New York City Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was the victim of a hit-and-run car accident in New York City, you should immediately contact a skilled and experienced NYC car accident attorney to discuss your case. Call the Manhattan firm of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf at (212) 943-1090 for a complimentary consultation.
In a hit-and-run accident, time is of the essence for multiple reasons. First, it is critical for your attorney to be able to investigate the accident scene as quickly as possible, especially if the police have not identified the hit-and-run driver. In addition, there are deadlines for filing with your own auto insurance to obtain no-fault insurance and deadlines to file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) .How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help After a Hit-And-Run Accident?
A New York car accident attorney can provide valuable assistance in several ways:
- Legal Guidance: A car accident attorney specializing in hit-and-run cases in New York can provide you with essential legal guidance. They will explain your rights, help you understand the legal process, and advise you on the best course of action to take.
- Investigation: Hit-and-run accidents often leave the victim with little information about the responsible party. However, an experienced attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence, identify witnesses, and potentially locate the at-fault driver. They may work with accident reconstruction experts, review surveillance footage, or use other resources to help track down the perpetrator.
- Insurance Claims: Dealing with insurance companies can be complex and challenging, especially in hit-and-run cases. Your attorney can assist you in navigating the insurance claim process, ensuring that you submit the necessary documentation and evidence to support your claim. They will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to seek fair compensation for your damages.
- Legal Representation: If the hit-and-run driver is identified and located, your attorney will help you initiate a legal action against them. They will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, seeking compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damage you have suffered because of the accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: In hit-and-run cases where the at-fault driver cannot be located or does not have insurance, your attorney can help you explore other potential sources of compensation. They will assist you in understanding and pursuing any uninsured motorist coverage you may have under your own insurance policy.
- Negotiation and Settlement: Your attorney will skillfully negotiate with the involved parties, such as insurance companies or the opposing legal counsel, to pursue a fair settlement. They will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve based on the extent of your injuries, damages, and the impact on your life.
The type of compensation you can obtain and how to obtain it will vary depending on several factors.Can I Obtain Compensation if the Hit-And-Run Driver Was Not Located by the Police?
If the police have not been able to locate the hit-and-run driver in your accident, you will still be able to be compensated by your own insurance because New York is a no-fault state.
New York State requires drivers to have:
- A no-fault injury protection (PIP) that will cover your and your passengers' medical expenses up to $50,000, independently of who was responsible for the accident. The PIP also covers up to $2,000 a month for lost wages and up to $25 a day for expenses such as transportation to a medical facility. Additionally, the no-fault insurance will provide a $2,000 death benefit to the estate of a person killed in a car accident.
- Liability insurance that covers bodily injury and property damage to you and anyone who has permission to drive your car. The minimum liability insurance required in New York is $10,000 for property damage for a single accident, $25,000 for bodily injury, and $50,000 for the death of a person involved in an accident, as well as $50,000 for bodily injury and $100,000 for the death of two or more people involved in an accident.
- Uninsured motorist coverage that also covers bodily injury and property damage to you and anyone who has permission to drive your car if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver or in a hit-and-run accident. The minimum amount required for UM is the same as for liability insurance.
If you do not have insurance information about the hit-and-run driver, and you or a passenger suffered an injury, you will have to file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage with your own insurance company.
If you are not insured and not covered by the policy of a family member, and you are hit by a hit-and-run driver, you may still be eligible for uninsured motorists protection and no-fault coverage. You will need to file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). In order to be able to file this type of claim you must report your accident to the police within 24 hours.
Sadly, in cases of hit-and-run accidents with severe injuries and damage, your uninsured motorist coverage or the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation might not be enough to cover all the costs related to your accidents. These insurance coverages may also not cover all of your pain and suffering. This is why it is essential to contact a qualified and experienced car accident attorney who will immediately launch their own investigation and find out if there is any way to identify the hit-and-run driver by finding witnesses and obtaining footage from potential surveillance cameras that might have filmed the accident. Because surveillance cameras only keep their footage for a limited amount of time, it is essential to contact a car accident attorney immediately after the accident occurred.What Type of Compensation Can I Get if the Hit-And-Run Driver Is Identified and Found by the Police?
If a hit-and-run driver is found by the police in New York, you may pursue several types of compensation depending on the circumstances of the accident and the damage you have suffered. Here are some potential areas of compensation you could pursue:
- Medical Expenses: You can seek compensation for your medical expenses resulting from the injuries sustained in the accident. This includes costs for emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and any necessary future medical care related to the accident.
- Property Damage: If your vehicle or other property was damaged in a hit-and-run accident, you can pursue compensation to cover the repair or replacement costs.
- Lost Wages: If you missed work due to the injuries sustained in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the wages you lost during your recovery period. This includes both current and future lost earnings if your injuries result in long-term or permanent disability affecting your ability to work.
- Pain and Suffering: You can seek compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the accident and your injuries. This type of compensation is more subjective and varies depending on the extent and impact of your suffering.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the accident and injuries have significantly affected your ability to engage in activities you once enjoyed, you may be able to seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, if the hit-and-run driver's actions were particularly reckless or intentional, you may be able to pursue punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the at-fault party and deter similar conduct in the future.
To pursue compensation, it's advisable to work with a skilled car accident attorney experienced in hit-and-run cases in New York. Our hit-and-run accident attorneys will help evaluate your case, gather evidence, and advocate on your behalf to maximize your potential compensation. We can also guide you through the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies or the responsible party, and, if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.What Is Negligence Per Se and How Can It Be Applied to Hit-And-Run Accidents?
Negligence per se is a legal concept that can be applied in hit-and-run accident cases to establish the liability of the fleeing driver. Negligence per se means that if a person violates a statute or law designed to protect others from harm, and their violation directly leads to an injury, they can be considered negligent without further proof of their actions.
In the context of a hit-and-run accident, negligence per se can be used when the hit-and-run driver violated a law or statute related to the accident. By establishing negligence per se, it becomes easier for the injured party to prove the negligent behavior of the hit-and-run driver. Instead of having to demonstrate a breach of the general duty of care, the violation of the applicable law itself serves as evidence of negligence.
It is important to note that establishing negligence per se is not automatic. The injured party still needs to show that their injuries were caused by the hit-and-run driver's violation of the law.
If negligence per se is successfully established, it can strengthen the injured party's case when seeking compensation for their damages. Our skilled car accident attorneys will help assess the applicability of negligence per se in your specific hit-and-run accident case and guide you through the legal process.What Happens if My Attorney Files a Personal Injury Lawsuit on My Behalf Against a Hit-And-Run Driver Who Was Charged With a Crime?
If we file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf against a hit-and-run driver who was charged with a crime, several scenarios can unfold. Here are a few possibilities:
- Criminal Proceedings Take Priority: In some cases, criminal proceedings take precedence over civil lawsuits. If the hit-and-run driver is facing criminal charges related to the accident, the criminal case may proceed before the civil lawsuit. The outcome of the criminal case can impact the civil lawsuit, as a conviction or guilty plea may serve as evidence of liability in the civil proceedings.
- Criminal Restitution Orders: If the hit-and-run driver is convicted of a crime related to the accident, the court may order them to pay restitution to the victims. This restitution is typically meant to compensate the victims for their losses, including medical expenses and property damage. In such cases, we may work with the prosecutor's office to ensure that your compensation is included in the restitution order.
- Parallel Civil Lawsuit: Even if criminal proceedings are ongoing, our car accident attorneys can still pursue a civil lawsuit on your behalf. The civil lawsuit allows you to seek additional compensation for damages beyond what might be covered in the criminal case, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, or long-term medical expenses. Our attorneys will work to gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies or the opposing party, and advocate for your rights throughout the civil litigation process.
- Insurance Coverage and Settlement: If the hit-and-run driver has insurance coverage, their insurance company will likely become involved in the civil case. In some instances, the insurance company may opt to settle the civil claim to avoid the risk of a larger judgment against their insured. We will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to seek fair compensation for your damages.
- Civil Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached or if the parties involved cannot agree on the appropriate compensation, the case may proceed to a civil trial. We will present your case, including evidence of the hit-and-run driver's liability, the extent of your injuries, and the damages you have suffered. The jury or judge will then determine the outcome and any compensation awarded.
When seeking an attorney for your hit-and-run accident case, it is vital to select a lawyer who possesses substantial expertise in handling and litigating car accident cases. It is not uncommon for attorneys to claim they are "trial attorneys," but in reality, they have never set foot in a courtroom. Their primary focus may be on settling cases rather than taking them to trial. It is of utmost importance that the insurance company representing the defendant acknowledges your attorney's willingness to go to trial. Without this knowledge, the insurance company is unlikely to offer a settlement that adequately reflects the true value of your case.
By choosing the hit-and-run accident attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf you can have confidence in the fact that the defendant's insurance company will be well aware of our attorneys' reputation for taking cases to trials when a fair settlement offer is not provided.What Qualifies as Hit-And-Run Accident in NY State?
If you are involved in a car accident in New York, you have certain legal obligations that you are required to fulfill. It is important to understand these obligations to ensure compliance with the law. Here are the key legal obligations following a car accident in New York:
- Stop at the Scene: As a driver involved in an accident, you must immediately stop your vehicle at the scene or as close as possible without obstructing traffic. Fleeing the scene of an accident, especially a hit-and-run, is a serious offense.
- Provide Information: You must exchange relevant information with the other parties involved in the accident. This includes your name, address, vehicle registration number, and driver's license information. Obtain the same information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
- Report the Accident: In New York, you are required to report the accident to the police if it resulted in personal injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. It's advisable to report the accident to the police even if the damage appears to be below this threshold.
- Render Reasonable Assistance: If someone is injured in an accident, you have an obligation to render reasonable assistance. This can include calling emergency services for medical help and providing aid within your abilities.
- Stay at the Scene: Unless you require immediate medical attention, you should remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives, completes their investigation, and instructs you to leave.
- Cooperate with Authorities: You are legally obligated to cooperate with the police officers investigating the accident. Provide them with accurate information and accounts of what happened. If you witness an accident but are not directly involved, you should also cooperate with authorities by providing any relevant information you have.
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver involved in a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or property leaves the scene without stopping to fulfill their legal obligations. This includes failing to exchange information, provide aid to injured parties, or report the accident to the police.What Are the Most Common Hit-And-Run Accidents?
hit-and-run accidents can involve various scenarios, such as:
- Collisions with other vehicles: A hit-and-run can happen when a driver crashes into another vehicle and flees the scene without stopping to exchange information or ensure the well-being of the other parties involved.
- Pedestrian accidents: If a driver hits a pedestrian and leaves the scene without providing assistance or reporting the incident, it is considered a hit-and-run pedestrian accident.
- Property damage: Hit-and-run accidents also include instances where a driver damages someone's property (e.g., a parked car, a fence, or a building) and fails to take the necessary steps to report the incident or inform the property owner.
Several factors contribute to why hit-and-run accidents occur:
- Fear of consequences: Drivers may flee the scene due to fear of facing legal repercussions, such as being held responsible for the accident or being cited for traffic violations. They might have a suspended license, lack insurance, or have outstanding warrants, leading them to avoid involvement with law enforcement.
- Intoxication or impairment: In some cases, drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs may flee the scene to evade arrest or DUI charges.
- Lack of awareness or concern: Some drivers may not even realize they were involved in a collision, especially in cases of minor accidents or when they mistakenly believe no damage occurred.
- Panic or shock: Following an accident, a driver may experience shock or panic, leading to impulsive behavior, including leaving the scene without considering the legal obligations.
- Unlicensed or uninsured drivers: Individuals who are driving without a valid license or insurance may be more likely to flee the scene to avoid legal consequences.
Hit-and-run accidents are illegal and can result in severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even criminal charges, depending on the jurisdiction and the seriousness of the incident. It's crucial to report hit-and-run accidents promptly and work with law enforcement to identify the responsible party and seek justice for the victims.
If you suffered injury or a loved one was killed in a hit-and-run accident you might be entitled to compensation, call the Manhattan office of Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowiz, Bloom Hershenhorn & Mackauf at (212) 943-1090 to discuss your case or fill our contact form for knowledgeable and considerate representation.