When Is It Considered a Hit and Run?
In an average car accident, you probably think about civil liability issues like paying for property damage or injuries, and figuring out how insurance will cover it all. But, if you don’t follow certain regulations after an accident, you could face criminal charges and penalties that could result in serious consequences.
Hit and run occurs when someone leaves the scene of an accident without giving information, failing to help other people, or fleeing from police after an injury. It’s a very serious crime, and can be punishable by fines and jail time, depending on the circumstances.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
New York state law requires that anyone who causes a collision must stop and exchange information with other parties. That includes reporting your name, address, vehicle registration number, driver’s license, and insurance information. This information is important so that you can file a claim with your insurance company and so that the police have all the necessary information to investigate the incident and locate the driver.
The consequences of a hit-and-run are severe, especially for drivers who leave the scene of an accident after causing an injury or death. Felony charges are common for hit-and-runs involving severe injuries or deaths.
Misdemeanor hits and runs are more minor, with less significant criminal consequences. Those charged with a misdemeanor hit and run are typically punished by up to 120 days in jail, but they may also receive significant criminal fines and have their driving privileges suspended.
Getting Reimbursement from Insurance Companies
Once you have been injured in a hit-and-run, your first priority is to get medical treatment. This should be done as soon as possible so that you don’t risk further health complications and to ensure that you can make a thorough and accurate recovery.
After that, it’s a good idea to call your insurance provider and file a claim as quickly as possible. Having this done early will make it easier for you to remember the details of the accident and to give your insurer enough information to determine how much it will cover.
Getting Reimbursement for Property Damage
Once the police find you and your vehicle, they will take pictures of the scene, collect witness statements and review nearby security footage to find a last known address. You can help by trying to stay calm and collecting as much evidence as you can while the police search for you.
Getting Reimbursement with an Injury
A hit-and-run can be extremely traumatizing for the victim, so it’s vital to obtain proper medical attention immediately after the accident. This can prevent further injuries and delay the need for a car to be towed or a medical emergency room visit.
In some cases, a hit and run can lead to a more complex personal injury claim, as the injured party might not have a valid driver’s license or insurance. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to contact a skilled auto accident lawyer to discuss your situation.