Being involved in an in-vehicle accident can be an event that stirs up many emotions, such as anxiety, anger, or frustration. Even when you comply with all safety measures, respect traffic laws, and are fully attentive behind the wheel, you can never fully control the actions of those around you.
Thus, living in a big city like Queens can sometimes expose your safety due to the negligence of others. In a hit-and-run crash, the usual thing is that those responsible disappear from the scene of the incident, many times out of fear, others for not wanting to be accountable to justice, or for being repeat offenders in this type of event; it is normal that this type of irresponsible drivers do not take responsibility for their actions.
In the event of such an event, the first thing to do is to assess whether your integrity is completely safe. Check if you show any injury or feel any pain as a result of the impact. After performing a simple discharge, you should remain calm, look around to see if the person responsible for the act is still at the scene, and then evaluate the possibility of contacting your insurer, and if necessary, contact the police.
The fact that the person responsible for the act is on the run can generate very bitter feelings. You may not understand his reasons. It is not your obligation to understand every crazy driver who drives negligently on the street.
However, briefly making these reflections may help you see the situation from a more holistic perspective. It is not possible to determine exactly what reasons a driver might have for committing such irresponsibility.
The prevention information is massive; even here, we have mentioned more than once ad nauseam the importance of maintaining responsible driving. In real life, though, sometimes things happen anyway. So, once you verify that your integrity is safe, contacting one of our lawyers would also be a strategic move.
At The Ward Law Group, we have many years of experience in these types of cases. We know how to proceed efficiently from the first minute of the incident, in addition to conducting the necessary investigations and gathering the necessary evidence to move towards a favorable outcome in legal terms.
The details in this type of process are vital to finally get the desired compensation, the fairest agreement that can compensate at least a part of the bad time that a person is exposed to by the irresponsibility of a third party.
If you have been involved in a situation of this nature, don't waste any more valuable time and contact one of our lawyers for hit-and-run accidents right now for a free case evaluation.
Understanding Hit and Run Accidents
Accidents involving hits and runs present distressing and complicated circumstances that call for immediate attention. We'll delve into the key elements of hit-and-run incidents in this section, including their definitions, the various types, situations that frequently result in such incidents, and the legal repercussions that hit-and-run offenders must endure.
Definition and Types of Hit and Run Accidents
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver involved in a collision leaves the scene without providing their contact information or offering assistance to injured parties. This type of accident can involve pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles, or property. Hit-and-run accidents are characterized by the driver's evasion of responsibilities, making them a serious legal and ethical concern.
There are two main types of hit-and-run accidents:
- Driver strikes a pedestrian or cyclist and then leaves the scene without rendering aid or exchanging information. This is known as a "pedestrian or cyclist hit and run." Due to the vulnerability of cyclists and pedestrians on the road, these incidents have the potential to cause serious injuries or even fatalities.
- Vehicle Hit and Run: In this case, a driver collides with another car and then flees the scene without taking care of the problem. As a result, there may be property damage, injuries to other passengers, and a difficult recovery for the victim.
Common Scenarios Leading to Hit and Run Incidents
Hit-and-run accidents can occur in various situations, often driven by factors such as panic, negligence, or criminal intent. Common scenarios include:
- Fear of Consequences: A driver who is uninsured or whose license has been suspended may try to get away to avoid facing legal repercussions.
- Alcohol or drug intoxication: Drivers who are inebriated may flee for fear of being stopped and arrested for DUI.
- Criminals engaged in other illegal activities, such as car theft, may decide to run away rather than be apprehended.
- Negligence: A driver who is inattentive, drowsy, or reckless may flee rather than take responsibility for their actions.
- Lack of awareness: In some cases, the driver may not even be aware that they were the cause of an accident, causing them to hit and run without realizing it.
Legal Consequences for Hit and Run Perpetrators
Hit-and-run accidents in Queens have serious legal consequences. In New York and Queens, leaving the scene of an accident, regardless of the severity, is a criminal offense. Consequences can include fines, license suspension or revocation, and even imprisonment. Moreover, hit-and-run accidents can result in civil liability, where the responsible driver is held accountable for compensating the victims for their injuries and damages.
It's critical for hit-and-run accident victims to get legal counsel as soon as possible. A knowledgeable hit-and-run accident attorney can assist victims in navigating the complex legal system, locating the at-fault party, and pursuing fair compensation.
People can protect their rights and make educated decisions about their legal options by being aware of the implications of hit-and-run accidents.
Determining Liability and Challenges in Hit-and-Run Cases
Establishing liability in hit-and-run cases is one of the biggest obstacles. Hit-and-run accidents involve an unidentified or evasive driver, unlike typical accidents where the parties involved can exchange information and work with law enforcement.
Liability assessment becomes crucial in these situations. To find and hold the guilty party accountable, victims must rely on available evidence, eyewitness accounts, and the knowledge of legal experts.
Added complications in hit-and-run situations include:
- Limited Physical Evidence: Depending on the situation, there may not have been much physical evidence left at the crime scene, making it difficult to identify the perpetrator.
- Witness Reliability: The identification process is made more uncertain by the variability of eyewitness accounts and the potential for memory recall errors.
- Time Sensitivity: In the event of a hit-and-run, it is crucial to act quickly to protect the evidence and track down potential witnesses before their memories fade.
The Role of Eyewitnesses and Evidence in Tracking Offenders
Eyewitnesses are crucial in hit-and-run investigations. Their firsthand accounts of the incident may contain vital details that help law enforcement and legal experts locate the evading driver. Witnesses may remember the vehicle's description, the license plate number, and even the driver's appearance.
Eyewitness testimony can, however, contain biases and inaccuracies, which emphasizes the need for a thorough investigation.
In hit-and-run cases, gathering physical evidence is as important as obtaining eyewitness testimony. This could entail:
- Close-by security cameras may have recorded the collision, giving important information about the involved car.
- Physical Debris: Gathering physical debris from the accident scene can aid in determining the kind of vehicle involved and any potential damages.
- Skid Marks: Skid marks on the road can offer insights into the sequence of events leading up to the accident.
Statute of Limitations for Hit and Run Accident Claims in New York
The deadlines for filing legal claims must be understood by hit-and-run accident victims. The statute of limitations in New York is typically three years from the accident date for personal injury claims resulting from hit-and-run incidents.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits brought about by hit-and-run incidents is two years from the date of the victim's passing.
The right to seek compensation may be lost if a claim is not submitted within the allotted time period, so quick action is essential. Early legal advice from a hit-and-run accident lawyer can help victims meet these deadlines and create a compelling case for the compensation they are entitled to.
Injury and Medical Implications
Hit-and-run accidents can result in a range of injuries, from mild to severe, with potentially life-changing consequences. In this section, we will explore the typical injuries sustained in hit-and-run accidents, the critical importance of seeking immediate medical attention, and how medical records can significantly enhance a victim's legal claim.
Typical Injuries Sustained in Hit-and-Run Accidents
Hit-and-run accidents encompass a wide spectrum of collisions, each with its own potential for causing injuries. Some common injuries sustained in these accidents include:
- Whiplash: A sudden impact may cause the head to jerk backward and forward, inflicting neck strain.
- Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and other head injuries can result from a collision's impact.
- Back and spinal injuries, including herniated discs and fractures, are possible as a result of the collision's force.
- Fractures and broken bones are possible after an accident due to the impact, especially to the limbs.
- Soft tissue injuries can result in pain and restricted mobility. These injuries can affect muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Organ damage or internal bleeding are examples of internal injuries that can result from collision forces.
The Importance of Immediate Medical Attention
Seeking immediate medical attention after a hit-and-run accident is crucial for several reasons:
- Hidden Injuries: Some injuries, like concussions or internal wounds, may not show symptoms right away. A prompt medical examination may reveal hidden injuries that need to be treated.
- Documentation: For proving a link between the incident and the victims' injuries, medical records are crucial evidence. The correlation is stronger the earlier treatment is sought.
- Preventing Complications: Quick medical attention can stop injuries from getting worse and lessen the likelihood of complications in the future.
- Legal Implications: Delaying medical care may cast doubt on the severity of injuries, which may make a victim's case for compensation less compelling.
How Medical Records Can Strengthen a Legal Claim
Medical records are crucial in cases of hit-and-run accidents. These records offer verified proof of the illnesses, medical expenses, and injuries sustained. A hit-and-run car accident lawyer can use these documents to prove a causal connection between the accident and the victim's damages.
Key components of medical records that can strengthen a legal claim include:
- Diagnosis and Treatment: Medical records describe the diagnosis, the course of treatment, and the medications that were prescribed, highlighting the severity of the injuries and the required medical attention.
- Medical Expenses: The financial impact of the injuries is shown by the documentation of medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and other related expenses.
- Prognosis: Evaluations of the long-term effects of injuries made by medical professionals can be used to support claims for future medical expenses and ongoing care.
The crucial role that an NYC hit-and-run accident attorney plays in assisting victims in navigating the complexities of their legal process and obtaining the compensation they are due will be discussed in more detail in the section that follows.
Types of Compensation Available for Hit-and-Run Accident Victims
To address the numerous effects of the incident, victims of hit-and-run accidents may be entitled to different types of compensation:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation pays for both present and future medical expenses, such as hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, and specialized therapies.
- Lost Wages: Victims who miss work because of their injuries may be entitled to financial compensation. This covers both current absences and lowered earning potential in the future.
- Physical suffering, emotional discomfort, and mental agony brought on by the accident and its aftermath may be covered by compensation.
- Property Damage: Victims can file a claim for compensation to cover the cost of repairing or replacing any damaged property, including their car or other personal belongings.
- Loss of Consortium: Compensation may be sought for the loss of support and companionship from a spouse or family member if the accident has negatively impacted relationships.
Factors Influencing Compensation Amounts
Several factors influence the compensation amounts awarded to hit-and-run accident victims:
- Impact on Quality of Life: When awarding compensation, the long-term effects of injuries on the victim's capacity to work, engage in activities, and enjoy life are taken into account.
- Lost Income: The amount of compensation may include payment for past and future lost wages resulting from the inability to work.
- Injury severity: A key factor in determining compensation is the degree of the victim's physical and emotional suffering. Higher compensation is typically given in cases of severe injuries.
Evaluating your case on a personalized basis will give us a broader vision of the possible compensations that you could obtain after initiating a legal process with our counsel.
Do not waste any more time and contact one of our Queens hit-and-run accident lawyers to take the first step and get the justice your case deserves. We will be in this together from the very first moment. Serving our community is what motivates us every day to continue working for a safer Queens for everyone.