A hit and run is a serious offense that occurs when a driver flees the scene of an accident without stopping to provide assistance or information to the other party involved. Hit and run accidents are a common problem in Queens, where many drivers disregard the law and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
In fact, some recent cases of hit and run in Queens have resulted in fatalities, such as Darryl Younger, a school lunch handler who was killed while crossing Jackson Avenue on his way to work; Florence Ngwu , a nurse who was crushed between parked cars while trying to stop a stolen truck; or the 65-year-old man who was run over by a car in Laurelton.
If you are a victim of a hit and run in Queens, you may be wondering what to do next. Here are some steps you should take to protect yourself, seek help, and claim compensation.
Call us today at 718-295-4000 or schedule a consultation so that our lawyers can evaluate your case and, through personalized and top-notch attention, provide you with the solution you need to achieve the million-dollar compensation you deserve.
How to Act in Case of Being Hit
- The first thing you should do is check yourself for injuries and call 911 if you need medical attention. Even if you feel fine, you may have internal injuries that are not visible or noticeable right away. It is important to get checked by a doctor as soon as possible and keep a record of your diagnosis and treatment.
- The next thing you should do is look for witnesses who saw the accident and ask them for their names and contact information. Witnesses can provide valuable evidence and testimony to support your case and identify the driver who hit you.
- You should also try to collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident, such as photos, videos, skid marks, debris, license plate numbers, or anything else that can help you prove what happened and who was responsible. If you have a dashcam or a smartphone, use them to document the accident.
- You should also report the incident to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible. The police will file an official report that can be used as evidence in your claim. Your insurance company will also need to know about the accident and the details of your coverage. Depending on your policy, you may be eligible for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which can help you pay for your medical bills and property damage if the driver who hit you cannot be found or does not have enough insurance.
How to Claim Compensation
As a victim of a hit and run in Queens, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages and losses from the driver who hit you. However, finding and holding them accountable can be challenging, especially if they left no trace or evidence behind.
That is why you need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer who can investigate your case, track down the driver, negotiate with their insurance company, or take them to court if necessary.
The compensation you can receive from a hit and run claim may include economic damages (such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, etc.) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.).
The amount of compensation you can get will depend on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your losses, and the degree of fault of the driver who hit you.
To maximize your chances of getting a fair settlement or verdict, you should act quickly and preserve all the evidence and documentation related to your accident. You should also avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company or accepting any offers without consulting with your lawyer first.
The insurance company may try to lowball you or deny your claim altogether.
What is the penalty for hit and run in NYC?
A hit and run is a serious offense that can result in criminal and civil penalties in New York City. The penalty for hit and run depends on the severity of the accident and the injuries or damages caused.
According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 600, a driver who leaves the scene of an accident without reporting it or providing their information can face the following penalties:
- If the accident only caused property damage, the driver can be charged with a traffic infraction and fined up to $250 or imprisoned for up to 15 days, or both.
- If the accident caused personal injury to another person, the driver can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined between $250 and $1,000 or imprisoned for up to one year, or both.
- If the accident caused serious physical injury to another person, the driver can be charged with a class E felony and fined between $1,000 and $5,000 or imprisoned for up to four years, or both.
- If the accident caused death to another person, the driver can be charged with a class D felony and fined between $2,000 and $5,000 or imprisoned for up to seven years, or both.
In addition to these criminal penalties, a driver who commits a hit and run can also face civil liability for the damages and losses they caused to the other party.
The victim of a hit and run can sue the driver for compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages.
The driver may also face higher insurance premiums or cancellation of their policy.
What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in NY?
If you leave the scene of an accident in NY without reporting it or providing your information to the other party involved, you are committing a hit and run offense. This means that you are breaking the law and exposing yourself to criminal and civil consequences.
If you leave the scene of an accident in NY, you may face the following consequences:
- You may be arrested and charged with a traffic infraction, a misdemeanor, or a felony depending on the severity of the accident and the injuries or damages caused.
- You may be fined or imprisoned or both according to the applicable penalty for your offense.
- You may lose your driving privileges or have your license suspended or revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- You may be sued by the victim of the accident for compensation for their damages and losses.
- You may have difficulty finding or keeping your insurance coverage or pay higher premiums.
Therefore, if you are involved in an accident in NY, you should never leave the scene without fulfilling your legal obligations.
You should stop your vehicle as soon as possible in a safe place, check yourself and others for injuries, call 911 if anyone is hurt or if there is significant property damage, exchange information with the other party (such as name, address, phone number, license plate number, driver’s license number, insurance information), report the accident to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible, and cooperate with any investigation.
Is leaving the scene of an accident a misdemeanor in NY?
Leaving the scene of an accident can be a misdemeanor in NY if the accident caused personal injury to another person.
According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 600 (2), a driver who leaves the scene of an accident without reporting it or providing their information when they know or have reason to know that personal injury has been caused to another person is guilty of a misdemeanor.
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is punishable by up to one year in jail or three years of probation. A driver who is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury can also be fined between $250 and $1,000 or both.
However, leaving the scene of an accident can also be a felony in NY if the accident caused serious physical injury or death to another person. According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 600 (2-a) and (2-b), a driver who leaves the scene of an accident without reporting it or providing their information when they know or have reason to know that serious physical injury has been caused to another person is guilty of a class E felony; and when they know or have reason to know that death has been caused to another person is guilty of a class D felony.
A class E felony is punishable by up to four years in prison; and a class D felony is punishable by up to seven years in prison. A driver who is convicted of leaving the scene of an accident involving serious physical injury or death can also be fined between $1,000 and $5,000 or both.
Can a passenger leave the scene of an accident in NY?
A passenger can leave the scene of an accident in NY without facing any legal consequences, as long as they are not the driver or the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident. A passenger has no legal obligation to report the accident or provide their information to the other party or the police, unless they are asked to do so by the authorities.
However, a passenger may still want to stay at the scene of an accident in NY for several reasons, such as:
- To help the driver or other passengers who may be injured or in need of assistance.
- To provide their account of what happened to the police or the insurance company, which may help determine who was at fault and who is liable for the damages.
- To protect their own rights and interests as a potential victim or witness of the accident, especially if they suffered any injuries or damages themselves.
- To avoid being accused of being involved in the accident or fleeing from it, which may raise suspicion or questions from the authorities or the other party.
Therefore, a passenger may choose to leave or stay at the scene of an accident in NY depending on their situation and preference. However, they should always act responsibly and safely and avoid interfering with the investigation or the emergency services.
The team of writers of Nonna Shikh is made up of a group of lawyers specialized in personal injury, traffic, construction and slip and fall cases. Each member of the team has extensive experience in their area of specialization and is committed to providing the best defense and compensation to their clients in New York City.