New York Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
Experiencing any type of car accident is usually a frustrating and stressful experience. When the accident is a hit-and-run, though, the legalities become even more complicated and can lead to more questions.
Is it possible to recover damages after a hit-and-run accident? What if the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the collision and is never found? Hill & Moin is here to help you understand your legal options for compensation after a hit-and-run accident. Our goal is to give you the advice you need to move forward.
A free case evaluation with our experienced legal team can help you find the answers you need. With over 40 years of experience fighting for the rights of accident victims, our hit-and-run accident lawyers can point you in the right direction. Call Hill & Moin 24/7 for Personal Injury Recovery Solutions at (212) 668-6000.
Hit-and-Run Accidents:A Concerning Trend Across the Country
Hit-and-run accidents continue to be a cause for concern across the United States.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS-HLDI) publishes data and trends related to motor vehicle crashes in the United States. Their 2021 Pedestrian Fatality Facts showed that some 24 percent of pedestrian fatalities were related to hit-and-runs.
According to a 2022 New York City police department report, there were 43,108 complaints of leaving the scene of an accident with personal injury or property damage in NYC. The same report showed that there were 79 hit-and-run accidents involving a critical injury in New York City in the same year.
New York Hit-and-Run Laws
When a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident in New York, there are a few laws that dictate what he or she must do.
For an accident that causes property damage only:
- You must share your license and insurance information with the other driver(s)
- You must call the police if the cost of the damages appears to be $1000 or more
If the other driver is not present or cannot be located (such as in the case of a parked vehicle), you must leave a note with contact information on the vehicle so you can be contacted once he or she returns.
For an accident that involves injuries, you must do the following if you are physically able to do so:
- Share your license and insurance information with the other driver(s)
- Call the police and wait for them to arrive on the scene
- Make sure a police report is filed
Depending on the circumstances of the incident, failing to exchange contact information or leaving the scene of an accident before the police arrive is considered a hit-and-run, which is a crime.
Leaving the scene of an accident can carry a number of consequences, including:
- License revocation
- Jail time
- Permanent criminal record
What You Should Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you are involved in an accident and the other person leaves the scene, what should you do?
Here are 5 things to remember after a hit-and-run accident:
- Do not try to follow the other vehicle. Even though you may be tempted to work on identifying or catching the other driver yourself, it is not advisable to do so. A hit-and-run driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He or she may even have weapons in the vehicle or be engaged in another type of dangerous activity. Put your safety first.
- Call the police to report the accident. Whether the damages seem to be minor or serious, calling the police to report the accident is always a good idea after a hit-and-run. Having a police report on file can be helpful and sometimes necessary for future compensation. Additionally, the police may be able to assess the situation and potentially identify and locate the hit-and-run driver.
- Note important details about the accident. While the accident is fresh in your mind, try to make note of important details that can be helpful later. For example, can you recall any details of the hit-and-run driver or the make, model, and license plate of his or her vehicle? Jot these down on paper or your phone. You can take pictures of the damages, the location of the accident, the weather conditions, your physical condition, and other potentially relevant details as well.
- Identify any potential witnesses. Witness testimony is powerful evidence that can be helpful for both lawyers and the police. If possible, try to locate any witnesses of the accident. Eyewitnesses can include other motorists and pedestrians. Nearby businesses might have witnesses or surveillance footage of the accident.
- Call a hit-and-run accident lawyer. After an accident, time is of the essence. Hill & Moin offers free consultations to offer hit-and-run victims advice to help them understand their options and figure out their next steps.
Insurance Coverage for Hit-and-Run Accidents in New York
Depending on the circumstances, a number of different insurance policies can provide you with compensation after a New York hit-and-run accident.
If you are an occupant of the vehicle
Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in New York. This policy covers the policyholder, family members who reside in his or her household, and all occupants of the policyholder’s vehicle. In the case of a hit-and-run accident, the insurance policy of the vehicle you were in should provide coverage.
Although this insurance coverage is mandatory, the amount of coverage provided may not be enough to fully compensate for losses after a hit-and-run accident.
The minimum uninsured motorist coverage required in New York is:
- $25,00 for bodily injury or $50,000 for the death of 1 person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or $100,000 for the death of 2 or more persons
If you are a pedestrian
Your auto insurance policy may provide you with uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that applies to your hit-and-run accident, even when you are a pedestrian or a cyclist. SUM (supplemental underinsured/uninsured motorist) coverage may come into play. In addition, if you do not have your own insurance policy, you may be covered through a family member’s policy in your household.
If you do not have insurance coverage
The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) was created to offer coverage to eligible claimants who do not have coverage.
The MVAIC has very strict requirements and time limits for hit-and-run claims that can affect a person’s eligibility. The accident must be reported to the police soon, and a Notice of Intention must be submitted to the MVAIC within a short time of the accident.
Due to the strict time limits for filing an MVAIC claim, you should speak to a New York car accident lawyer with experience in MVAIC claims as soon as possible.
Additional Options for Compensation
In addition to Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist coverage, there may be additional ways to seek compensation for a hit-and-run accident.
If the hit-and-run driver is located and identified, a personal injury lawsuit or third-party claim could be pursued to seek additional damages. In order to qualify for a personal injury lawsuit or third-party claim in New York, the injuries must be classified as “serious” according to the law.
Serious injuries include:
- Significant disfigurement
- Bone fractures
- Permanent limitation of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of a body function or system
- Loss of a fetus
- Substantially full disability for some time
If your circumstances allow you to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, you can recover more damages than are available through your PIP and other coverage. The final amount recovered could make up for your lost wages, medical bills, and expenses while also providing compensation for psychological injuries.
Let the Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers at Hill & Moin LLP Help
After a hit-and-run, you have a lot on your plate. At Hill & Moin LLP, we are dedicated to offering our clients quality representation to help reduce their stress throughout the legal process and get them the compensation they are due.
When you choose our law firm, our legal team will take care of all communication and negotiation with the insurance company. This way, you can focus on what is most important – your health and your family.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a hit-and-run accident, call our personal injury lawyers today to learn about your Personal Injury Recovery SolutionsⓇ. We hope to use our over 40 years of experience to help you and your family when you need it most. Contact us 24/7 at (212) 668-6000 to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation.
Don’t wonder about your rights!