Under New York law, a person who has been involved in an accident that resulted in damage to property or personal injury, must remain at the site of the accident and report it. However, most people do not wish to be held liable for their involvement and therefore, they flee from the accident scene, willfully ignoring the law.
Such hit and run accidents make up about one-fourth of all accidents reported in the state of New York. They include situations where a driver:
If you have been hurt or suffered property damage in a hit and run collision, it can be a very traumatic situation. Besides the injuries and property damage, you also have to deal with the expenses incurred as a result of the accident.
Adding to the stress is the question of who is going to pay up for all your medical bills and damages you suffered. If you or a loved one has been in such a situation, it is important that you immediately contact a competent hit and run accident attorney in New York.
Things You Need to Do After a Hit and Run Collision in New York
Being in a hit and run accident can be quite harrowing, and along with any injury, the shock of the incident too may leave you feeling lost. Even as you wait for medical help and the police to arrive, it is important to pay attention to recollect any details regarding the vehicle that caused your accident. Once the police arrive at the accident scene, they will examine the site and talk to witnesses and record their testimony.
If you can provide any details of the vehicle or driver who hit you, it can increase the probability of the police apprehending the driver who was at fault. Once the police have finished their examination of the scene, they will fill out a hit and run accident report.
The next step for you will be to make sure you follow the doctor’s advice regarding your treatment and therapy to recover your health and strength. Even as you do this, remember to quickly review the terms and conditions of coverage provided by your insurance policy.
Most of the usual New York auto insurance policies do not cover the entire extent of damages in case of grave injuries. However, your hit and run accident attorney can help you explore other options to receive compensation for the damages you have sustained in the accident.
Legal Requirements For Drivers at the Accident Scene in New York City
An accident may cause damage to property, injuries to persons in vehicles or pedestrians, and in serious cases, may even result in death. Read on for more information regarding what action is expected of drivers based on the type of accident that has occurred
Accidents Causing Damage to Property Only
In an accident in which there is no personal injury and the damage to property is minimal (less than $1,000), the law requires drivers to stop and provide their insurance details to the other parties affected by the accident. With that said, drivers do not need to call the police or wait until the police arrive at the accident scene.
Accidents Causing Injuries or Death
If an accident results in injury or death, the involved driver is required to stay at the scene of the accident and inform the police about the crash provided they are physically capable of doing so. Besides this, the drivers must also exchange relevant information with the other affected parties to permit them to pursue their insurance or personal injury claims.
If a driver leaves the scene of an accident that causes injury or death before the police arrive and without exchanging or providing such information, the accident will be considered a hit and run collision.
Role of Negligence Per Se in an NYC Hit and Run Accident
Under New York law, leaving an accident scene can be a crime regardless of which party s at fault. If a driver flees the scene after a collision, it is akin to breaking the law, and a skilled hit and run accident lawyer can turn this into an advantage for the injured party who wishes to claim compensation.
According to the “Negligence Per Se” doctrine, negligence is presumed in situations when someone violates the law which is meant to protect the harm that has taken place. A New York court has even clearly stated that violating the Vehicle and Traffic Law amounts to “Negligence Per Se”.
Using this, a competent hit and run accident attorney can seek to establish that the driver in the hit and run incident broke a law that was intended to protect you, and thus, create a presumption of negligence. The advantage of such a move is that once this negligence is established, the onus is on the driver to prove that this is untrue, and thus, the likelihood of your financial recovery increases.
Recovery Through Insurance in a Hit and Run Crash
Most basic auto insurance policies in New York provide protection of two types for hit and run accidents. The basic personal injury protection or PIP benefits cover the initial $50,000 you spend on injuries. The other part is Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists coverage.
It’s paramount to have a minimum coverage of $50,000 in your policy. Some people purchase Supplementary Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists coverage. The coverage in this part can extend up to the limit of the bodily insurance policy you purchased.
What Other Options Exist for Compensation in a Hit And Run Collision?
New York has a unique law called the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Act that is used to ensure compensation to those victims who do not have their own insurance either because they have not purchased it or because they do not own or operate a vehicle regularly.
It is also used in case of car accidents in which the identity or the insurance of the driver at fault cannot be obtained. Even persons who possess car insurance coverage may be able to file for damages under this law of the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). Under this Act, compensation may range up to $25,000 for every injured individual and up to $50,000 per accident.
In order to qualify for receiving compensation from the MVAIC, a victim has to match their requirement for what constitutes a car accident. This law specifies that to receive benefits, the accident must have resulted in physical contact between your body and the vehicle at-fault, or contact between the at-fault vehicle and the vehicle you were riding when the accident occurred.
To be able to prove this, you will have to provide an expert’s assessment of damage sustained by your vehicle or the injury you sustained. Medical records, police reports, video footage, and witness statements must also be provided as evidence.
All these factors ensure that while it is possible to recover a claim under this Act, the actual process can be quite complex, and therefore, it is best you get in touch with an experienced hit and run lawyer to help you through it.
What Happens if the Hit and Run Driver is Located and Charged?
In a certain hit and run accidents, if there is sufficient information that the police receive, they may succeed in locating the driver, and charge them with criminal violation of the state’s laws. Despite this being a criminal case though, it is quite distinct from the civil personal injury case you file and does not affect the proceeding of your case.
From another vantage point, because the criminal charges are considered graver, the court may decide to put the civil personal injury case on hold until the criminal case is resolved. This putting on hold may cause a delay in the proceedings, but it will not affect your ability to recover compensation.
Contact Us Today if You Have Been in a Hit and Run Accident
Accidents are often complicated events that result from an interaction of several, separate incidents. As an experienced and skilled hit and run attorney firm, we can help you collect detailed information to find out how and why the accident actually occurred. This investigation plays a crucial role in being able to identify the party at fault for the accident.
Most often, the parties that may be liable for a hit and run accident include:
Our personal injury lawyers can help you get relevant information about your hit and run accident and will then list out all the parties liable for your accident and advise you about seeking compensation from them. If you or a loved one has been in a bus accident in NYC, contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 212-344-1000 to schedule a free consultation.
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