Following a hit and run accident, you face not only the usual stress of a motor vehicle accident but also the different emotions, such as frustration and anger, of not even knowing who caused it. In some cases, the negligent driver is never found. Even when the responsible party is found, you may still have to pursue damages through a personal injury claim to receive compensation. Although it can feel like you’re chasing the wind, don’t be discouraged! With a Brentwood hit and run accident lawyer on your side, you do not have to face such a challenging situation alone. If you were injured by a driver who then fled the scene, contact the office at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. today to consult a legal team that will stand by you when you need us. Call today for a free consultation at (516) 932-0400.
In This Article
- How and Why Hit and Runs Happen
- Insurance Complications
- How a Civil Suit Differs from a Criminal One
- Acting Promptly Is Important
- Wrongful Death
- How a Hit and Run Claim Works
- Accident Costs Are Not Only in the Past
- Get the Help You Need for Your Hit and Run Accident
How and Why Hit and Runs Happen
Hit and run accidents involve a motor vehicle crash in which the responsible driver leaves the scene without providing adequate information to be held liable. Hit and run crash scenarios can include:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Fender benders
- Rear-end collisions
- Failure to yield
- One car cutting off another car
- Driving under the influence
- Distracted driving
Essentially, any traffic violation that causes an accident could prompt the guilty party to flee the scene. What sets hit and run cases apart is that the other driver likely had a motive for not sticking around. Typically, that motivation is more complicated than merely avoiding a ticket.
Some common contributing factors that might motivate a driver to leave immediately after an accident are:
- Driving under the influence
- Possession of illegal items or substances
- Existing legal trouble
- Lack of insurance
In other words, hit and run drivers may view you as collateral damage not worth dealing with due to the risk of other consequences. In cases involving drunk drivers, there is also a chance they did not even realize the damage they caused until later.
For a free legal consultation with a Hit And Run Accident lawyer serving Brentwood, call 516-932-0400
An estimated 6% of motorists were uninsured in New York as of 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute, with the national rate around 13%. Lack of insurance is a common motivating factor in hit and run accidents. Because of this, New York does require uninsured motorist coverage. Your Brentwood hit and run accident lawyer will negotiate and, if necessary, arbitrate with your insurance company to win the best possible outcome for you. Additionally, if the negligent driver is identified and does have insurance coverage, we will prosecute a claim against that at-fault driver seeking to recover every dollar you are entitled to.
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How a Civil Suit Differs from a Criminal One
If caught, hit and run cases can carry criminal charges for the perpetrator. In New York, someone charged with a hit and run could face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the severity of the accident under New York Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) §600. However, your civil case is independent of any criminal charges made against the driver. Generally, a guilty plea or conviction after trial in the criminal matter will also serve to establish fault as a fact in the civil case, but the criminal and civil proceedings are entirely separate.
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Acting Promptly Is Important
If the at-fault driver is never identified or if the driver is identified but has no insurance and you do wish to pursue an Uninsured Motorist claim, you should be advised that these claims are required to be made, “as soon as practicable.” While that language is imprecise, it would certainly be unwise to have a period of unnecessary delay. If you were injured in a Brentwood hit and run accident you should call an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to fully understand your rights and options.
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Sadly, some hit and run accidents result in the tragic death of the victim. If you suffered the loss of a loved one to a hit and run accident, we extend to you our sincere, heartfelt condolences. You may be entitled to damages on their behalf. A hit and run wrongful death lawyer at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. can explain more.
How a Hit and Run Claim Works
When you hire the office of Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. to represent you, we will remain in contact with you throughout your case to help you feel involved and informed. You also will not have to deal directly with other parties; we do that for you. After gathering evidence of your claim — through medical records, police reports, photos, video surveillance, and witness testimonies — we will evaluate what your case is worth and advise you on what settlement offers to accept, negotiate further, litigate or arbitrate.
Accident Costs Are Not Only in the Past
Because uninsured motorists often cause hit and run accidents, you may end up dealing with your own insurance company when filing a claim. Despite being your own company, remember that they want to pay as little as possible, even nothing if they can, for your injuries and be done with your claim. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 75% of injury-related costs occur within the first year and a half of an accident, you may find you have additional expenses and losses related to the accident that extend beyond that timeframe. Insurance companies do not typically take into account future complications.
Initial costs of an accident could include:
- Emergency department visits
- Doctor follow-ups
- Diagnostic testing
- Medical equipment
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Income lost during recovery
Many of these items should be covered by No-Fault insurance, at least initially. However, No-Fault coverage can be denied for a number of reasons or can be exhausted. It is best to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about this
Your injuries may have unforeseen consequences, such as:
- Diminished work capacity
- A need for prescription medications
- Continued physical therapy
- Psychological or emotional trauma
- Diminished quality of life
As stated above, but it is worth repeating, your insurance company’s goal is to pay as little as possible or even nothing if they can, and the guilty party’s goal is to avoid responsibility. Your personal injury attorney’s goal is to think of you and the big picture. We will argue for compensation that will cover your past, present, and future expenses related to the accident.
Get the Help You Need for Your Hit and Run Accident
Few instances make you feel more alone than suffering an injury in an accident and then watching the responsible party drive away. At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., we do not want you to feel alone again, and you won’t be. We will stand by you and stand for you, from the day you first call us until your case has been closed. Contact our office today to learn how a Brentwood hit and run accident lawyer will pursue damages to compensate you for your suffering. Call to receive a free consultation today at (516) 932-0400.
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