcycle accident attorney about your options. We offer a free consultation to all potential clients.