Hit-and-run accidents are more than an exercise in negligence. Drivers who do not acknowledge their role in an accident actively endanger everyone on the road. Fortunately, both bystanders and victims can take action in the wake of a New York hit-and-run accident. That said, reporting your accident may not always seem straightforward.
If you’re struggling to determine how to report a hit-and-run accident in New York, you can connect with a personal injury lawyer. Morelli Law Firm has the means to help you work with both an insurer and a civil court to request compensation based on your losses.
Identifying a Hit-and-Run Accident
Hit-and-run accidents look like any other car accident at first. However, all drivers are obligated to remain on the scene after a car accident takes place. Drivers who don’t stop and exchange information with an injured party can be accused of engaging in criminal activity.
If you notice the driver allegedly responsible for your losses peeling off, you can work with an attorney to charge that driver with a hit-and-run.
New York’s Hit-and-Run Consequences
The criminal consequences for a hit-and-run in New York vary in severity based on a person’s driving record. In general, parties charged with a hit-and-run can face:
- Fines of up to $250
- Additional court costs and fees
- Jail time of up to 15 days
- Three points on a driver’s license
- Higher auto insurance premiums
You cannot request that a person face a particular set of charges when filing a civil complaint against them. However, you can pursue a civil and criminal hit-and-run complaint at the same time. If a court upholds your criminal complaint, you can use that declaration as evidence of negligence in civil court.
Reacting to a Hit-and-Run as a Bystander
Bystanders have some responsibility to report on the nature of a hit-and-run accident. That said, bystanders who do not have a role in an accident cannot face consequences for leaving the scene of said accident. However, it’s in a bystander’s best interest to report such an accident to local police.
Bystanders are also discouraged from pursuing a car that fled the scene of an accident. While bystanders should take pictures of a fleeing car in an attempt to get a license plate number, pursuing these vehicles can result in dangerous standoffs with a frightened defendant.
Reacting to a Hit-and-Run as a Victim
It is often easier to report a NY hit-and-run accident as a victim than it is as a bystander. As a victim in these accidents, you can better understand the extent of your losses in the wake of another driver’s negligence. While bystanders have the opportunity to identify the other driver, you can report on your loved ones’ health and ensure everyone gets the care they need.
The first thing you’ll want to do after a hit-and-run accident is to contact the police. Afterward, reach out to an attorney for representation and guidance. You should also contact your insurance provider within 24 hours of your accident. This way, you can discuss what immediate funds may be available to you based on your existing coverage.
Once you’ve contacted all the applicable parties, our team can guide you through your next steps.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve recently been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you can use these frequently asked questions to determine your next course of action.
How Long do You Have to Report a Hit-and-Run?
You need to move quickly to take action in the wake of a hit-and-run accident. New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §214 states that injured parties can take no more than three years to bring their complaints before a civil court. If you’re not able to act within this amount of time, New York’s civil courts can deny you the right to pursue compensation.
Contending with this hard deadline isn’t as difficult as you might think, though. Even if you’re not sure how to report a NY hit-and-run accident, our team can step in for you. Our personal injury lawyers can take over an investigation into your accident while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
How Can You Take Legal Action After a Hit-and-Run?
There are a few different ways for you to take legal action in the wake of a hit-and-run accident. If you have evidence that can help you identify the person responsible for your accident, you can bring that information to the attention of an area attorney. We can use that evidence to name a liable party in either a criminal or civil complaint.
Criminal complaints allow you to request that a liable party face the charges listed above. Civil charges, comparatively, allow you to request compensation based on the cost of your accident. As mentioned, you can pursue criminal and civil cases at the same time if you believe your circumstances entitle you to both forms of action.
How Can an Attorney Help You Recover From a Hit-and-Run?
Attorneys strive to make the process of filing a civil complaint in the wake of a hit-and-run accident as straightforward as possible. Even if you’re in the process of recovering from accident-related injuries, our office can undertake an investigation into your accident.
This means that we can work with accident recreationists, medical professionals, and bystanders to bring together the story of your accident. We can gather evidence to establish liability and summon the appropriate party within your complaint. If a court approves your claim, we can then mediate negotiations or help you transition into a traditional trial.
We do this with the intent of helping you secure the compensation you deserve for your losses. Our team can estimate the amount before filing your complaint and help you understand why your losses may entitle you to certain skins of support. We can stick to this number throughout negotiations and bring forward the evidence to defend it when called upon.
Discuss Your New York Hit-and-Run With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hit-and-run accidents leave you to bear the responsibility for the losses someone else forced upon you. Don’t resign yourself to bills you didn’t ask for. Our team can help you report a NY hit-and-run accident.
Morelli Law Firm’s experienced attorneys can discuss your accident and help you identify the party liable for your losses. Call us or contact us online to request a case evaluation. We can assess your legal options and ensure you have the means to pursue the maximum compensation for your hit-and-run losses.