What to Do If Someone Leaves the Scene of a Car Accident in NYC and You Were Injured
Car accidents are frightening experiences to go through, and injured drivers often need emergency help. Unfortunately, not all drivers are very responsible, and some decide to flee the scene before the authorities arrive.
If you were injured in a car accident where the other driver left the scene, you should immediately contact the police. You should call the police after any accident, but especially when someone flees the scene as it is a criminal offense. You should also seek immediate medical attention. The sooner you get medical treatment, the sooner you can start compiling medical records to help establish damages. If possible, you should also gather evidence from the crash site. Photos, videos, and the names of any witnesses are helpful. An attorney can help you file an insurance claim and hopefully get you some compensation while law enforcement tracks down the other driver.
Being the victim of a hit and run accident might leave you feeling vulnerable and hurt. Our NYC car accident lawyers can help you get compensation for your injuries. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.
Calling the Police After Someone Leaves the Scene of an Accident with Injuries in NYC
You should call the police immediately after an accident, especially if another driver leaves the scene. According to VAT Laws § 600, it is illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident before the police arrive. Our Flatbush car accident lawyers can help you if you were the victim of a hit and run accident.
You should contact the police after a hit and run for two important reasons. First, the other driver may be tracked down by law enforcement and criminally charged. Unfortunately, your lawsuit against the defendant might have to wait until their criminal trial is complete. The good news is that if the defendant is found guilty, you can use that guilty verdict against them in your civil trial for damages.
The second reason you should always call the police is that you might need an official police report for the crash. While the report is not always admissible as evidence in your civil trial, it might contain very useful information. For example, witnesses’ names and contact information may be in the police report. Not only that, but an insurance company might request a copy of the report if you pursue an insurance claim.
Getting Medical Treatment After Someone Flees the Scene of an Accident in NYC
After a hit and run accident, you should seek immediate medical attention. How and when you get to the hospital might depend on how your accident happened. In some cases, the police arrive at the scene first and provide whatever aid they can before an ambulance takes injured drivers to the hospital. Other times, emergency medical personnel arrive first, and injured drivers speak with police officers later.
Even if you do not think your injuries are very serious, you should see a doctor immediately. Some injuries may not present themselves until some time after the crash. For example, whiplash sometimes does not show any symptoms for a few hours, which can worsen over time.
Immediate medical care also helps you build an accurate record of your injuries to more easily calculate your damages. If you wait to see a doctor, your medical records might be less than accurate, and your damages calculations could suffer. Getting medical care right away is important for maximizing your damages. Once you begin receiving medical care, our Queens car accident lawyers can help you begin preparing for insurance claims and lawsuits.
Gathering Evidence from an Accident After Someone Flees the Scene in NYC
Insurance claims and lawsuits both need evidence if you are to get compensation for your injuries and damages. If possible, you should document everything you can. This might be difficult for drivers who are severely injured. In such cases, our NYC car accident attorneys can help you gather evidence as soon as you are ready.
Photos and videos from the crash site are crucial to your case. Accident scenes are often cleared away quickly because they pose a safety risk to other drivers. Photos and videos help to preserve the scene as it was. Additionally, try to get any photos you can of the other driver and their vehicle. In some cases, the other driver does not flee the scene right away. If they initially stop before fleeing, pull out your phone and snap a picture immediately. If they leave, that photo might be the only details you have about the driver’s identity.
Our Brooklyn car accident lawyer can also help you check for any street cameras or security cameras in the area. If one of these cameras caught the accident on video, you might have very strong evidence to help you get compensation.
Witnesses are also very important. If you can, take down the names and phone numbers of people nearby who saw the accident. They might need to be contacted about the accident. They can also provide testimony for you in court.
Filing an Insurance Claim After an Accident Where Someone Fled the Scene in NYC
New York is a no-fault insurance state. As such, drivers must have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their medical damages. Drivers file insurance claims with their own PIP, not the other driver’s, and there is no need to prove fault. However, PIP typically does not cover vehicle damage, and you might need to file a third-party claim against the other driver’s insurance.
If the other driver fled the scene, you might not know where to file your insurance claim for vehicle damage. You can turn to your own uninsured motorist coverage in such cases. This coverage is designed specifically for drivers who are injured by drivers who flee the scene or are uninsured.
Uninsured motorist coverage is required in New York. Our Staten Island car accident lawyers can help you file a lawsuit against the other driver if your damages exceed your insurance limits after law enforcement tracks them down.
Call Our NYC Car Accident Attorneys for Help
If you were injured in a car accident in NYC and the other driver left the scene, getting compensation for your injuries might be very challenging. Our Bronx car accident attorneys are here to help you. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.