Hello. This happened Thursday, May 15, 2008
I am a 23 year old cyclist in Rhode Island. This afternoon while biking to work I was hit by an automobile. It was the first accident I've ever been a part of and I have ridden nearly every day for 6 years. I am vigilant, was wearing a helmet and gloves. I have insurance.
I was biking with traffic on a busy single lane road. I was safely in the shoulder to the right of the road.
I was approaching a light that had turned green, and cars were accelerating. Im not sure whether or not the car that hit me was intending to take a right, or if they swerved into the right-hand turning lane to get around a left-turning vehicle in front of them, but either way I had only a few feet to react and nowhere to go. I seemed to have bounced off the passenger side of the SUV, and skidded on the sidewalk. I felt my helmet take a minor knock but nothing serious, and my instincts seemed to have served me well. No bruising, no concussion, only two minor scrapes. It seems my gloves took the brunt of the fall.
The issue becomes more complicated because the driver immediately sped off. I have no doubt he knew an accident occurred.
I was lucky, and bounced right back up, immediately asked witnesses if anyone got the plates. they hadn't, so intuitively, I hopped on my bike and began to pursue the vehicle. A half-mile sprint later, I caught up to the car at a stop light, after watching it attempt to loose me by speeding. It was clearly the car, with a big dent in the driver side door. I got the plates and called the police.
I spoke with the police, told them what happened, and had them ID the license.
I asked the police if I could file a report later, and they said yes, but soon. and because I was late to teach (work) , and not injured, I went to work.
My issue is not with the fact that an accident occurred. My problem is that the driver fled the scene.
There should be a penalty for this. If I had been seriously hurt and the driver had sped off, this would be a very different story.
I've never dealt with police reports, insurance, any of this stuff, I have parents who's advice I value greatly but I am hoping for a certain degree of objectivity from this message-board. I will be telling them soon, but I fear my father will 1) just want the worst for this driver and 2) be really worked up about me. I also would like any facts, or relevant experiences anyone here has had.
What would you do? What should I expect? How much do lawyers cost? any helpful information will be appreciated.
oh yeah, lastly, my steel bike is a-ok, too.
sorry for the wordy post. It is healthy for me to write this account down, and this just ended up being the place I did it.