How Hit and Run Accidents Work for Bicyclists
Bicyclists are often treated by laymen as a strange entity, falling somewhere between a pedestrian and an automobile. This perception leads many to be confused as to what a bicyclist’s role is in the context of hit and run accidents, whether a vehicle hits them, they collide with a vehicle, or they hit a pedestrian. Put simply, bicyclists are nearly indistinguishable from motor vehicles in the context of Nevada bicycle accidents, meaning that they’re governed and protected by the same set of traffic laws, with very few exceptions.
Responsibilities of Motorists Who Hit Cyclists
Many motorists think lightly of collisions with bicyclists or unattended bikes, choosing to flee the scene given that the damages to their own vehicles will oftentimes be minor and cosmetic in nature. In practice, however, hitting a bike is identical to hitting a motor vehicle from a legal perspective, and will net extensive penalties for those who choose to ignore these laws. Nevada Revised Statutes 434E.030 to 484E.080 define Nevada’s hit & run laws, which, can be summed up in the context of bicycle accidents as such:
- Involved parties must exchange names, addresses, and vehicle registration numbers (if applicable). Upon request, involved parties must show each other their driver’s licenses as well to verify this data.
- If the collision is with an unattended vehicle or bicycle, drivers must make an effort to locate the owner. If unsuccessful, they may then leave a note in a conspicuous location detailing the accident, their name, and their address, before alerting a police officer of the crash.
- Drivers must do their best to secure medical arrangements for injured parties. Calling 911 is expected for cyclists and drivers alike, but drivers may also have to transport others to the hospital if an ambulance isn’t immediately available.
Failing to adhere to any of these requirements will fetch drivers and cyclists alike anywhere from $1000 to $5000 in fines, up to 20 years in prison, and consequences for their driver’s license, depending on the damages caused by the hit and run.
Cyclists Can Commit Hit & Runs
On the other end of the spectrum, since cyclists are functionally identical to motorists, they face the same legal requirements when striking other vehicles, bicycles, or causing pedestrian accidents in Nevada. Although low-speed collisions between bicyclists and pedestrians are often waved off as negligible, they still possess the same legal gravity as a larger crash. Cyclists will still need to do their best to provide information to any pedestrians they hit, and the police may need to be contacted as well.
Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Nevada Can Help
If you’ve been hurt in a hit and run bicycle accident, it’s in your best interest to talk to a Nevada bicycle accident attorney before getting too far into the claims process. Despite their similarities to larger crashes, bicycle accidents carry a host of unique exceptions and policies to consider, necessitating assistance from a legal professional with specialized experience. Nevada’s statute of limitations gives you two years from the date of an accident, meaning that you have more than enough time to recover, talk to a lawyer, and discuss your options at a comfortable pace. Give Aaron Law Group a call at (702) 550-1111 to schedule a free consultation with a local attorney today, giving you the opportunity to learn more about your case in a no-pressure, compassionate environment.