Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in Queens, NY
Hit-and-run accidents, including motor vehicle collisions and cars and trucks striking pedestrians and bicyclists, occur frequently in Queens and throughout New York. When coping with injuries caused by a driver who sped away, hit-and-run victims may have questions about who is responsible for their medical bills and what they can do about it.
If you are injured in a collision in Queens, you initially make a claim against your own Personal Injury Protection insurance. Your PIP policy covers up to $50,000 of medical costs and certain other expenses, regardless of who caused the accident. If you have serious injuries, your PIP policy may not cover all your losses after a hit-and-run accident. You may have other options as well.
The experienced car accident lawyers at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., can provide prompt legal help after a hit-and-run accident in Queens. We have helped individuals and families injured in car accidents pursue compensation for medical bills, lost income, and more.
You are not alone if you have been victimized by a hit and run driver in Queens. The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., will provide the personalized service and attention you deserve. Our mission is to work every day to pursue the full compensation our clients need. Contact us today for a free review of your personal injury case. Help is just a phone call away.
What Should I Do Following A Hit and Run Accident?
After a collision, if the other driver is attempting to flee, you may be able to help police identify the driver if you can note such details as:
- The color, model, and make of the car
- The car’s license plate number (even a portion of the number may prove helpful)
- Any physical characteristics of the driver
- Which direction the driver fled.
Write down or record yourself saying this information as soon as possible. Call 911 to report the accident and summon police to the accident scene. If you are injured, request an ambulance, as well.
If you do not go to the emergency room in an ambulance, see a doctor within 24 hours of the accident. Several potentially serious injuries, including some closed head injuries, may not exhibit serious symptoms right away. In addition to getting the medical care you need, seeing a doctor creates a record of your injury for a potential injury claim. You will need medical records to support a personal injury claim.
After you have received medical treatment, then you should contact an experienced car accident attorney.
What Is Considered a Hit and Run Accident?
A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver who gets into a motor vehicle accident that causes property damage or personal injury flees the scene instead of stopping as required by law. New York law makes it illegal for a driver to leave the scene of an accident before providing their name, address, driver’s license, and automotive insurance information to any injured party involved in the accident or to the police.
Research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that people who flee the scene of a car crash may be:
- Driving without a license
- Trying to hide the fact that they were in a car accident
- Driving without insurance
- Concealing criminal activity, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unaware that they were in a crash
Drivers in fatal hit and run accidents are more likely to be young men who have a history of prior drunk driving convictions and license suspension, AAA says. They tend to drive older model cars, and if caught they often have a positive blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the arrest. They also may be driving without liability insurance.
Pedestrians account for the majority of people killed in hit-and-run crashes, AAA says. Over 30 years studied, approximately 1 in 5 pedestrian deaths involved a hit and run crash.
Urban areas have higher rates of hit and run accidents, AAA says.
Whose Insurance Covers My Hit and Run Accident?
New York is a no-fault insurance state, which means car owners must maintain auto insurance coverage that pays the policyholder after an accident, regardless of who is responsible for the crash. Individuals injured in car accidents must turn to this coverage first for relief.
A car owner in the state of New York must have a minimum of $50,000 of no-fault auto insurance coverage, which is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP). It can be applied to the driver and all passengers injured in the policyholder’s car after a hit-and-run accident.
Basic no-fault auto insurance coverage includes:
- Reasonable and necessary accident-related medical and rehabilitation expenses
- 80% of lost earnings from work, up to a maximum payment of $2,000 per month for up to three years from the date of the accident (subject to statutory offsets for New York State disability, workers’ compensation, and federal Social Security disability benefits)
- Up to $25 a day for up to a year from the date of the accident to reimburse other reasonable and necessary expenses such as transportation expenses to/from medical treatment related to the auto accident
- a $2,000 death benefit payable to the estate of a person eligible for no-fault benefits who was killed in a motor vehicle accident.
In addition, New York car owners are required to maintain uninsured motorists protection (UIM), which pays for bodily injuries in an accident caused by a driver with no liability insurance — or by an unidentified hit and run driver.
Coverage provided by UIM is the same as the minimum bodily injury limits of liability insurance in New York, which are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury (not resulting in death), or $50,000 for any injury resulting in death, sustained by any one person in any one accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury (not resulting in death) sustained by two or more persons in any one accident, or $100,000 for any injuries resulting in death sustained by two or more persons in any one accident (subject to the above per person limits).
Depending on the insurance coverage you have purchased, these coverage limits may be higher. Compensation may be available even if you do not have an auto insurance policy with UIM benefits. The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation, a non-profit organization started by the New York legislature, provides coverage for individuals without insurance who are injured by uninsured motorists or hit and run drivers who are not identified.
If you are a pedestrian struck by a hit and run driver in New York, you would file a no-fault claim with the insurance of the car that hit you, if the driver is identified. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and you do not know the identity of the hit-and-run who injured you, you may file a claim against the insurance of a household relative who has auto insurance or, if there is no insurance, with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation.
New York laws surrounding hit-and-run accident claims can be complicated. If you have questions about covering your losses after a serious accident involving a hit and run driver, talk with a Queens hit-and-run accident lawyer today. An attorney at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., can review your injuries, explain the insurance policies available to cover your losses and help you pursue the compensation you need to recover.
Can I Sue a Driver Who Has Been Caught?
New York’s no-fault auto insurance laws are intended to reduce the need to take negligent drivers to court. However, the medical bills and other losses caused by a serious accident may exceed the limits of your no-fault insurance. New York allows an accident victim to sue another driver who caused them serious injury in a car accident if they have already consumed all money available through their own insurance.
New York insurance law describes conditions that meet the definition of “serious injury,” including:
- A fracture
- Loss of a fetus
- Significant disfigurement
- Dismemberment (amputation of a limb)
- Permanent loss or consequential or significant limitation of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Disability for 90 days during the first 180 days following the accident.
If police identify the hit and run driver, an accident victim who has suffered a serious injury may file a claim against the hit and run driver’s auto liability insurance. Auto liability insurance, which New York car owners are required to have, is meant to compensate individuals who have been injured in a car accident that was the policyholder’s fault.
In a personal injury lawsuit, you may seek compensation for pain and suffering, as well as for medical expenses, income loss, and property damage.
After a hit-and-run accident, an attorney at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., can review your insurance policies and explain your legal options for seeking compensation.
Talk to Our Queens Hit and Run Accident Lawyers
A hit-and-run accident can leave you feeling terrible in addition to your injuries and other losses. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can take the pressure of dealing with the accident off of you and help you seek justice. When you work with a car accident attorney at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., you will receive personalized attention and service. We will seek the maximum compensation you are entitled to by New York law.
We can provide a free legal consultation about your case. We will not charge you a legal fee unless we recover money for you. Contact us today.