man calls insurance company and inspects after a hit and run car accident.
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By Richard Obiol
Principal Attorney

The chaos and unpredictability of New York’s bustling streets can sometimes lead to unfortunate hit and run accidents. In these incidents, victims are left not only with physical injuries but also grappling with the challenge of identifying and holding the responsible party accountable. Here’s what to know about bringing a personal injury claim in a hit and run accident. 

What is a Hit and Run Accident?

Hit and run accidents occur when a driver involved in a collision leaves the scene without stopping to exchange information or render assistance, as required by law. Victims are often left in a vulnerable position, uncertain about the identity of the responsible party.

Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident

If you find yourself a victim of a hit and run accident in New York, taking immediate steps is crucial. These may include:

  • Seeking immediate medical attention (calling 911).
  • Noting the license plate number of the fleeing vehicle.
  • Gathering witness statements and contact information.
  • Documenting the scene with photographs.
  • Reporting the incident to law enforcement promptly.

New York’s “No-Fault” Insurance System

New York operates under a “no-fault” insurance system, which means that regardless of who is at fault in an accident, each party’s insurance covers their own medical expenses and other economic losses. However, for non-economic damages and cases involving serious injuries, victims may pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of auto insurance coverage that provides protection for the policyholder, if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or has inadequate insurance coverage. It can cover medical expenses, property damage, and other losses resulting from the accident. In New York, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory, and every auto insurance policy must include this coverage, unless it is explicitly rejected in writing by the policyholder.

Seeking Compensation Beyond No-Fault Benefits

In hit and run cases, victims may qualify for compensation beyond the limitations of no-fault benefits, especially if they have sustained serious injuries. Pursuing a personal injury claim against the unidentified hit and run driver becomes essential to recover damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic losses.

Cooperation with law enforcement is critical in hit and run cases. Promptly reporting the incident and providing any available information to investigators increases the chances of identifying the responsible party. Law enforcement efforts may include checking surveillance footage, witness interviews, and other investigative measures.

Statute of Limitations

Victims of hit and run accidents must be mindful of the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in New York. Failing to file a claim within three years of the accident may result in the loss of the right to seek compensation.

Hit and run accidents present unique challenges for victims seeking compensation for their losses. While the immediate aftermath may be disorienting, understanding the available legal avenues and seeking prompt legal representation can empower victims to pursue justice. 

The Attorneys at Civardi & Obiol Help Those in New York Who Have Been Injured in a Hit and Run Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run accident, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the potential legal remedies available to you. A knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyer can advocate for justice and to do their best to hold those responsible accountable. 

At Civardi & Obiol, our qualified New York personal injury attorneys will help to walk you through the process every step of the way. We will fight for your rights. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, contact us.

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