Here’s How You Can Be Compensated for a Hit and Run Accident in New York
Hit and run accidents are, sadly, commonplace all over the world. How well you are protected if it happens to you, varies from one place to another. We take a closer look at the issue in this article, focusing on New York.
Getting involved in a hit and run accident as a victim can be one of the most frustrating things you can encounter as a road user, passenger, or property owner. It’s even worse when you’re left with injuries to nurse, long term disability or damage property. However, there are laws in place to protect accident victims, and if you guessed right, hit-and-run laws are more stringent. If you’re involved in such an accident in the “Big Apple”, which is sometimes referred to as the capital of the world, you can always be compensated for your pain and suffering from sustained injuries, loss of income, and property damage, just to name a few.
But then again, it doesn’t always come easy. It even gets worse if the driver who was at fault in the hit-and-run fled without being identified by you, witnesses, or law enforcement. But the law’s long arm is longer than most people think and such a driver can always be traced and held accountable for their actions. Now that we have the matter unskinned, let’s jump right into it. Here’s how you can be compensated for a hit and run accident in New York.
The first and most important step to take after being involved in a hit and run is to ensure your safety first. If you got hit as a passenger or another driver bumped into you and fled, there’s always a likelihood that you sustained injuries, even if they’re not visible at the moment. In this case, it is only noble to first of all call the police or emergency services for help and depending on the severity of the matter, head right to the hospital for a proper medical checkup. The police report you file, as well as the medical report you get from the hospital, will both be key instruments when pursuing a hit-and-run compensation claim when it comes to that.
Know the Applicable Laws
Sometimes referred to as “stop and give aid” laws, each and every state has a specific set of laws regarding hit and run accidents. For starters, drivers involved in collisions or road accidents in New York are required to stop, provide identification to the other party involved (including license information and vehicle identification plate), and give assistance to the other party where necessary. They’re also required to file a report with the police. Any driver who neglects this and instead flees risks prosecution in a criminal court of law.
This means that as the victim of such an accident, you have the right to file a lawsuit demanding compensation for pain and suffering that was caused by such a driver who fled the scene, an action that could have resulted in worsened injuries or damages. Fleeing, in itself can be considered as admissible evidence that the said driver had consciousness of liability. Even if the said collision wasn’t intentional, fleeing is considered intentional, which basically justifies punitive damages. In a nutshell, though, hit and run accident laws are somewhat complex and the best way to ensure you get compensated for damages, medical bills, and other kinds of suffering that result from such an accident is to work with a good accident attorney, which brings us to the next important point.
Seek an Attorney’s Assistance
You’ve already sought medical attention, reported the matter to the police and familiarized (or not) a bit with applicable hit-and-run laws in New York. What’s left is to seek compensation, though and expert vehicle accident attorney. Mr. Tom Durand, an experienced New York City hit and run lawyer who says that compensation for hit-and-run accidents can be really tough to navigate through on your own and in most cases; they require all the legal assistance you can get. An expert vehicle accident attorney will work closely with you as well as the police and the insurance company in question to see to it that you’re fairly compensated.
They’ll guide and update you every step of the way from the point of investigations to filing insurance claims or lawsuits. They’ll advise you accordingly upon determining the best approach to take in seeking your compensation, whether you’ll file a lawsuit against the offender or you’ll file a claim to your insurance company.
The No-Fault Claim (Unidentified Hit and Run Offenders)
In case the hit and run offender is not identified after a thorough investigation, compensation can be really tricky on your part. In New York, however, you still have a way out. In this case, your accident attorney can guide you in filing what is known as a No-Fault Claim, especially if as the victim, you’re a driver and the collision left you injured. This is because New York is one of the several states where the no-fault insurance laws apply. A no-fault policy, which is also known as a personal injury protection (PIP) policy, allows you to make a claim to your insurance provider, asking them to pay your medical bills in part or in full, as well as lost income in the aftermath of a collision regardless of whether it was you or the other driver who was at fault. This is one of the reasons why PIP covers are mandatory in New York and other “no-fault states” such as North Dakota, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage Claims
It is not uncommon to find that the driver who was at fault in an accident doesn’t have sufficient coverage, or doesn’t have auto insurance at all. In this case, you can seek compensation using underinsured or uninsured motorist claims to your insurance provider.
- Uninsured driver claims: With the uninsured motorist claim, you’ll receive compensation for damages, income loss, and medical bills up to the limit specified on your policy document.
- Underinsured driver claims: On the other hand, when filing an underinsured motorist claim, your insurance provider will pay the amount that remains after the insurance provider of the driver at fault depletes their policy’s limit. For instance, if your case is worth $300,000 and you have an underinsurance coverage limit of $250,000 whereas the negligent driver only has $100,000, your insurance provider will pay $200,000, which is what remains after the party at fault (or their insurance) pays $100,000.
In a nutshell, being a victim of a hit-and-run accident can be an overwhelming and frustrating experience. This is especially the case if you don’t know how to go about seeking compensation. Thanks to favorable hit and run laws and expert lawyers in the state, you have various ways to get compensated for the resulting damages after such an accident in New York. Hopefully, the above guide gave you more than the information you need to pursue what is rightfully yours.
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