It's natural to feel disconcerted if you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Brooklyn. You look around and see nobody who hit your car. It all happened so fast. You didn't even have the time to see the perpetrator get away. We understand the anxiety and frustration that this situation can generate in you. Unjust acts are something that also generate mixed feelings in us, they generate indignation, and they also motivate us to continue defending the rights of the citizens of our community.
What can motivate a driver to flee after hitting a vehicle, crashing into private property, or running over a pedestrian? It could be fear of justice, anxiety, or an automatic reaction that makes them run away, which leads them not to assume their responsibility. This tells us that these types of drivers do not yet have an adult personality.
They are people who live avoiding what they dislike and do not have sufficient emotional intelligence to accept that they were wrong, to accept that in the face of such an event, they must pause and take charge of the disaster. It must be verified if the affected driver, the one who bore the brunt, is stable if he has not suffered an injury that requires immediate transfer to a hospital or being treated by an emergency service.
Have you ever been a victim of a driver like this? Maybe you have a story to tell us? At The Ward Law, our Brooklyn hit-and-run accident lawyers love to practice active listening when paying attention to the stories of those who seek our help.
Please do not think twice when deciding to count on our help. We live by service to our community, and it makes us feel very bad when we find out that some victims of these events choose not to report them or to keep these events to themselves without communicating them to justice. Trust our work. Only by getting justice can we make an irresponsible driver think twice before committing such recklessness.
When a driver collides with another car, a pedestrian, or property and leaves the scene without identifying themselves or providing assistance, the accident is referred to as a "hit and run" or "hit-skip." This reckless behavior may result in serious legal repercussions because it violates traffic laws and deprives victims of the information they need to make insurance claims or pursue financial compensation for their damages.
At The Ward Law, we think that victims of hit-and-run incidents shouldn't have to deal with the financial and psychological costs brought on by someone else's careless behavior. Our hit-and-run accident attorneys are devoted to assisting you in pursuing justice and receiving the compensation you are entitled to.
We are a source of support during a difficult period, not just legal counsel. While you focus on getting better, let us handle the complicated legal issues. Together, we can make sure that Brooklyn hit-and-run accident victims get the justice and closure they require to move on.
Common scenarios leading to hit-and-run incidents
Some common situations can be triggers for this type of event. Being able to group these types of situations helps organize information and ensure that our drivers in the Brooklyn community are more informed and avoid risky situations that could lead to a hit-and-run accident in the city.
We show you some examples:
• Rear-End Collisions: A driver may rear-end another vehicle, causing damage, and then hastily leave the scene to avoid potential legal repercussions and increased insurance rates.
• Intersection Crashes: Accidents at intersections, especially when a driver blatantly disregards traffic signals, can lead to hit-and-run incidents as the at-fault driver tries to evade responsibility.
• Pedestrian Crosswalks: Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks might collide with a pedestrian and then make a quick getaway.
• Parking Lot Collisions: Even minor fender benders in parking lots can prompt hit-and-runs when drivers opt to leave without exchanging insurance information.
• Side-Impact Crashes: T-bone collisions at intersections or merging lanes can result in significant damage, leading some drivers to flee the scene to avoid consequences.
• Distracted Driving Incidents: Drivers distracted by their smartphones or other distractions may cause accidents and then leave, often unaware of the extent of the damage they've caused.
• Drunk or Impaired Driving: Impaired drivers may flee after realizing the gravity of their actions or in an attempt to evade sobriety tests and possible DUI charges.
• Uninsured or Unlicensed Drivers: Individuals without valid insurance or driver's licenses may choose to flee to escape legal penalties and potential fines.
• Stolen Vehicles: Vehicles involved in accidents that have been stolen may be abandoned by the thief, resulting in hit-and-run incidents.
• Road Rage Encounters: Aggressive driving behavior can escalate into confrontations and accidents, prompting one driver to flee the scene to avoid conflict or legal repercussions.
• Hit and Run as a Result of Panic: Drivers who panic after an accident may make the impulsive decision to flee rather than face the consequences, often not thinking clearly in the heat of the moment.
• No-Fault Insurance Fraud: In some cases, individuals involved in minor accidents engage in fraudulent hit-and-run incidents to exploit their insurance policies, which can have serious legal ramifications.
• Driver Fatigue: Fatigued drivers may become involved in accidents and leave the scene out of confusion or disorientation, not fully comprehending the situation.
• Inadequate Lighting: Accidents occurring in poorly lit areas may result in hit-and-run incidents as drivers may not fully grasp the extent of the damage in low visibility conditions.
• Reckless Motorcycle Riders: Motorcyclists involved in accidents may choose to flee due to the perception that they won't be easily identified, often making a hasty escape from the scene.
Legal Aspects of Hit and Run Accidents
Now it's time to talk about our specialty: legal aspects. It is not so easy to initially determine the legal implications that such an act can generate since an exhaustive investigation must be carried out to determine the details, those involved, and the degrees of negligence, and thus be able to determine legal responsibilities.
However, our experience of more than 30 years in the field helps us generate an outline of possible legal implications in these cases. Together with our experts, we have identified the most common legal consequences in these types of cases, taking into account the legal jurisdiction of the city of Brooklyn and the laws that apply to the State of New York.
Having a basic knowledge of this legal system will help you feel more confident when it comes to facing a legal process in which you will defend your rights alongside our experts. At first, there are terms that may seem a little strange to you, but you should not be afraid of legal concepts or knowing the laws of your city. In fact, it is already a first step to empower yourself as a citizen to be aware of the laws in which your rights are supported.
• Hit and Run Offense: Under New York law (N.Y. VTL § 600), a driver involved in an accident is legally obligated to stop and provide their information to the other parties involved, including their name, address, insurance information, and vehicle registration.
Failure to do so constitutes a crime, specifically a violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 600, which addresses leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it. The offender can face criminal charges if identified and prosecuted for this offense.
• Challenges in Identifying Offenders: Hit-and-run cases often present challenges in identifying offenders, as victims may have limited information about the fleeing driver. However, New York's legal framework recognizes these challenges and emphasizes the importance of investigative efforts and legal resources in uncovering the responsible party.
Law enforcement agencies, along with the support of eyewitnesses and evidence, work diligently to identify and apprehend hit-and-run offenders within the bounds of the law.
The Role of Eyewitnesses and Evidence in Tracking Offenders:
• Eyewitness Testimonies: Eyewitnesses play a vital role in hit-and-run cases by providing descriptions of the fleeing driver, their vehicle, and the incident itself. Their testimonies can significantly aid law enforcement investigations.
• Surveillance Footage: Security cameras, traffic cameras, and business surveillance footage can capture hit-and-run incidents, providing critical evidence for identifying the offender.
• Physical Evidence: Vehicle debris, paint transfers, and other physical evidence at the accident scene can be analyzed to determine the type of vehicle involved, aiding in the identification process.
Statute of Limitations for Hit and Run Accident Claims in New York:
• Statute of Limitations: In New York, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims resulting from hit-and-run accidents is typically three years from the date of the accident (N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214). This means victims have a limited window of time to initiate legal action.
• Notice of Claim: In cases involving government-owned vehicles or entities, such as public buses, a notice of claim may need to be filed within 90 days from the date of the accident (N.Y. Gen. Mun. Law § 50-e).
Choosing the Right Attorney:
Choosing the best lawyer for hit-and-run accidents can be a complicated task if you fail to identify the most important aspects or characteristics that your lawyer should have. First, and we will always insist on the same, a lawyer must have well-defined values. In the case of our firm, our main value is service. That is our hallmark and our motivation. Without having defined that service, we could not have remained in the field for 30 years.
That core value of our firm has allowed us to maintain constant motivation because we were no longer working only for ourselves but to serve others and to build a better community for all. The community that we will leave to future generations.
We don't want a community of misfits, irresponsible people, or drunk drivers. We want a community where people can live in peace, where each life project is carried out in harmony with its environment, and where the freedom to move through the streets without feeling that someone will harm them prevails.
Therefore, if you are going to choose a lawyer to represent your case, do not look for someone who is only in this field for money, but someone who prioritizes the human side of each case that he/she has to defend, and who is successful as a result of that. Take that into account, and you will surely find a professional with principles that will accompany you in this fight that you have decided to start.
Some other more relevant aspects to take into account when choosing a hit-and-run car accident lawyer are the following:
Experience: Look for an attorney with extensive experience handling hit-and-run accident cases, as they'll be familiar with the complexities of such cases.
Specialization: Seek an attorney who specializes in personal injury and motor vehicle accidents, including hit-and-run incidents.
Track Record: Research the attorney's track record of successful outcomes in hit-and-run cases, including settlements and verdicts.
Client Reviews: Read client reviews and testimonials to gauge the attorney's reputation and client satisfaction.
Communication: Ensure the attorney is accessible and responsive, as effective communication is crucial throughout the legal process.
Resources: Confirm that the attorney has the necessary resources, including a dedicated legal team, investigators, and experts.
Local Knowledge: Choose an attorney familiar with the local laws, courts, and procedures in Brooklyn and New York.
Negotiation Skills: Assess the attorney's negotiation skills, as many hit-and-run cases are resolved through settlements.
Litigation Experience: In case your case goes to trial, ensure your attorney has substantial trial experience and a history of courtroom success.
Understanding of Insurance: Seek an attorney who comprehends insurance matters, as hit-and-run claims often involve negotiations with insurance companies.
Compassion: Choose an attorney who demonstrates empathy and compassion for your situation, understanding the physical and emotional toll of hit-and-run accidents.
Transparency: Opt for an attorney who provides clear explanations of legal fees, expenses, and the overall legal process.
Accessibility: Confirm that the attorney is willing to meet with you for a free consultation to discuss your case.
References: Ask for references or case examples that demonstrate the attorney's ability to handle hit-and-run cases successfully.
Local Connections: An attorney with local connections and a strong network may help expedite investigations and access valuable resources.
From our firm, we wish you an easy recovery, and we also want you to find the best professional to help you be successful in defending your case. For that, we recommend contacting us and receiving the benefit of a free consultation. Our specialists are ready to meet you, and to take your case to the top, obtaining the compensation and recognition of rights that you deserve. Stay strong!