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A car crash can be frustrating and lead to painful injuries. Dealing with the insurance company and the other driver's defense can be challenging.

Imagine being involved in a hit-and-run car accident. The at-fault driver fled the scene. The insurance company is denying full coverage for your losses. This must be hard for you to handle.

The Ward Law Group offers experienced legal help for New York hit-and-run accident cases. We can guide you through the process.

Before the deadline, file the required paperwork. Track down the at-fault driver who left the accident scene. Negotiate with the insurance company to get the compensation you need, not what they want to give you.

Common Causes of Hit and Run Accidents

Multiple causes may be involved when a hit-and-run accident occurs. We'll show you the most common causes to help you understand the different scenarios and types of people we deal with, assuming we can track down the at-fault driver.


One of the most common causes of a hit-and-run accident in New York is fear. They might be overwhelmed and get a panic attack after the crash. Not everyone is out to harm. Perhaps they are inexperienced drivers and don't know what to do next.

Imagine a teenager who has taken their parent's car without permission. Fear may cause them to flee the crash scene instantly.


DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is a charge that some people may want to avoid at all costs, even though they know they have hurt someone in the other car they just crashed. Negligent people may be drunk drivers. They know they are in trouble and do not want to face the consequences. This motivates them to flee the accident, leading to a hit-and-run.

Unlicensed or Uninsured

People involved in a car accident may flee if they are unlicensed or uninsured. They know driving without these documents is illegal and could have serious consequences, including high fines, license suspension or revocation, and potential imprisonment.

The lack of documents will limit their legal protection. This will result in increased liability, forcing them to pay for it instead of an insurance company.

Time has passed, and they have cleared their mistake, which may have taken several years to fix. Now, they want to get insurance. If their mistake is not denied coverage, insurance companies will mark them as high-risk drivers, resulting in higher premiums.

Criminal Activity

We are all vulnerable to delinquency. Hit-and-run accidents are often caused by criminals fleeing from police. They might be fleeing a crime scene, such as a robbery or murder. To escape from the police, they won't hesitate to crash other cars.

These types of drivers are the most dangerous.

Some people run away from accidents they cause. This is because they already have legal trouble.

They know that a car accident could lead to them being sent back to jail. They will take the chance to flee the scene. They will turn the accident into a hit-and-run, not caring about the destruction or people they leave behind.

If caught again, people with outstanding warrants or under parole may face serious consequences. This is a strong motivation for them to flee.

Hit and Run Laws in NY

In New York, if someone leaves the scene of a car accident, they must show their license and insurance identification card. Failure to do so is a class A misdemeanor.

Fortunately, police officers are patrolling the city. This gives the at-fault driver a chance to be caught if they flee the scene of a car accident.

Officers are trained to be vigilant and note any suspicious cars with signs of a recent crash. These signs may include dents, scratches, deployed airbags, broken glass, debris, or fresh paint transfer. This is enough probable cause for the car to be pulled over.

The at-fault driver may evade a police officer. Our lawyer for hit-and-run accidents at The Ward Law Group can then find incriminatory evidence to locate that driver. This can be done using information from eyewitnesses, traffic light cameras, or private investigators.

Regarding the compensatory money for the hit-and-run victim, there can be different scenarios.

  • The driver responsible for the accident has car insurance. It covers the victim's damages up to a certain point. If the victim sustained severe injuries, they can seek additional compensation. Besides, the at-fault driver will face extra charges for the hit-and-run accident.
  • The at-fault driver was located, but he/she does not have car insurance that covers the victim's damages. Uninsured Motorist coverage is mandatory in these cases. It complements PIP to help the victim cover their expenses. However, this coverage only applies to bodily injury due to accidents in New York State. It does not cover auto body damage.
  • The at-fault driver was not located. If this happens, UM coverage will assist the victims in covering medical expenses. This is why UM coverage is mandatory for everyone wanting to drive a car.

Compensation for Hit and Run Accidents

Car accidents can be financially burdensome. A hit-and-run accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies often try to offer low settlements.

They are supported by multiple attorneys, claim specialists, and other experts. They aim to discourage you and present facts that may lead to a low compensation figure. This information may be difficult for someone without the necessary skills to understand.

Sometimes, an experienced hit-and-run accident attorney can help you combat any objections they may raise. They will be by your side throughout the entire process.

In a hit-and-run accident, you are entitled to compensation and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include economic and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages are intended to restore a victim's financial losses. These include medical bills, prescription medication costs, treatment and therapy costs, lost wages, and loss of income earning capacity. It's imperative to save all documents to prove those expenses.

On the other hand, there is noneconomic damage. These damages are intended to compensate the victim for intangible losses. Examples of such losses include: - Loss of enjoyment of life - Mental anguish - Permanent disability - Disfigurement - Loss of consortium.

Punitive damages are awarded to punish a hit-and-run driver. Compensatory damages, on the other hand, aim to compensate an injury victim for their losses.

Hit and Run Statistics in NY

In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated 737,100 hit-and-run crashes. This was the highest number of hit-and-run fatalities on record, with 2,049 deaths.

With a hit-and-run accident every 43 seconds, everyone must understand how to deal with these scenarios. No one wants to be in a car accident. However, you know The Ward Law Group can assist if it happens.

Proving Liability for a Hit and Run Accident

Police officers or we must find the at-fault driver. This requires a lot of work. After the driver is found, they must be held liable for the incident.

The law says that for you to find the defendant guilty of this crime, the people are required to prove, from all of the evidence in the case, beyond a reasonable doubt, each of the following three elements:

  • That the defendant was driving his/her car in the county on the specified accident date.
  • The defendant knew or had cause to know that another person had suffered personal injury at that time and place.
  • The at-fault driver provided no information about themselves or their vehicle's license or insurance identification card.


What if the hit-and-run driver is charged with a crime?

In some cases, the severity of the crash and the damages it caused will determine the punishment for the driver. Possible consequences include:

Criminal Charges

It is considered a severe offense, and the driver may face criminal charges, including the following.

  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Reckless driving
  • Vehicular assault
  • Vehicular manslaughter if the accident resulted in severe injury or death.

They will have to go through the legal process, which includes arraignment, pre-trial hearings, and, if necessary, a trial.

Penalties and Sentencing

A judge will determine the penalties for the crime. The penalties will depend on the evidence that proves them guilty. They could face various forms of punishment.

  • Fines
  • Probation
  • License suspension
  • License revocation
  • Mandatory traffic school
  • Community service
  • Imprisonment

Criminal Record

Every action has consequences. A hit-and-run accident can have severe, long-lasting effects on the driver's personal and professional life.

Contact a Hit-and-Run Car Accident Lawyer in NYC

At The Ward Law Group, we understand how frustrating it can be to have suffered injuries from a hit-and-run accident and, on top of that, to take care of everything that involves the insurance, the gathering of evidence, trying to find the at-fault driver, and more and more stress that will result in no good things for you.

Our New York car accident attorneys are here for you. They will handle everything you need so you can feel secure. Knowing you will be fairly compensated, you will have the time to recover. Call us now at 855-DOLOR-55 for a free consultation, and you will answer all your questions.