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New York Hit And Run Law

June 22, 2010
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As a New York City car accident lawyer and Westchester car accident attorney, I have handled numerous hit and run cases. The first question people ask when they suffered an injury in a hit and run car accident is what do I do? If is frustrating and confusing to not know who hit you.

The answer is don’t worry, you are entitled to benefits and to recovery damages for your serious personal injury. Who is responsible to pay your benefits and to compensate you for your personal injuries depends on how your car accident happened and whether you were in a car or truck or were a pedestrian.

The New York Insurance Law has set up a fund called the New York Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnity Corporation pays for the medical bills, wages and compensates car accident injury damages for personal injuries, if there is no other insurance available. There is no other insurance available if the other car was either uninsured or it left the scene (hit and run). However, New York law requires car accident insurance companies to provide no fault and uninsured motorist benefits.

So if you were in an insured car, which was involved in a hit and run car accident, the insurance company for the car which you were in has to pay your no fault benefits and provide uninsured motorist benefits.

If you were a pedestrian and were hit by a car, which was either uninsured or fled the scene after the accident.

There are time limits to get these benefits. For example, New York Insurance Law 5208 requires that someone who sustained an injury in a hit and run car accident report the accident within 24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible to a police, peace or judicial officer or to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicle. However the law also states that the fact that the accident was not reported within twenty-four hours after the accident shall not prejudice the rights of the person if it is shown that it was not reasonably possible to make such a report or that it was made as soon as was reasonably possible. Many car insurance policies have similar language as requirements to get uninsured motorist benefits.

Unfortunately, if there was an accident, often the New York City Police Department does not respond to hit and run calls and if they do, they often loose reports. New York insurance companies are notorious for trying to deny claims because of the lack of an accident report. To prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of sloppy police work to harm their insureds who were car accident victims, the courts have consistently afforded a very liberal interpretation to the notice requirement, accepting police contacts that fall far short of the operator’s obtaining a written report. If you were injured in a hit and run, in New York City or Westchester, call our New York car accident lawyers for a free consultation.

 
The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph