Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in NYC
A car crash is frustrating. It can 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 to handle by yourself.
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 right now just for you to get an understanding of the different scenarios and the type of people we are dealing with, assuming that we could track the at-fault driver down.
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 do 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 instantly flee the crash scene.
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 that driving without these documents is illegal and could result in serious consequences. These could include 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. This mistake 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.
We are all vulnerable to delinquency. Hit-and-run accidents are often caused by criminals fleeing from police. They might be fleeing from 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.
Prior Legal Issues
Some people run away from accidents they caused. 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.
People with outstanding warrants or under parole may face serious consequences if they are caught again. 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 a chance for the at-fault driver 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 serious injuries, they are eligible to 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, then the UM coverage will assist the victims to cover medical expenses. This is why UM coverage is mandatory for every person that wants 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 give a low settlement.
They are supported by multiple attorneys, claim specialists, and other experts. Their goal is to discourage you and present facts that may lead to a low compensation figure. This information may be difficult to understand for someone without the necessary skills.
In certain cases, 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.
Now, in a hit-and-run accident, you are entitled to receive compensatory damages and punitive damages. Within compensatory damages, there are 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 are noneconomic damages. 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 provide compensation to 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 fatalities.
With a hit-and-run accident happening every 43 seconds, everyone must understand how to deal with these scenarios. No one wants to be in a car accident. However, if it happens, you know The Ward Law Group, PL can provide assistance.
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.
- That at that time and place, the defendant knew or had cause to know about personal injury had been caused to another person.
- That the at-fault driver did not provide any kind of information about him/her like the license or insurance identification card of their vehicle.
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:
It is considered a serious 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 serious 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.
- License suspension
- License revocation
- Mandatory traffic school
- Community service
Every action has consequences. A hit-and-run accident can have long-lasting effects on the driver's personal and professional life. These consequences can be severe.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
At The Ward Law Group, PL we understand how frustrating 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. You will have the time to recover while knowing you will be fairly compensated. Call us now at 855-dolor-55 for a free consultation and you will be answered all the questions you may have.