New York Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
When you are involved in a car accident, especially if another vehicle is involved, you are supposed to stop, exchange contact and insurance information, and render aid if necessary. Drivers who flee the scene after an accident without stopping are not only violating the law; they are putting other drivers and passengers in danger. Failing to stop and check for injuries can delay the emergency response to the accident, causing injured motorists to lose precious minutes when they need aid the most. If you’ve been hurt in a hit-and-run accident in New York, you have the right to find the at-fault driver and hold them responsible for the harm they have caused.
If you or someone you care about was hurt by a hit-and-run driver in the Hudson Valley, a New York car accident attorney at Dupée & Monroe in Goshen can conduct a thorough investigation to find the driver who fled the scene and provide seasoned representation to help you get the care and compensation you need to deal with your injuries and their impact on your life.
New York Hit & Run Laws
In New York, drivers must stop after any accident that leads to property damage or injury. Under New York Vehicle & Traffic Law (VTL) section 600-1a, if only property damage was involved, the driver must share their license and insurance information with any other driver(s) involved. If the total damage caused by the crash appears to be greater than $1,000, the authorities must be notified. If a driver hits a parked car and the other driver is not around, the driver who caused the accident can leave a note behind with the pertinent information and report the accident to the local police department.
If the accident involved injury to any person, then the police must be notified of the accident and a report must be filed (unless the parties involved are physically unable to call the police). Drivers must also share their contact and insurance information with the other parties involved, regardless of who may have been at fault.
Failing to stop, exchange information, and report the accident where appropriate is a crime. In New York, if only property damage is involved, hit-and-run drivers face a fine. If someone is injured, a hit-and-run driver can be convicted of a misdemeanor and sent to jail for up to a year. If there is a serious injury or fatality, the crime becomes a felony and the driver can face up to seven years in jail.
Hit & Run Accidents Are Extremely Common
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than one hit-and-run accident happens every single minute across the United States. In 2016, over 2,000 people were killed in hit-and-run accidents. On average, there are 682,000 hit-and-run accidents nationwide each year. The number of hit-and-run deaths nationwide has been steadily rising every year. Pedestrians and bicyclists are especially at risk from hit-and-run crashes: Nearly 65 percent of people killed in hit-and-run crashes were outside the vehicle.
Recovering Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you’ve been seriously injured in a car crash by a negligent driver, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party or parties. You are entitled to seek “compensatory” damages, meaning compensation necessary to make you whole in light of the harm you have suffered. That includes “economic” damages like compensation for your medical bills and lost wages, as well as “non-economic” damages such as emotional distress and pain and suffering. The amount of compensation available in your case depends on the severity of your injuries and other circumstances of the accident.
Punitive damages might also be available. Punitive damages are meant to punish an especially reckless or malicious wrongdoer and are awarded on top of the compensatory damages. If the at-fault driver flees the scene of an accident and the victim is seriously injured, a jury is likely to consider whether punitive damages are appropriate, which can significantly increase the potential value of a claim. Talk to your car accident lawyer about whether punitive damages may be available.
Call a Trusted Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer in Goshen After a Hudson Valley Hit-and-Run Injury
After a hit-and-run accident, time is critical. To have any hope of tracking down the responsible driver and holding them accountable for their actions, you need to act quickly and get a dedicated legal advocate on your side. If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Orange County and the surrounding areas, call Dupée & Monroe in Goshen at 845-294-8900 for a free consultation with passionate and effective Hudson Valley personal injury attorneys.