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stats, laws and what to do after a hit and run
Leaving the scene of an accident (also known as a hit and run) is a felony in New York. no matter how minor the collision, you have a legal obligation to identify yourself and offer assistance to anyone who needs help.
Reading: How to claim hit and run insurance
It doesn’t matter who’s to blame. you hit and run if you leave the scene of an accident, even if you did not cause the collision.
An “accident” is any collision with a vehicle, person, or property damage (to any stationary object such as a house, railing, utility pole, fence, etc.).
any legal requirements after an accident
This is what to do if you have a collision with any object or person while driving:
- stop to see if anyone is injured or if there is any damage.
- share your contact and insurance information with the other driver. also be sure to get their contact and insurance information.
- call 911 or your local police dispatch if someone is injured, killed, or if there is damage totaling more than $1,500. wait for an officer to arrive and file a report.
- vtl 600-1a: For accidents where there is only property damage and no injuries, this law requires that you must share your license and information insurance with other drivers. you don’t need to call the police if no one was hurt and the cost appears to be less than $1,000 in damages.
- vtl 600-2a: For an accident that involves injuries, the driver must call the police and file a report (unless they are not physically incapacitated to do so) ) . They must also share insurance information and personal contact information with all parties involved, regardless of who is at fault.
- Property Damage Only: Provide your driver’s license, insurance, and registration information to the other driver.
- parked vehicle or other property damage, or if a pet is injured: If you cannot locate the owner, you should contact the police.
- property damage is $1,000 or more: each driver involved must file a car accident report with dmv.
- if there is an injury or death: you must notify the police immediately. each driver involved and the police must file a report with the dmv.
- do not attempt to chase or stop the driver. You may be tempted to follow the other driver if you can see them fleeing the scene, but don’t. For one thing, it’s never safe to engage in any type of car chase. Second, the driver may be intoxicated, armed, or dangerous. catching the driver is not worth putting his own life (and the lives of others) in danger.
- call the police. Even if you are not injured and the damage is minimal, it can only benefit you to have a police report on file. it’s their job to assess the situation when they arrive.
- take detailed notes. Write down everything you can remember about how the accident happened. if you can remember any identifying details about the car or driver, those are important too. For example, make a note of the license plate number, make, model, and color of the car, if possible. if you were able to see the driver, note any physical characteristics (tall, short, dark hair, glasses, etc.).
- take photos of car accidents. a picture is worth a thousand words…or so the saying goes. If you have a smartphone, taking a few photos is a quick and easy way to get a good record of the damage and circumstances of the accident. Be sure to photograph any damage to your car or other property, street signs or signs in the area, any other conditions that may provide information (weather, road conditions, etc.). don’t be afraid to go overboard with the photo, you can always delete them later. taking pictures of the scene from all angles can help your case if you need it.
- gather information from witnesses. if there are witnesses, gather their contact information. Write down their names, phone numbers, email addresses, and other pertinent information for anyone who may have observed what happened. Even if they think they didn’t see anything important, sometimes the little details that don’t seem relevant to other people are actually very important to the police and lawyers.
- call your insurance company. You can file a report without filing a claim, but you could lose your chance to file a claim if you wait too long. Under new york pip insurance law, you should be able to get some compensation for your injuries and damages, even if the other driver cannot be located.
- Contact a car accident attorney. If you were unable to identify or locate the driver, an experienced attorney can launch their own investigation into who the at-fault driver is and how to find them, so you can recover compensation. In hit and run cases that result in serious injuries, this may be the only way to get full compensation for all of your injuries.
there are 2 statutes under new york vehicle & traffic law that establishes the requirements for a vehicle accident.
if the accident only results in property damage and you can’t locate the other driver (for example, you hit another car in a parking lot), you can leave your contact and insurance information on a note attached to the other vehicle’s windshield .if you cannot locate the owner of the vehicle, you should report the accident to the local police department.
how to file an accident report in new york
Trust us when we say you don’t want to be charged with a hit and run. it is important to know the process to correctly file an accident report.
new york requires a report to be filed with the dmv within 10 days if there is property damage over $1,000. that includes not only damage to the other vehicle, but also to your car.
what are the penalties for a hit and run in new york?
If you leave the scene of an injury accident in New York, you can be criminally charged and receive a sentence of up to 1 year in jail. if there is serious injury or death, it becomes a felony and can be sentenced to up to 7 years in jail.
Severity of violations for a hit and run accident in new york
is there ever a defense for a hit and run accident?
Some hit and run defendants will argue an error of fact. they might argue that they didn’t really know they hit another vehicle or person, or that they believed there was no damage.
The other possibility is that the other driver was present and believes there was no damage. if the at-fault driver is told not to worry about it or that it’s nothing, and the driver drives off without providing contact or insurance information, this could also serve as a valid defense.
what to do if you are the victim of a hit and run accident
If a driver hits you in traffic and tries to flee the scene, or you walk to your car and find damage that wasn’t there before, here’s what to do:
what if the driver gives you false information?
A hit and run isn’t always someone who hits your car and flees the scene. It can also be when the driver gives you false information, such as a false name and phone number, and then you have no way of contacting him later.
If you’re in an accident, ask to see your driver’s license, registration, and insurance card. Even if the damage is so minor that you don’t think you’ll file a claim, it’s good to have this information in case you later discover the damage is greater than it initially appeared. Unless you’re an auto expert, it’s hard to tell just by looking at your car what might be damaged under the exterior.
The possibility of false information is also why it is important to take photos of the car and license plate. even if the driver provides a fake name and number, they can usually still be found if they have their license plate number.
how to collect damages after a hit and run in new york
new york requires drivers to be covered by no-fault insurance. That means that if you suffered a physical injury, the costs of your medical treatment may be covered by your No-Fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy. that policy will not cover damage to your vehicle or non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.
new york auto insurance also includes uninsured motorist coverage, which may cover damage to your car under certain circumstances. To make a claim against your uninsured motorist coverage, you must prove that your vehicle made physical contact with another vehicle.
A hit and run accident will be more difficult to prove than an accident where the other driver cooperates to share information. but there are ways to get the damage you need to cover your costs.
An experienced attorney has access to investigators, medical experts, financial professionals, and others who can help you recover damages. The Enjuris Lawyer Directory can be your source for finding a New York personal injury attorney to resolve your hit and run claim.