If you are injured in a hit and run car accident, it is important to report your accident to the police and file an insurance claim as soon as possible. You should file your police report within 24 hours (if you are unable to do so, you may need to file an affidavit with an explanation of why you couldn't report your accident sooner), and although you technically have up to 30 days to file your insurance claim, you should do it as soon as you can. Don't accept any offers until after you've consulted a lawyer, though, and make sure that you do not admit fault verbally or on paper.
A hit and run case is more complicated than a typical car accident case where the other driver is identified from the start. Reporting your accident to the police in a timely manner can help when trying to find the person who ran from the scene of the accident. If they can be found, you may be able to sue them for damages. If they cannot be found, you will be limited to your own insurance company's uninsured motorist coverage settlement.
How To Obtain Compensation After a Hit and Run Accident
If the driver who caused your accident cannot be found, you can still obtain compensation. New York requires personal injury protection (PIP) as well as uninsured motorist coverage, so you can obtain a settlement from your own insurance company if the other person is uninsured or missing.
If you can track down the person who hit you, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them if you can prove they were at fault. A lawsuit can help you obtain compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
A lawsuit will often help you to obtain higher compensation than you would get through an insurance settlement alone.
Should You Hire A Lawyer For a Hit and Run Accident?
If the hit and run accident you were in resulted only in minor property damage and you were not seriously injured, then you probably do not need a lawyer. However, if you sustained serious injuries, you will likely want to hire a lawyer to help you get the maximum compensation possible from both your insurance and a potential lawsuit.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help value your claim and negotiate with your insurance in order to receive a better settlement than their initial offer. Insurance companies will usually try to offer less than the true value of your claim, so an experienced lawyer is necessary to get the best settlement possible.
In addition, a lawyer can help make sure all your paperwork is filed correctly and help you navigate complex legal language. We will help make sure you don't accidentally sign away your rights, and help you to understand the legalities of your case.
If you've been the victim of a hit and run car accident, you are probably feeling overwhelmed. Call Reid B. Wissner at 212-903-4LAW to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today. It costs nothing to have a consultation, and it will continue to cost nothing until we win or settle your case.
We serve clients in New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.