Dealing with a car accident is usually complicated and, at best, inconvenient, but the challenges that come with a hit and run collision tend to make the process even more frustrating and difficult. Without knowing the identity of the other driver, it is impossible to hold them accountable for their negligence.
The good news is that you may have other options following a hit and run accident. The attorneys of Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. are ready to counsel you in discovering other options for obtaining compensation for your injuries. To learn more, call (516) 932-0400 to speak with a Glen Cove hit and run accident lawyer today.
In This Article
- Understanding Hit and Run Accidents
- Pursuing Compensation Following a Hit and Run
- What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
- Recover Compensation Following a Hit and Run Accident
Understanding Hit and Run Accidents
The law requires drivers to stop at the scene of an accident they are involved in that results in bodily injuries. This allows both parties to exchange insurance information and give a statement to the police about the collision. New York Vehicle & Traffic §600(2)(a) specifies that motorists must stop, exhibit a license and insurance ID card, and provide necessary contact information after a crash.
In any accident that involves injury, death, or property damage valued at $1,000 or more, drivers involved in the crash must file a report with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of the crash. Failure to do so could result in license suspension.
Despite these potential consequences, some drivers opt to leave the scene of the crash without complying with state law. There are a variety of reasons for this behavior, including:
- Warrants or criminal offenses. Many drivers leave the scene of an accident to avoid criminal consequences. There are many possible scenarios. This could refer to a person that knows there is a warrant out for their arrest, a drunken driver worried about a potential driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge.
- Lack of insurance. While liability insurance is mandatory under state law, many drivers fail to comply. When some of these drivers are involved in vehicle collisions, they opt to leave the scene instead of facing personal liability for the damage they have done.
- Indifference. Other motorists may be indifferent to causing an accident or potentially believe the collision to be minor. They could assume that since they did not suffer injuries, the other driver did not either, though that is not always the case.
- Immigration status. Some individuals avoid stopping at the scene of a collision due to their immigration status. Concerns over deportation or other consequences could spur them to flee the accident scene.
Ultimately, a hit and run driver’s motivation means little to the person they injured. The complications that come with a hit and run accident exist no matter the fleeing driver’s motivation.
The good news is that an experienced, dedicated compassionate attorney can be of tremendous help with any of these situations. The team at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. has successfully helped many clients pursue compensation for hit and run accident claims. If you are ready to get information targeted to your situation and begin to release much of the stress you may be carrying about the claim process, please reach out for help from a Glen Cove hit and run accident lawyer at our law firm today at (516) 932-0400.
For a free legal consultation with a Hit and Run Accident lawyer serving Glen Cove, call 516-932-0400
Pursuing Compensation Following a Hit and Run
New York is a no-fault insurance state. This is beneficial for many hit and run accidents, as it provides drivers with no-fault PIP (personal injury protection,) coverage that can payout even when the other driver’s identity is unknown. An insurance claim could cover your medical bills, as well as some of the wages you have lost due to your injury. In New York State, there is a minimum of $50,000.00 available for these PIP benefits. You may have what is called, “Additional PIP,” which, as the name suggests, will provide greater coverage, if you purchased it. We can help you determine if you have this additional coverage if you obtain the “Declarations Page,” or “Dec Sheet,” from your auto insurance policy.
Typically, it is possible to recover compensation in excess of your policy limits through a civil lawsuit or a claim on the other driver’s liability insurance. Without knowing the identity of the other driver, that option is not possible. However, in New York State your policy will provide for Supplemental Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, or SUM, coverage. This type of coverage could pay for those losses that exceed PIP policy limits. As with the additional PIP discussed above, you may have more than the New York State minimum SUM of $25,000.00 if you purchased it. This too will be outlined in your auto insurance policy documentation which, it will be our privilege to review with you.
Remember, not all hit and run drivers remain unknown for long. In many cases, the police are able to identify the other party involved in the accident in the hours or days following a crash.
If someone can identify the other driver, you could pursue a claim against them for any excess losses. This could include a civil lawsuit or a claim against their liability carrier.
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What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
When you are involved in a hit and run accident, the moments following the collision can dramatically impact the future of your personal injury case. The following steps could protect your legal rights and aid your attorney in their efforts to pursue compensation following your hit and run accident:
- Do not follow the other driver. It may be tempting to chase the at-fault driver, but this could put you at additional risk of injury.
- Pullover safely. If possible, move out of the roadway.
- Call the police. Often, the police will be able to track down the other driver from their license plate number or description.
- Note details. Try to capture the other driver’s license plate number. If you are able to safely photograph or video the license plate of the other vehicle, and the position of both vehicles in the roadway, that can be very helpful. Similarly, if you are able to safely photograph your vehicle damage and the other vehicle’s damage as well, that can be of value in documenting the case and even in establishing liability, (based on points of impact and roadway position,) and to some degree, substantiating the injuries. (By showing the pre-accident speed based upon the extent of property damage.)
- Seek medical care. Address your injuries as soon as possible. If you need an ambulance, please do not decline the offer out of a wish to make the event seem less serious or severe than it is. Even, or perhaps especially, if you are a person who makes self-care a secondary priority in your life, now is the time to set that aside and take excellent care of yourself.
- Talk to an attorney. Do not pursue an injury claim on your own. Seemingly innocent acts, such as talking to the other driver’s insurance company, giving them a written or recorded statement, or accepting a “Fast Settlement to just, “get it over with,” can all end up as irreversible mistakes that you deeply regret later. When you speak with one of our experienced, dedicated, compassionate attorneys, you can take comfort in knowing the communications are held in confidence and that our loyalty is to you exclusively. The insurance companies have a loyalty to their bottom line. They want to pay out nothing to you, or as little as they can get away with. We want to win the best possible result for you.
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Recover Compensation Following a Hit and Run Accident
When we take on a hit and run case, it is our goal to ensure that our clients recover the compensation they deserve. We look forward to the opportunity to evaluate your case and provide the same level of service to you. If you are looking for help from a Glen Cove hit and run accident lawyer, call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. at (516) 932-0400 to discuss your case right away.
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