You’re biking down the road, minding your own business. Suddenly, the van next to you swerves into your lane, knocking you off your bike. You slam your shoulder hard into the concrete barricade. To make matters worse, you look up to see the driver speeding away.
You’ve just become the victim of a hit-and-run accident. What should you do, and what are your rights?
There are a few initial steps you should take immediately following the accident:
- Call the police to make a report of what happened.
- Take pictures of the scene and consult with witnesses, if available.
- Seek medical attention right away.
Once these time-sensitive steps are taken care of, consult with a personal injury attorney to talk about your rights. Under Pennsylvania law, there are two possible paths for you to seek compensation:
Uninsured motorist claim
If you own a car—or any motor vehicle that’s required by law to be registered and insured—check to see whether your insurance includes uninsured motorist (IUM) coverage. If it does, you can file a claim through your insurance company to receive compensation for your injury—even if the accident didn’t involve your vehicle at all. For example, an IUM claim can be used for a hit and run accident in which you were a cyclist or a pedestrian.
Assigned claims plan
If you don’t own a motor vehicle, the state of Pennsylvania still provides some protections for you if you’re the victim of a hit and run. The assigned claims plan is a state-sponsored program that can compensate you for up to $5,000 for your injuries.
The claims process in a hit-and-run accident can be complicated. It’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you’re compensated fully and fairly.