Hit-and-run accidents have been on the rise increasing by 7.2 percent every year since 2009. Furthermore, there has been an average of 682,000 such accidents occurring every year since 2006.
Hit-and-run accidents can be devastating and traumatic. They lead to many problems afterward, especially when the driver cannot be tracked. In some cases, you could be left at the mercy of an insurance company hoping to get a small compensation.
In this article, we will see how to deal with hit and run car accidents In Lackawanna, Pennsylvania. Call a Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer today.
If you are the victim of a car accident in Lackawanna and don’t know what to do, you might be in need of legal assistance to file a claim In a court of law. At Buffalo Car Accident Lawyer, we will take up your case and ensure you get compensated accordingly. Call us at (716) 261-2614.
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Why Would a Driver Leave the Scene After an Accident?
There are several reasons that would cause a driver to flee the scene of a crash. These include:
- They were drunk or operating under the influence of drugs
- They had a suspended license
- They were not covered by car insurance
- There’s an outstanding warrant for their arrest
- The car is stolen
- They were not aware that they were in a crash
What Should You Do if a Driver Flees After a Crash
If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, DON’T go after the fleeing driver. Chasing after them can be extremely dangerous, as they may be armed. Plus, you may miss some crucial witnesses if you are not at the scene.
So what should you do? Here are some steps:
Seek Emergency Services
Your well-being should be your first consideration. If you have injuries, call for an ambulance (911). Additionally, you want to call the police and explain to them that you were a victim of a hit and run car accident. The police will draft a report and try to track down the fleeing driver.
Collect as much information about the driver, make of the car, and scene of the crash as you can get. Include the description of the car, its license plate number, the direction that the car drove to, and take photos of the scene of the accident.
Did someone witness the accident? Were there people in nearby vehicles? What of people who were waiting for a bus close by? What about people who were working in the nearby buildings? Locate any potential witnesses and get their contact information.
What Claims Can Victims File For a hit and run accident In Lackawanna, New York?
The state of New York is distinct because it allows drivers to get no-fault insurance (also known as ‘limited tort’ insurance) or fault-based insurance (sometimes called “full tort” insurance).
Having no-fault insurance gives you the privilege of turning to your insurance company to have it pay for the damages in the event of a hit-and-run accident. If you had bought fault-based insurance, it might get a bit complicated.
Hopefully, the authorities (or your car accident lawyer) will be in a position to find the driver responsible. If they are tracked down, you can proceed to file a personal injury lawsuit against them or a claim with their insurance provider.
On the other hand, if you had purchased a fault-based cover and the driver is never found, your insurance policy may still compensate you, on the condition that you had purchased certain extra coverage.
Some of the extra coverage that may come in handy to cover hit and run damages include:
- Uninsured motorist (UM) Coverage– This cover offers coverage for damaged property and sustained body injuries by you or your passengers in your car, following a crash involving a driver who can’t be traced or is uninsured.
- Personal injury Protection (PIP) Coverage– This cover offers up to $10,000 In coverage, no matter whose fault it was.
- MedPay Coverage– This coverage shoulders all medical expenses incurred by you or your passengers, regardless of the at-fault party.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for a hit and run accident in Lackawanna, New York
In the state of New York, you’re required by law to file an accident report within 5 days of the crash if:
- The police did not investigate the accident, and
- The accident led to death, injury, or serious damage to any vehicle
In order to file a report, you’ll first need to fill in the New York Department of Transportation Driver’s accident Report form and then mail the form to the address that will be listed on the form.
To file the form, it’s easier if you have the following details at hand:
The involved vehicles make, model, and body style
Their license plates
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)
Contact details of the involved parties including the name, address, and phone numbers
Insurance policy numbers of the parties involved
Call a Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer today and they can help you fill out the hit and run accident form.
Why Do I Need a Lackawanna Hit and Run Accident Lawyer?
A Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer can save you a lot of trouble in the event of a hit-and-run. Here’s why you need a lawyer:
Prove Liability When the driver is Known
The driver responsible for the accident is sometimes tracked down after the incident. This person oftentimes faces some kind of criminal charges. However, you may still have to prove liability In a civil case, regardless of the driver getting convicted criminally.
Proving liability is usually a highly technical process that calls for a good command of the law. A Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer will therefore help establish all the legal requirements that indicate the driver was liable.
This is crucial since both the court and insurance companies need proof of liability before they pay out any compensation.
Gather Supporting Evidence
You’ll need evidence to prove that you got injured in a hit-and-run accident. You’ll also need evidence showing the extent of the injuries sustained. What the normal person considers proof might not be admissible to a court or to the insurance representative.
A Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer will be well versed in gathering evidence that lends support to your claims as well as the facts of the case. This evidence will show exactly how severe the injuries are, whether they are permanent, and if they are affecting your life.
Meet Deadlines and Deal with Communication
If you were involved in a hit-and-run car accident, you may be recovering from the injuries sustained. You may also have a partial, temporary, or total disability. This can prevent you from doing the necessary footwork to file a claim.
A Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer will help meet the deadlines and respond to any necessary communications. This includes handling letters from the insurance companies, filing documents with the courts, and responding to all legal motions on time.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
If you were a victim in a hit-and-run car accident, you might never see the liable person again. This means that your only way to be compensated is through your insurance company. However, insurers will go to great lengths to make the compensation process difficult.
A good Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer will stop the unfair tactics and help you win fair compensation.
In a hit-and-run car accident, you’ll be dealing with many factors that may be considered as damages by the law. Without any legal training, you might not be able to accurately calculate damages for a personal injury claim.
A Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer will help quantify damages until you arrive at a monetary figure that compensates you fairly.
Your car accident lawyer will ask for money that covers medical fees, medical devices, and future treatments. You could also stand compensation for pain and suffering or for future lost income.
Call a Lackawanna Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Today
A hit-and-run car accident may be shrouded with many complications, but you shouldn’t end up footing all the bills. A good Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer will see to it that you get compensated even if the at-fault driver is not tracked down.
At Buffalo Car Accident Lawyer, we have a lot of experience in hit-and-runs spanning years and we have successfully collected multiple millions for our deserving clients. Contact a Lackawanna hit and run accident lawyer at (716) 261-2614 today for a free consultation.