What Should I Do If I’m Involved In A Hit & Run Accident?

What Should I Do If I’m Involved In A Hit & Run Accident?
What Should I Do If I’m Involved In A Hit & Run Accident?

What Should I Do If I’m Involved In A Hit & Run Accident?

Presented and reviewed by Cellino Law attorney, Denis Bastible
Every accident comes with its own set of challenges. Hit and run accidents can be even more complex and will likely require the assistance of an attorney. If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, here are the things you’ll need to do:

Immediately After The Accident

If you were a victim of a hit and run accident in New York, it's important that you follow these steps immediately after the accident occurs:

  •  Call 911 to Report The Accident: After any accident but especially a hit and run, you MUST contact the police to report the accident. In some circumstances, a police report is required to pursue a claim. The police report will help to establish a link between the accident and the damages or injuries sustained and will serve as an important document as you file your claim.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if your injuries do not seem severe enough to warrant medical attention, you may begin to experience worsening symptoms in days past the accident. Having updated medical records will also be beneficial pieces of information to have on-hand as you file your claim.
  • Gather Information on Perpetrator: If you are able to, gather as much information about the fleeing car as you can. This can include:
    • The make, model, and color of the vehicle
    • License plate (even partial license plate numbers are helpful)
    • Description of any accident-related damage
    • A description of the driver
    • The direction the car was seen heading
  •  Talk to Witnesses: If there were other witnesses to the accident, you will want to collect their information to share with your insurance adjustor or accident attorney. Look for any nearby shops or homes who may also have surveillance footage of the accident and collect the owner’s information as well.
  •  Take Photos: Be sure to take photos of any damage to your vehicle or property as well as photos of any injuries you sustained as a result of the accident. These photos will help your insurance company to better understand the severity of the accident.

How Insurance Works After A Hit and Run

If you’ve been a victim of a hit and run in New York State, your own no-fault coverage (or PIP) will cover your medical bills, a portion of your lost earnings and other injury-related expenses.

However, your no-fault coverage will not pay for any damage to your vehicle or property after the accident. You will need collision coverage to get your property fixed or replaced after an accident, but you may need to pay a deductible depending on your insurance coverage.

Tracking Down The Hit and Run Driver

For anyone who has been injured in a hit and run, it’s normal to want to find the driver who hit you. Hit and run driving can be a crime and your ability to collect damages outside your own insurance coverage may depend on finding the driver.

However, you should never chase a hit and run driver yourself as they may be dangerous or intoxicated. If you are able to collect any information from eyewitnesses or from surveillance video footage, the police may be able to track down the driver and hold them accountable.

If you are able to identify the driver who hit you, you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company for your accident-related losses.

If the driver is uninsured or even when the driver can’t be found, you can then make a Supplementary Uninsured Motorist (SUM) claim with your own insurance company to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering you sustained due to your injuries.

Do You Need A Lawyer After A Hit and Run?

If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, you may feel overwhelmed and confused with how to proceed. You may need guidance on how to properly file your no-fault insurance, or what you need to do to make an uninsured motorist claim against your insurance company. You may also have questions on how to proceed if the driver is apprehended after the accident occurs.

An experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled hit and run cases can help to answer all your questions, organize your medical records and bills, communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and connect you with an investigator who can help to locate the fleeing driver.

If you’ve been injured in a hit and run, it’s always wise to at least confer with a personal injury attorney. For a free confidential case consultation with a knowledgeable hit and run attorney, contact Cellino Law at 800-555-5555. Our team is here to help answer any questions you may have regarding your claim, any time of the day.
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