While being in a car accident is stressful, there is usually a mutual understanding that both drivers will discuss the next steps with their insurance companies and law enforcement. However, what happens if the other person leaves the scene? Regardless of how small an accident seems, both drivers must share their personal information and report it to the authorities.
What Is A Hit And Run?
In legal terms, a hit-and-run is when a driver leaves the scene without sharing their information with you or reporting it to the police. The act of leaving an accident is illegal in most states. You can face serious consequences, even if you weren’t at fault. In New York, for example, being involved in a hit-and-run can lead to heavy fines and even jail time, especially if the accident left the victim injured. If the other driver isn’t caught, you may even be stuck paying for the damages. Always consult your insurance provider to protect yourself against this kind of incident.
Should You Chase The Other Driver After A Hit And Run?
Under no circumstances should you chase a driver after a hit-and-run incident. In some cases, chasing them can result in your insurance company denying your coverage. You must never forget that you do not know this person and what they are capable of. It may be frustrating to see them leave the scene, but chasing the other driver down is a dangerous move that can lead to further complications.
What To Do If You’re A Victim Of A Hit And Run Incident
Even if the other driver left, you could still take a few precautionary steps if you’re in this situation. Here’s what you can do immediately after the accident to protect yourself.
#1 Assess The Damage
Before anything, you need to see what the damage level is. Check to see if you have any personal injuries, and take note of your vehicle’s damages for when the police arrive. If you or another person is injured, call 911 immediately to have medical personnel on the scene as soon as possible.
#2 Notify Law Enforcement
Once you’ve evaluated your situation and made sure you and everyone involved is safe, immediately notify the police. With only 10% of hit-and-run cases ever being solved, the longer you wait, the lower your chances are of catching the culprit. Get law enforcement on the scene as soon as possible. The faster you give them your information, the earlier they can start with your case. Make sure they give you a copy of their report for your insurance company.
#3 Take Detailed Notes Of The Scene
As soon as you can, gather as much evidence as you can remember. Any features like license plate numbers, vehicle make and year, car color, or a detailed description of the other driver can help law enforcement. Taking pictures of the scene can also be helpful as it shows concrete proof of the damage done.
#4 Get Witness Information
If there were any witnesses present, ask if they’re willing to give a statement to the authorities. They may have valuable information about the other driver to aid the investigation. If your accident was near a store, ask to see the owner’s security cameras to check if they recorded the incident.
Can You Collect Damages After A Hit And Run In New York?
With New York being a no-fault state, you need to file a claim with your insurance’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. However, you may not receive total compensation if your damages exceed your insurance payout or for any property damages. If the other driver isn’t located, you can file a claim if your policy has uninsured motorist coverage under certain circumstances.
A Professional Attorney Can Help You
If you’ve been a hit-and-run accident victim, you’re probably wondering what to do next. While you may have some compensation under New York’s no-fault law, not having the other driver present can make the insurance claim process a lot more complicated. In this case, our experienced accident attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you have any questions about your case, contact our New York offices by phone at 866-506-3694 to schedule an appointment.
You can also reach out using our contact form on the website for a free consultation with an experienced accident lawyer today.