In the blink of an eye your world can be turned upside down if you have been injured in a car accident. Lost work time, medical bills, and repair costs all add up quickly.
When you have been injured in a car crash, few things can be more stressful than dealing with a situation where the at-fault driver has fled the scene. Not only may you left with potentially life-altering injuries, but you are now wondering who will pay for all those costs?
At the very least, drivers involved in a car accident must stop, provide their name, full residential address, and insurance information to all other drivers involved in the crash. Obligations will increase if property damage is valued at over $1,000 or somebody is injured. Failure to remain at the scene and meet these obligations can result in penalties ranging from fines and points right up to license revocation, jail time, and criminal record.
Despite the fact that fleeing from a crash scene is illegal and comes with serious penalties, hit and run accidents happen every single day on New York roads. While in the case of a very minor accident a driver may not be aware that they made contact with another vehicle, drivers who run from a crash scene are sometimes guilty of more than poor driving. Hit and run drivers may fail to remain because they are intoxicated, have no license and/or insurance, are driving a stolen vehicle, or already have a number of infractions on their driving record.
Simply put, hit and run drivers sometimes flee from the scene because they either don’t realize the consequences or think they won’t get caught. No matter why they have fled the scene, you still need to protect your rights by acting quickly and consulting with an experienced New York accident attorney as soon as possible.
New York is one of a handful of no-fault auto insurance states – that means hit and run accident victims can still receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and other specific costs, even if the other driver has left the scene and cannot be located. The applicable no-fault insurance carrier may be able to pay for these basic economic losses regardless of whether the at-fault driver can be located.
Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP” coverage, in New York State provides up to $50,000 in benefits for medical costs and lost wages. PIP does not cover claim for pain and suffering. If you want to make a claim for pain and suffering resulting from injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver you will need to make an uninsured motorist (“UM”) or supplementary underinsured motorist (“SUM”) through the applicable insurance company. An attorney can help you identify the applicable insurance company.
If you were injured by a hit-and-run driver, an accident report must be filed with the police within 24 hours. Failure to report your hit and run crash within 24 hours, or as soon as it is reasonably possible to do so, could cause you difficulties down the road.
If you suspect you were injured, it is important to seek medical treatment. Seeing a doctor can help you feel better sooner.
Before you start negotiating with your insurance company you may want to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer who knows the law and will work to protect your rights. Here at William Mattar law offices, we are here to help you deal with the stress and costs that come with being a victim of a hit-and-run driver. Call us today at 844-444-4444. We are available 24/7.