Motor Vehicle Accidents are traumatic and can derail your life in an instant. When you are the victim of a hit and run accident, the situation may be even more stressful. You may face greater difficulty in securing compensation for your injuries, property damage, medical bills, and other losses. In addition, you may face much shorter than usual deadlines for making reports or pursuing damages.
If you’ve been injured by a driver who fled the scene, speak with an experienced hit and run accident attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t miss critical deadlines or make mistakes that could hurt your chances of recovering fair compensation.
What is a Hit and Run Accident?
In New York, any accident in which a driver leaves the scene of the accident without fulfilling legal requirements such as providing insurance information or making a police report can be termed “hit and run.” Hit and run accidents happen for many different reasons, including:
- The driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
- The driver is operating the vehicle with insurance
- The driver panics and drives off without thinking
- The vehicle is stolen
In some cases, the hit and run driver may be identified. For example, a driver who fled the scene in a panic may change his mind and contact the police when he calms down and can think more clearly. Or, the driver may be identified based on information provided by witnesses or video footage, such as the license plate of the vehicle.
Pursuing Compensation in a Hit and Run Accident Case
Your options for pursuing compensation in a hit and run case will depend on a variety of factors. First, and most important, is whether or not the driver was identified. If the driver’s identity is known, the case may proceed much like any other car accident case. However, if the driver has not been identified, the most direct and common means of recovering damages—a claim against the responsible driver—won’t be possible.
Alternative Sources of Compensation in a Hit and Run Case
The first and most accessible source of compensation for medical expenses associated with a hit and run accident is the injury victim’s own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Other possible sources include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and New York state’s Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC).
It is important to note, however, that these options require much quicker action than pursuing a traditional personal injury claim after a car accident. You must typically file a police report within 24 hours of being the victim of a hit and run, and if you wish to pursue MVAIC benefits, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days.
Each of these processes is different, has different eligibility requirements, provides different compensation, and may require different evidence.
Talk to a New York Hit and Run Accident Attorney
Any car or truck accident case can be complicated. However, hit and run accident cases are more complex than most. Because the responsible driver left the scene of the accident, evidence may be lost. For example, if the driver was drunk at the time of the accident, he or she may not have been identified in time to gather evidence of intoxication.
If the driver isn’t identified, then the victim must determine how best to pursue compensation, and how to comply with the substantive and procedural requirements for each type of compensation.
An experienced New York hit and run accident lawyer can untangle the complex options and procedures and help you determine the best path for you. Then, the attorney can navigate the procedural maze for you, increasing your chances of receiving fair compensation.
Schedule a free consultation right now to learn how we can help. Just call (844) 469-5291 or fill out the contact form in the upper right-hand corner of this page.