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Hit and Run Victims Have Legal Options

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In the immediate aftermath of being struck by a hit-and-run driver, once you are treated for your injuries, you will likely wonder who will pay your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering if the hit-and-run driver is never caught. They’re good questions, and you do have collection options even if the guilty driver remains unidentified

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Hit and Run Victims Have Legal Options

  1. 1. Legal Options Available to Injured Hit-and-Run Victims In the immediate aftermath of being struck by a hit-and-run driver, once you are treated for your injuries, you will likely wonder who will pay your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering if the hit-and-run driver is never caught. They’re good questions, and you do have collection options even if the guilty driver remains unidentified
  2. 2. Why People Flee an Accident Scene  The driver was drinking or impaired by drugs.  The driver had no driver’s license and/or no liability insurance.  The driver was in a stolen vehicle.  The driver hit a motorcyclist, pedestrian or bicyclist and knew they would not be pursued.  Drivers may fear being arrested for outstanding warrants if they remain at the scene.  Driver is overcome by the natural “fight or flight” response all humans have to shocking events. CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  3. 3. Hit-and-Run Statistics During a five-year period (2013-2017), the number of hit-and-runs in New York City increased 26 percent: from around 36,000 in 2013 to 46,000 in 2017, according to the NYPD. More than 5,000 2017 hit-and-runs involved injury, a 14 percent increase since 2013. At least one person was killed in a hit-and-run every week in 2017, according to the New York City Council. But in 2017, NYPD arrested only nine percent of hit-and-run drivers who injured someone. CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  4. 4. Types of Injuries People Suffer From a Hit-and-Run Accident Though any collision with a vehicle can produce a variety of injuries, the more prevalent ones can include:  Vehicle accident – broken bones, internal injuries, soft-tissue neck or back injuries (whiplash)  Motorcycle/bicycle accident – concussion, traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, road rash  Pedestrian – concussion/TBI, broken bones, internal injuries CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  5. 5. Getting Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident Not having a defendant (vehicle driver) makes collecting damages a challenge. If you do not drive and have no insurance, New York’s no-fault insurance program can reimburse you for your medical expenses and some other costs. If you were a pedestrian, you may also be able to collect medical reimbursement damages and pain and suffering by filing a claim with the New York State Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  6. 6. Compensation if You Have Vehicle Insurance New York requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP coverage) of $50,000. So you would file a claim with your auto insurer to cover economic losses related to the accident (your medical bills and lost wages, but not pain and suffering). This compensation is available no matter who caused your accident. If the driver is later identified but has no insurance, your Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) can also offer compensation to the limits of your policy. CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  7. 7. When the Driver is Later Identified If the police find and arrest the driver who hit you, and if he or she is insured, you can file a liability claim against his or her liability insurer to recover compensation. New York allows injured drivers to file a claim against at-fault drivers for non- economic damages such as pain and suffering, any economic losses incurred that exceed your policy’s $50,000 PIP coverage, or for any other damages not covered by your PIP. But if you file a liability claim, you must prove the hit-and-run driver was negligent and at fault in causing the accident. CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  8. 8. Hit-and-Run Investigations Since leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, NYPD will investigate the accident and likely establish that the driver was at fault. If the driver is arrested and tried, a guilty verdict certainly strengthens your case. But having a seasoned hit-and-run liability attorney investigate your accident can strengthen any claims you make for damages. Criminal investigations deal only with who is at fault. Your lawyer’s private investigation can uncover video footage of the accident, obtain witness statements and preserve forensic evidence for your civil damage claim. CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  9. 9. A Couple of Hit-and-Run Myths  Many feel that if they are injured in a hit-and- run accident they’re out of luck. As you now know, that is not necessarily the case  If the driver didn’t hit you, but ran you off the road and you were injured, a “no-contact” rule applies. This means that a hit-and-run driver doesn’t have to actually hit your car for you to pursue a claim if it caused your injury accident. CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  10. 10. Three Reasons Why a Hit-and-Run Injury Attorney Can Help You  Critical evidence may be time sensitive – especially if it’s video evidence. Private security cameras tend to re-use the same tapes, so it could be only a few days before yours gets “rolled over.”  The sooner you hire an injury lawyer (who works on contingency), the quicker you might secure compensation for your damages, regardless of the source.  Insurance adjusters are not your friend. They work in an industry that relies on taking in premiums and paying out as little as possible in claims. CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364
  11. 11. Kaplan Lawyers PC, Seasoned Hit-and-Run Lawyers The legal team at Kaplan Lawyers PC has decades of experience and a proven track record of helping people who have been injured in hit- and-run accidents. Our experienced attorneys will investigate your accident, work with NYPD to get you justice, complete all filings to protect your rights and ensure that you will receive the compensation you deserve. Contact the office nearest you today by telephone, or fill out the contact form to arrange your free case review. CONTACT US AT: 516.399.2364

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