When you're involved in a hit-and-run accident, should you get a lawyer? This is probably one of the most important questions you should ask yourself after being involved in a collision where someone leaves the scene, especially if you or your passenger has suffered an injury.
What should my next steps be? Should I contact my insurance company? Should I get a lawyer for a hit and run? Who will pay my medical bills?
This article will help you decide if it would be in your best interest to hire a personal injury attorney after being involved in a hit-and-run accident in New York.
Should I get a lawyer for a car accident involving a hit-and-run?
Most people who've been in an accident, especially one where the other party left the scene of the crime should hire an attorney. This advice should go without saying... if you've suffered injuries, damage to your car or any other property, and/or lost wages statistics show a New York City car accident lawyer can increase the amount of compensation you may receive in a personal injury lawsuit.
If the hit-and-run caused you emotional distress it should also be evaluated by a professional who can attach their professional opinion on how much these damages should be compensated for.
You should not assume that the other party will take care of damages or provide compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, or costs related to the accident.
With over twenty-five years of experience litigating personal injury claims, we've seen stories change, reckless drivers and insurance companies try to blame the victim, and even police reports that have contained inaccurate information and/or false statements from bystanders.
An attorney will be able to provide expertise to help you understand what should be done next to provide documentation about your case and how to get proper compensation for your damages and injuries.
Hiring the right car accident attorney to handle your personal injury case
If you're thinking about hiring a lawyer after a hit-and-run auto accident, now is the time to take the next step!
There are many motor vehicle accident attorneys in New York that can provide legal advice. Insurance companies hate when victims hire attorneys. Why? Data shows, individuals who hire a skilled attorney to recover a fair settlement after a collision recover more compensation than those who try to settle on their own.
When deciding which law firm to hire, always ask lawyers for their experience and qualifications, read online reviews, check what professional organizations they belong to (e.g. NYSBA, etc.), and should also ask if they've helped past clients with a similar hit and run car accident claims.
Making an informed decision should be the motto here.
If something doesn't feel right or if there are any uncertainties, it may be best to take a step back and make sure everything is alright before signing any agreements.
What should I do after a hit-and-run car accident in New York?
If you've been injured in a hit-and-run accident, it can be hard to know where to turn.
Hit-and-run accidents are extremely common, especially in New York City. According to NYPD data, between 2013 and 2017 the number of hit-and-runs in New York City has increased 26 percent, from roughly 36,000 incidents to 46,000.
While many of these hit-and-run accidents cause property damage, NYPD data shows more than 5,000 hit-and-runs resulted in injury every year.
In New York, a hit-and-run driver can face criminal charges. While it's illegal for hit-and-run drivers to leave the scene of an accident, sometimes the at-fault driver who caused your injuries will flee the crash without stopping or leaving any contact information for you.
Other times they'll leave behind their car insurance information but refuse to take responsibility for their actions. In either case, dealing with a hit and run accident is stressful enough as it is – but when an insurance company adjuster refuses to pay out on your insurance claim, things can get even worse.
When involved with a hit and run accident, even if the party at fault leaves the scene of the accident it is not necessary to assume they will get away scot-free. There are four steps you should take immediately after a hit-and-run accident that can help you recover compensation during a personal injury claim.
Call 9-1-1 and file an accident report with the police. When you call the police and file an official report about the accident, be sure to give them all your contact information, including home address, work address, phone number, and email address, or whatever other contact information you can provide or that is readily available.
Request medical attention immediately. It should go without saying that you should be taken to a hospital for a medical evaluation, regardless if no one else was involved in the accident or vehicle damage is not highly visible. If you suffer any injuries, the extent of those injuries should be treated as soon as possible and documented.
Document the accident and your injuries. Get your dashcam footage or any other video footage of the accident scene. Get photos of your injuries, damages done to your vehicle, and take statements from witnesses. The reason for this should be obvious, but any further documentation of the accident, especially video footage and witness contact information can be critical to the success of your claim.
File a claim with your auto insurance company - even if they tell you it's not necessary to do so. Do not take “No” for an answer because it's important to file a claim in order to provide further documentation.
File a police report. While this is usually filed with your insurance company, it can also be done within 24 hours after the accident at an NYPD station house, regardless of where the accident took place. This last step may not be necessary if you have already reported the accident to the police and filed a claim with your auto insurance company.
Speak with an attorney today for a no-risk, free consultation
If you were hit by a vehicle and the driver fled, who are you supposed to call?
You have no idea what to do. How can you find the person that hit your car? Who will pay for your damages? Are there any witnesses? What if the other driver drove away before law enforcement arrived, and didn't leave any contact information or a license plate?
Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm has over 30 years of experience helping victims of car accidents navigate the claims process and recover compensation from negligent drivers who fled the scene, don't have auto insurance, don't have a driver's license, or whose insurance policy isn't adequate enough to cover all damages from an accident.
Our personal injury lawyers have helped thousands of clients, including individuals injured in hit-and-run accident cases.
We know how difficult these situations can be – that's why our team of New York City personal injury lawyers are committed to providing each client with personalized attention in order to achieve maximum results. We don't settle for less.
Known as the voice of the injured, we'll help you understand your legal options, how to collect evidence, and how we'll fight for compensation on your behalf.
Even if the hit-and-run driver can't be identified, you may be able to recover compensation from your own insurance company. Don't wait until the statute of limitations is over to speak with an NYC hit-and-run accident lawyer.
Call 212-268-3222 or complete our online form today for a no-risk, 100% free case evaluation with an experienced vehicle accident attorney at Raphaelson & Levine.