If you get injured in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident, you may not know what steps to take or where to turn for help. While the at-fault driver might have attempted to avoid responsibility for your crash, the police may still be able to identify the perpetrator for you. Otherwise, you may have other options available for pursuing a monetary recovery. Use this information to learn what to do if you are involved in this type of crash.
Is It Illegal to Leave the Scene of a Crash in Missouri?
Missouri Code Section 577.060.1 makes it mandatory to stop at the scene of any car accident that involves injuries, a death or property damage. This law states that a driver commits the crime of a hit-and-run if he or she leaves the scene of a collision that occurs on a highway, any publicly or privately owned parking lot, or parking facility open to the public when knowing that someone has suffered an injury or property damage has been caused.
Since most motorcycle accidents in Kansas City involve injuries and property damage, hitting a motorcycle and fleeing the scene typically constitutes a hit-and-run crime in Missouri. All drivers involved in a motorcycle accident have a legal responsibility to stop at the scene or as close to the scene as possible, exchange relevant information (such as names, addresses and insurance information), render aid to anyone who is injured, and report the crash to the authorities, if applicable.
If a motor vehicle driver breaks state law by leaving the scene of a motorcycle accident without stopping or reporting it to law enforcement, he or she can face serious penalties. If the police are able to identify the driver, criminal charges will be filed. Leaving the scene of an accident is a Class A misdemeanor in Missouri. The penalties for a conviction include up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. This crime increases to a Class E felony if the accident caused physical injury or property damage in excess of $1,000.
What Can I Do if I’ve Been Injured in a Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accident?
If you get injured in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident in Missouri, pull over and call the police. Request paramedics if you’ve been victimized by a personal injury and it’s an emergency, or else go to a hospital near you for treatment. Even if the crash was minor and you are uninjured, call 911 to report the crime. The police will arrive at the scene to create a police report. This report will contain important information about the crash that you can use for an insurance claim later, such as:
- The time and date of the accident
- The exact crash location
- A description of the motorcyclist’s injuries and vehicle damage
- A description of the other vehicle and any plate numbers, if available
- Eyewitness names, information and statements
- The weather at the time of the accident and the conditions of the road
Documenting your hit-and-run motorcycle accident by calling the police can increase the odds of a successful insurance settlement with your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance provides a safety net if you are injured in a hit-and-run motorcycle crash. The State of Missouri requires all motorists to purchase this type of insurance, meaning you most likely have this coverage to help you pay for your losses even if the at-fault driver is never identified.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Assistance
Once you have sought medical treatment for your injuries and are ready to pursue an insurance claim, contact a Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and pursue maximum financial compensation, either from your own auto insurance carrier or a third party, such as the government for a roadway defect. It is especially important to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer if your injuries are severe, as you may need fair compensation to help you pay for future foreseeable medical bills. Call Dickerson Oxton at (816) 268-1960 for a free case evaluation for more information.