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Hit-and-Run Accidents – What You Need to Know

Being in any accident, whether it is your fault or not, is frustrating. Being in an accident where the driver flees the scene is infuriating – and it is not uncommon in the United States.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there is a hit-and-run accident every minute in the US.

What is a hit-and-run accident? It is when at least one person involved in an accident leaves the scene without helping, providing detailed information to the other driver, or drivers, or does not report the crash to the police or their insurance company.

In New York State leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury or property damage is against the law and could lead to criminal charges.

Like any accident there are things you should do immediately after a hit-and-run.

  • Make sure that you and/or your passengers are safe, and if there are any injuries call 911.

  • Move your car to a safe location.

  • While it may be difficult, write down any information you can about the other vehicle(s) involved, such as the color, make, or model of the car and any part of the license plate you can see.

  • Call the police immediately. New York State law requires a police report must be filed within 24 hours to validate a hit-and-run claim. If you are unable to locate the vehicle that caused the accident you will be precluded from making a claim if you cannot prove you contacted the police within 24 hours of the accident.

  • Call your insurance company right away to let them know about the accident and that it was a hit-and-run.

Something you should never do after a hit-and-run is follow the driver who left the scene of the accident. In many cases, drivers who leave the scene of an accident are usually at fault, meaning they could have been speeding, under the influence, uninsured, asleep at the wheel, or texting and driving. Following someone in those conditions could lead to another accident or the potential for road rage.

It is so important that you call us if you have been involved in any accident, but especially a hit-and-run. Time is of the essence because critical information that could be used to prove your case may disappear with time. For example, security footage from the area where the accident happened may not be saved after a certain period or could be recorded over, or a witness’s recollection of what happened may fade if not addressed immediately.

Once you call us, we will take over the headaches of dealing with your insurance company and getting all the necessary paperwork filed before the State and insurance-imposed deadlines.

Personal injury attorneys act on a contingency basis which means we do not get paid unless you receive a recovery.

Call us if you have any questions.

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