How Does NY Handle Hit-and-Run Car Accidents?
Hit-and-run accidents are not only scary, but can be greatly disheartening for victims in need of compensation. Fortunately, when handled properly, hit-and-run accidents can lead to lawsuits, which can lead to compensatory damages for victims in New York.
When hit-and-run car accidents happen, victims should report such incidents to the police immediately. Law enforcement might be able to identify a driver who fled an accident scene. Even if the identity of a negligent driver is unknown to a victim, the victim should still seek medical attention for their injuries. Our lawyers will then investigate a crash to discover a negligent party’s identity. This is often preferable for victims, as it will allow them to file a lawsuit for greater compensation, as long as their injuries meet the threshold to sue in New York.
For help with your case from our New York car accident lawyers, call The Carrion Law Firm now at (718) 841-0083.
How to Handle a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in New York
Suppose you are struck by a car, and the driver responsible flees the scene amid your confusion and fear, leaving you unaware of their name or contact information. If you become the victim of a hit-and-run car accident, do not assume that all is lost. Provided you handle the aftermath accordingly, you may be able to identify the at-fault party and recover compensation in New York.
Inform the Police
Begin by alerting law enforcement of the incident. Police officers will arrive at the scene and take your statement. They might also speak to eyewitnesses to see if they can identify the negligent driver who fled the site. Leaving the scene of a car accident without exchanging insurance and contact information is a crime in New York, punishable by fines and, in some cases, jail time. Because of this, police officers might have a greater incentive to help you identify the negligent driver responsible for your hit-and-run car accident.
Get Treatment for Your Injuries
Even if you are unaware of the negligent driver’s identity, our Long Island car accident lawyers will advise you to proceed as if you did. This will require you to seek medical attention. On top of the feat of identifying a negligent driver after a hit-and-run, a victim might also have to establish that their injuries meet New York’s serious injury threshold for auto accident lawsuits. Because of this, it is crucial that you go to the hospital immediately after a hit-and-run accident so that we have ample medical documentation of your injuries and their severity. Continue getting care for your injuries as our lawyers investigate your case.
Investigate the Accident
Once you have informed law enforcement of a hit-and-run and gone to the hospital for treatment, our lawyers will begin searching for the negligent driver responsible for the auto accident. Because security cameras and other methods of surveillance are common, we may be able to obtain footage or photographs of a driver’s face, car, or license plate. This can allow us to identify the driver whose negligence caused your injuries in New York. Interviewing eyewitnesses can also lead to the identification of a negligent driver responsible for a hit-and-run.
Recovering Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident in New York
Depending on whether or not a negligent driver is identified following a hit-and-run auto accident, victims may be able to recover significant compensation in New York.
If the Negligent Driver is Not Identified
New York is a no-fault state for car accidents, meaning drivers must carry personal injury protection insurance. This insurance will cover a person’s injuries from a crash, regardless of who was at fault. Initially, this can seem ideal for victims of hit-and-run accidents as they will have a path to recovery even if the negligent driver’s identity remains unknown. However, personal injury protection insurance has policy limits, meaning you might not receive sufficient compensation for your injuries, depending on their severity. Drivers are also required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which can similarly help in the event of a hit-and-run car accident. Like personal injury protection insurance, uninsured motorist coverage has limits in New York. So, committing yourself to identifying the person responsible for your injuries will be crucial in your effort to claim satisfactory compensation for your injuries in New York.
If the Negligent Driver is Identified
Identifying the driver who fled the scene of your car accident is the ideal scenario. When you do this, you can file a lawsuit against the driver, provided your injuries meet New York’s serious injury threshold. This is why going to the hospital is so important. Our lawyers will investigate your accident to uncover the at-fault party’s identity as you get treatment for your injuries. Once that happens, we can file a lawsuit. Identifying a negligent driver might be more or less challenging, depending on the available evidence. That is why it is important to start the investigation immediately, as motor vehicle accident victims have just three years to sue in New York.
After identifying the party responsible for your injuries and filing a lawsuit, you must prove their fault. The fact that they fled the accident scene can help your case. Once fault is proven, you will recover compensation for your injuries. In New York, compensation for economic and non-economic damages is not limited. Provided you can show proof of your damages, you can recover compensation for all your losses.
The fact that the negligent driver fled the scene of your accident is not enough to prove the need for punitive damages. However, if gross negligence was involved, such as if the negligent driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash and that was why they fled, punitive damages might be available to the hit-and-run victim.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers About Your Case in New York
When you call our Brooklyn car accident lawyers at (718) 841-0083, you can schedule a free case assessment with The Carrion Law Firm.