After an auto accident with a hit and run driver, you may find yourself facing a very difficult situation. Not only are you injured, but you have a damaged vehicle, other property damage, and the emotional distress associated with the accident – all without someone to hold accountable. While you should be focusing on recovering from your injuries, you now are worried about how you will cover your medical costs and lost wages. It is important to realize that the state does offer protections for those involved in hit and run accidents and, with the right attorney by your side, you can still get the compensation you need.
Receiving Assistance for Medical Bills
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident and have not located the driver who fled the scene, you still have your own insurance to handle medical costs. Your auto insurance should have medical coverage, and an attorney can help ensure the insurer pays for what they are required to pay for.
Holding Drivers Responsible
A hit and run driver cannot hide for long – especially in New York. To hold them responsible, you need an attorney who will work hard to locate them and hold them accountable for their actions. An attorney can:
- Conduct a thorough investigation to identify the driver involved. By working with the police, your attorney can provide evidence, interview witnesses, etc. Sometimes, all it takes is pulling security camera footage to find the vehicle that fled the scene and, eventually, find the driver.
- Pursue compensation through insurance. If the individual is never caught, you still have coverage under your personal injury protection or uninsured motorist coverage in your auto insurance plan. These provide adequate coverage when you cannot locate a hit and run driver right away (or ever).
Holding Drivers Liable in Civil Court
Once a hit and run driver is found, they will be held liable for their actions in criminal court, since fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. After they have been held responsible for their criminal actions, you can then hold them liable in civil court, too. You will be able to file a lawsuit against the defendant (the hit and run driver) for their negligence, and you may even be able to recover punitive damages for their reckless, malicious behavior.
You are entitled under the law to damages that compensate you for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. These damages are typically proportionate to the losses you have – which is why it important that you document any payments you make during the investigation and before the driver is located.
Because all drivers are required to stop at the scene of an accident, a hit and run is considered morally reprehensible and worthy of punitive damages, which would be on top of your compensatory damages.
Speak with a Hit and Run Accident Attorney in New York
If you have been involved in an accident where the driver fled the scene, contact the attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. We can assist you with your claim, helping you receive the compensation you deserve after a hit and run. Contact us at 1-877-737-4806, or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.