Can I Get a Settlement in a Hit and Run?
Fleeing the scene of a car accident is never a good idea, no matter if it’s a minor scrape or a serious collision. At-fault motorists who are driving under the influence of alcohol, with an expired license or another type of infraction, often panic and speed away in the hopes of dodging liability.
In New York City, “hit-and-runs” occur with alarming frequency. A pedestrian is knocked down, crossing the street. A father is sideswiped while driving his kids to school. A cyclist is mowed down in the bike lane. Yet the person responsible fails to stop, check for injuries, report the accident, or exchange information.
So, what can victims do? Can you still get compensation for bodily injuries and property damage in a hit and run? Our knowledgeable New York City car accident lawyers can help you recover damages through your insurance policy and the defendant’s– if they are identified. At Douglas & London, we can help you seek the compensation your family deserves.
Recovering settlement money through insurance
All drivers in New York are required to purchase two types of protection for their auto insurance policy. The first coverage is called personal injury protection (PIP), a policy that covers the initial $50,000 for bodily injuries. The other component is uninsured/underinsured coverage (UM/UIM) that provides an additional safety net when a driver hits you without sufficient insurance.
Your policy limits will dictate– to some degree– the amount of damages you can recover. The best thing you can do to advance your case is to retain a qualified personal injury attorney as early as possible.
The purchase of supplementary Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists coverage and additional PIP benefits is highly recommended, as it’s not always feasible to track down the defendant and pursue damages.
The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Act
Another source of compensation is New York’s Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation, which provides eligible claimants No-Fault and Bodily Injury Coverage.
To qualify for MVAIC benefits, you must have no auto insurance available to you and have reported the accident to police within 24 hours. There are strict deadlines for pursuing benefits through this channel, and victims must furnish evidence of the hit and run, such as:
- Official police reports
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Medical records that demonstrate injuries sustained
- Photos or video of the accident and damage
- Professional assessment of property damage to the vehicle
Hit and run laws and responsibilities in New York
Whether you crash into another vehicle, a stationary object, private property, or a person, you are advised to stop, call the police– if the accident involves injury or damage. You should also check to see if anyone requires emergency medical attention.
You are legally obligated to exchange information with any other people who were involved. This includes your license number, plate number, and insurance information. Even if no one is around and you hit someone’s property or vehicle– the law says you should leave a note with your contact information.
If you are the victim of a hit and run, scan the area for any witnesses. They may remember the make and model of the vehicle, tag number, or can give clearer insight to the police of what happened. Even if you feel fine, seek medical care, and keep diligent records of any diagnoses and treatments. This documentation will prove vital when pursuing compensation later on.
New York City car accident attorneys at Douglas & London
Douglas & London provides steadfast advocacy to residents throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who were unjustly harmed. We have the skills and resources to seek maximum compensation after a hit and run accident.
For expert legal guidance and compassionate support, we invite you to call us to schedule a free case evaluation. Our New York City personal injury lawyers work with leading experts and investigators and have a proven track record. There are no upfront legal fees, and we only get paid once you recover a settlement.