Being A Victim Of A Hit & Run
In previous posts, we provided much information about what to do after a car accident. However, your priority should center around preserving your claim. Personal injuries may lead to significant medical bills and lost time at work. You deserve compensation for that. New York City has some staggering ties to car accidents, and this is information you should have—even if you are a devoted pedestrian. There are over 600 car accidents in this city daily. We wanted to discuss what you should do if you are ever involved in a scenario where the other driver flees the scene.
Some reports claim that as many as one out of four of NY’s car accidents involve a hit-and-run. There could be situations where a driver makes contact with your car and never pulls over, or you may find your vehicle damaged when parked. Fortunately, the former would not injure you, but you still deserve compensation for the damage to your property.
What Should I Do?
The first thing we will discuss is speaking to witnesses. Before we begin, bystanders who saw the accident will not be charged for leaving the scene if they did not play a role in it. However, if you were driving close to the accident, you also don’t want anyone falsely assuming you were to blame. If you saw who caused the accident, report it. Not only are you helping the actual victim of the crime, but you are also ensuring that others don’t blame you.
In terms of protecting yourself, don’t chase after a car that flees a scene. You could cause additional accidents and be liable for the damage you cause. Furthermore, you are putting your safety at risk. You have no idea who the other person is or what they are capable of doing. Take pictures, report what you know, and allow the police to pursue the driver.
As a driver, contact the police and get the medical help you need. If possible, speak with the witnesses at the scene. Because virtually everyone is an arm’s length away from a camera at all times, there is a chance they took pictures. Even if they didn’t, they could still explain to the police what they saw. When one of the witnesses says they must leave, don’t stop them—but you should get their contact information. Upon the police’s arrival, explain to the police that people saw the accident, they may have photos of it, and you have their contact information.
Speak with Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Lastly, as you should in all accidents, meet with a medical professional and keep any documents that speak to your injuries. This is important because you should contact a personal injury attorney and your insurance provider immediately. Whereas the latter should happen within 24 hours, don’t delay speaking with legal counsel. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for an attorney to get you the compensation you need to recover. Contact Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., to schedule your consultation.