Man talking on the cellphone after a hit and run accident

Hit and run accidents are a distressing reality in New York, leaving victims in a whirlwind of confusion, fear, and frustration. Such incidents not only result in physical injuries but also bring about legal complexities and emotional turmoil. Understanding the implications of these accidents is crucial for anyone affected. It’s about knowing your rights, the steps to take immediately after the incident, and how to navigate the legal labyrinth that often follows.

Understanding Hit and Run Accidents

Hit and run accidents occur when a driver involved in an incident, typically causing injury or property damage, flees the scene without providing contact information or offering assistance. These accidents can range from minor vehicle damage in a parking lot to severe collisions resulting in significant injuries or fatalities. The nature of a hit and run adds a layer of complexity to the incident, as the responsible party attempts to evade accountability. This action not only compounds the physical and emotional distress of the victims but also complicates the legal process of seeking justice and compensation.

Understanding the dynamics of hit and run accidents is crucial for both prevention and response. Common causes include driver panic, lack of insurance, fear of legal repercussions, or driving under the influence. For victims, these accidents present unique challenges, such as identifying the fleeing driver and dealing with insurance companies in the absence of the at-fault party. The uncertainty and complexity surrounding hit and run incidents underscore the importance of informed legal guidance and support in navigating the aftermath.

Legal Consequences of Hit and Run in New York

In New York, the legal consequences of a hit and run can be severe, reflecting the seriousness with which the state treats these incidents. Legally, drivers involved in any accident that results in injury or property damage are required to stop and exchange information. Failing to do so constitutes a hit and run, which can lead to significant legal repercussions. For property damage, it’s classified as a misdemeanor, but if the accident results in injury, the charges escalate to felonies, depending on the severity of the injuries. 

The legal penalties can include hefty fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment, especially in cases involving serious injuries or fatalities. Additionally, a hit and run can have substantial implications for civil liability. Victims may pursue compensation through civil lawsuits, and the act of fleeing the scene can be seen as an admission of guilt, impacting the outcome of these legal proceedings. This underscores the importance of understanding one’s legal obligations and potential consequences in the event of an accident in New York.

Steps to Take After a Hit and Run

  • Ensure Safety First: Move to a safe location and check for any injuries. If medical attention is needed, call 911 immediately. Safety and health are the top priorities following an accident.
  • Call the Police: Report the accident as soon as possible. A police report is crucial for documenting the incident, even if the hit and run driver has fled the scene.
  • Gather Evidence: If possible, collect as much information as you can – take photos of the scene, your vehicle, and any injuries. Note details like the time, location, and any characteristics of the fleeing vehicle or driver.
  • Look for Witnesses: Identify anyone who might have witnessed the accident and ask for their contact information. Witness statements can be invaluable in hit and run cases.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance provider about the hit and run promptly. Understanding your policy’s coverage for such incidents is important.
  • Seek Legal Advice: Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in hit and run cases. They can guide you through the legal process and help in seeking compensation.
  • Keep Records: Document everything related to the accident and its aftermath, including medical expenses, repair costs, and any correspondence with insurance companies or law enforcement.

Navigating Insurance Claims and Compensation

Navigating insurance claims and compensation after a hit and run in New York can be a complex and daunting task. Typically, victims rely on their own insurance policies, particularly the uninsured motorist coverage, to seek compensation for damages and injuries. However, insurance companies often require substantial evidence to process these claims, emphasizing the importance of the evidence collected immediately after the incident. Additionally, dealing with insurers can be challenging, as they may attempt to minimize payouts.

Securing fair compensation often necessitates legal assistance. A knowledgeable attorney can be instrumental in negotiating with insurance companies, ensuring that victims receive the compensation they rightfully deserve. They can help in accurately assessing the damages, from medical expenses to lost wages, and advocate on behalf of the victim throughout the claim process. 

How We Can Help

At Civardi & Obiol, we provide comprehensive legal support to victims of hit and run accidents throughout Hempstead and Nassau County. Our experienced team is adept at navigating the complex legal and insurance landscapes that these cases entail. We offer personalized guidance, from investigating the incident and gathering evidence to dealing with insurance companies and pursuing fair compensation. Our commitment is to advocate tirelessly for your rights, ensuring that justice is served and that you are compensated for your losses and suffering. We understand the challenges you face and are dedicated to making this process as smooth and effective as possible for you.

Contact an Experienced Hit and Run Attorney in Hempstead

Dealing with the aftermath of a hit and run can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. Civardi & Obiol can provide the support and guidance you need if you or a loved one has been injured in Hempstead. Reach out to us for a consultation, and let’s work together to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.