NYC Hit and Run Attorney
Being injured in a hit and run accident is a frightening experience, and victims are often left to wonder how they will pay for medical expenses and vehicle repairs. If the hit and run driver is not identified and apprehended, the options for obtaining compensation are limited. This is why it is crucial to have the right personal injury attorney by your side.
Scaffidi & Associates, a premier personal injury law firm serving clients in the greater New York area, routinely handle hit and run accidents. Our experienced attorneys are well-versed in the applicable insurance laws and have a record of achieving successful outcomes in civil litigation and settlement negotiations. Above all, we will always put your best interests first, and fight for your right to just compensation.
What is a hit and run accident?
A hit and run accident occurs when a motorist is involved in a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a fixed object, and leaves with the scene. Nonetheless, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law requires all motorists to stop and remain at the scene of accident in which injuries or property damage have occurred, exchange identification and insurance information, and render assistance if possible.
There are many reasons why hit and run drivers flee the scene of an accident. Often, the other driver may panic or flee because he or she does not have automobile insurance, has a suspended license or traffic violations, or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Whatever the reason, leaving a car accident scene is a crime, and a hit and run driver who is found can face criminal charges, civil legal action, and other consequences.
Finding the other driver can be challenging, however, even though surveillance cameras and smartphones are everywhere and many car accidents are captured on video. This is why it is so important to call the police immediately after a hit and run accident. Not only can law enforcement begin an investigation to identify and apprehend the hit and run driver, the police report will serve as critical evidence in your injury claim.
What are my options for compensation in a hit and run accident?
Obtaining compensation can be complicated in a hit and run accident. If the other driver can be identified, a personal injury claim can be brought against that individual, regardless of whether he or she faces criminal charges or is convicted. Our legal team will conduct a thorough investigation to identify the hit and run driver, by working with the police, as well as a network of respected car accident investigators. We will examine evidence of the accident, such as debris left behind, damage to your car (e.g., paint marks), and any available security camera footage to identify and find the vehicle and the fleeing driver.
Once the other driver is located, we will pursue a personal injury claim to help you obtain compensatory damages, including lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage. If you have sustained a serious injury (as that term is defined under Article 51 of the New York Insurance Law), you may also be entitled to damages for your injuries and pain and suffering. Finally, punitive damages may also be available that are intended to punish the other driver for his or her egregious behavior and to deter others from leaving the scene of a car accident.
There are also compensation options available when the fleeing driver has not been found. In New York, all insurance companies are required to provide Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage, which enables you to file a claim with your own insurance company for drivers and passengers injured in accidents with uninsured drivers — including hit and run drivers.
The minimum amount of coverage must be equal to the mandatory minimum coverage:
- $25,000 for injuries to one person and $50,000 for the death of one person in a one-car accident
- $50,000 for injuries to multiple people and $100,000 for deaths of multiple people in a one-car accident
- $10,000 for property damage in a one-car accident
However, there are strict deadlines for filing an uninsured motorist claim under most auto insurance policies, otherwise the insurer will deny the claim. You must also have proof that an accident actually occurred, which is why it is so important to call the police immediately after a hit and run accident. Do not chase after the other driver. Stay at the scene until the police and emergency services personnel arrive, and seek medical attention if you believe you have been injured. The medical report will serve as important evidence in your claim, just as failing to be medically evaluated may disqualify you for compensation.
NYC Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
If you are the victim of a hit and run accident you may have many questions. Why did the other driver leave the accident scene? How did this happen? How will I handle the costs of medical expenses and repairs? The hit and run accident attorneys at Scaffidi & Associates will handle your claim with a powerful combination of compassion, knowledge, and exceptional personal service.
Our legal team will explain all of your rights and explore all of your options for compensation, whether by pursuing a lawsuit against the other driver, or filing a UM claim against your own insurance company. Although insurers often attempt to deny UM accident claims or pay out as little money as possible, we will leverage our knowledge and negotiating skills to level the playing field. If the insurer does not make a reasonable offer, we are fully prepared to litigate the matter in court. We believe that hit and run accidents are inexcusable, and know how to fight for your rights. Call our office today or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a free consultation.