Bicycles can cause hit-and-runs, too
On behalf of Law Offices of Steven H. Dorne posted in Hit-and-Run Accidents on March 9, 2018.
Let’s say that you are driving down a residential street when a bicyclist sideswipes your car. You pull over, expecting to exchange insurance information, but instead he rides away. Your car now has substantial damage, and you don’t have any information on the cyclist. Is this still considered a hit-and-run?
Most people associate hit-and-runs with cars, trucks or motorcycles. These are the vehicles that cause most hit-and-runs, but they are not the only perpetrators. But hit-and-runs can be caused by other types of vehicles, including bicycles.
Bicycles and hit-and-runs
Some motorists do not think of bicycles as vehicles because they are so small and lightweight compared to automobiles. In fact, the State of Maryland does legally consider bicycles to be vehicles. When it comes to hit-and-runs, bicyclists can be fined and charged with a crime, just as motorists can be. Bicycles are subject to many of the same laws as cars. If a bicycle were to run into your car or damage it in some way and flee the scene without leaving a note, it would legally be considered a hit-and-run.
What to do in a bicycle hit-and-run
There are a few steps that you should take if you are the victim of a hit-and-run caused by a bicyclist. First, pull over to an area where you can stop safely. If the cyclist has already fled, do not attempt to chase them down in your car. Instead, document the damage to your vehicle by taking photos on your phone. If the perpetrator is still in view, take a picture of them as well. You should also photograph the scene of the accident. Contact the police if necessary; police reports can be very helpful evidence for hit-and-run accidents for insurers or in court. And always seek medical attention to treat any injuries that you may have sustained.