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What if the Other Driver Flees the Scene?

March 27, 2024

Hit-and-Run Accidents: What to Do if the Other Driver Flees

You’re driving down the road, minding your own business – when suddenly, another vehicle crashes into you. It’s a terrifying experience, made even worse when the other driver speeds off, leaving you to deal with the aftermath alone. Hit-and-run accidents are all too common, and they can leave victims feeling helpless and overwhelmed. But don’t panic – there are steps you can take to protect yourself and ensure justice is served.

Understanding Hit-and-Run Laws

First things first, let’s talk about the legal side of things. In New York, it’s a crime to leave the scene of an accident without stopping to provide information or render aid. Depending on the circumstances, a hit-and-run can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. And trust us, the penalties can be severe – we‘re talking fines, license suspension, and even jail time.But it’s not just about the law; there’s a moral obligation too. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a cowardly act that shows a blatant disregard for human life and property. It‘s the kind of thing that really grinds our gears here at Spodek Law Group.

Protecting Yourself After a Hit-and-Run

Okay, so the other driver took off. What now? First and foremost, don’t try to chase them down – that’s just asking for trouble. Instead, focus on gathering as much information as possible:

  • Get a good look at the vehicle and try to memorize the make, model, color, and license plate number (if visible).
  • Note any distinguishing features, like dents, stickers, or a unique paint job.
  • If there were any witnesses, ask them to stick around and get their contact information.
  • Take photos or videos of the scene, the damage, and any evidence left behind (like debris or skid marks).

Next, call the police and report the incident right away. Provide them with all the details you‘ve gathered, and be sure to get a copy of the police report for your records.Now, you might be thinking, “But what if I can’t track down the other driver?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. There are still options, like filing a claim with your own insurance company (if you have uninsured motorist coverage) or exploring the possibility of a civil lawsuit.

Hiring a Hit-and-Run Lawyer

Speaking of lawsuits, this is where having a skilled hit-and-run lawyer on your side can make all the difference. At Spodek Law Group, our team of experienced attorneys knows how to navigate these complex cases and fight for the compensation you deserve.We’ll work tirelessly to track down the responsible party, gathering evidence and building a rock-solid case. And if the other driver is never found, we’ll explore alternative avenues for recovering damages, like filing a claim against your own insurance policy or pursuing a lawsuit against any other potentially liable parties.But our services go beyond just legal representation. We’ll be there to support you every step of the way, answering your questions, addressing your concerns, and ensuring you understand your rights and options. Because at the end of the day, our goal is to help you move forward and find closure after this traumatic event.

The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

One crucial piece of advice we always give our clients: make sure you have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. This type of coverage can be a lifesaver in hit-and-run situations, providing financial protection and peace of mind.Without it, you could be left footing the bill for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses – even if the other driver is never found. And trust us, those costs can add up quickly, leaving you in a serious financial bind.So, do yourself a favor and talk to your insurance provider about adding uninsured motorist coverage to your policy. It‘s a small price to pay for the security and protection it offers.

Seeking Justice and Compensation

Of course, our ultimate goal is to hold the hit-and-run driver accountable for their actions. And when we‘re able to track them down, we‘ll pursue every legal avenue to ensure they face the consequences.This could mean criminal charges, civil lawsuits, or both. And we‘ll fight tooth and nail to secure the compensation you deserve for things like:

  • Medical expenses (past, present, and future)
  • Lost wages and earning potential
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

We know that no amount of money can undo the trauma and inconvenience of a hit-and-run accident. But it can help ease the financial burden and provide a sense of justice and closure.

The Importance of Acting Quickly

One final piece of advice: time is of the essence in hit-and-run cases. The sooner you take action, the better your chances of tracking down the responsible party and preserving crucial evidence.That’s why we encourage you to contact our office as soon as possible after an accident. We’ll get to work immediately, launching an investigation and taking steps to protect your rights and interests.And remember, your initial consultation with us is always free and confidential. So, there‘s no risk in reaching out and exploring your legal options.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hit-and-Run Accidents

What if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Even if you share some blame for the accident, the other driver still had a legal obligation to remain at the scene. Their decision to flee could still result in criminal charges and civil liability.

Can I file a hit-and-run claim if there was only property damage?

Absolutely. Hit-and-run laws apply to accidents involving property damage as well as personal injury. You may be entitled to compensation for repairs, replacement costs, and more.

What if the other driver is never found?

While it can be more challenging, it’s still possible to recover damages through your uninsured motorist coverage or by pursuing a lawsuit against other potentially liable parties (like a negligent property owner or vehicle manufacturer).

How long do I have to file a hit-and-run claim?

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is generally three years from the date of the accident. However, there are exceptions and nuances, so it’s best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

Can I handle a hit-and-run case on my own?

While you technically can represent yourself, these cases can be incredibly complex and challenging to navigate without legal expertise. An experienced hit-and-run lawyer can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Taking the Next Step: Contacting Spodek Law Group

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Spodek Law Group. Our team of dedicated attorneys is here to help you through this difficult time and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.With offices in New York City, we’re conveniently located and ready to take on your case. And remember, your initial consultation is always free and confidential, so you have nothing to lose by exploring your legal options.

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Todd Spodek

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