Hit and run car crashes are escalating at an alarming rate in the US. According to statistics, the total number of these crashes was approximately 737,100 in 2015. This implies that a hit and run accident would happen somewhere on US roads after every 43 seconds.
Being a victim of a hit-and-run accident is the worst thing that any driver can think of experiencing. While the pain from sustained injuries and the resulting loss from the car damage is bad enough, the situation gets out of hand when the perpetrator escapes from the scene.
If you are the afflicted individual and don’t know what to do after a car accident you should reach out to an Olean hit and run accident lawyer. For this reason, Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers would like to share the causes of hit and run behavior and the steps you need to take to get the compensation you deserve.
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Why Would A Driver Leave After An Accident?
Leaving an accident scene is unwise practice and also a serious crime. It can thus have dire consequences on the violators. Despite being aware of that fact, some drivers still commit it due to:
Drunk driving can confuse any driver to the point that they cannot see the importance of staying at the accident scene. When a driver commits an accident while under the influence, they might flee in the fear that the authorities would hold them responsible for the accident due to their drunken state.
Another factor that may contribute to hit and run is the fear for one’s safety. Imagine a situation where a young lady is involved in an accident with a male driver in a secluded region. They have sustained minor or no injuries, and the lady feels threatened to be with the man in isolation. The chances are that she will flee from the scene even if she was not responsible for the accident.
An individual might also flee from the accident scene if they fear being convicted and imprisoned for causing the accident. Or escape the scene if they do not have valid road requirements like a driving license and a valid car insurance cover.
Whatever your reason for leaving an accident scene, the reality is that it can qualify you as the one responsible for the crash. And, the consequences might be weightier than they could have been if you stayed.
So What Should You Do If A Driver Leaves After A Car Accident?
In Oleon, the law requires all drivers to stay at the accident scene until permitted to leave by the relevant legal authorities. If you are involved in an accident, and the other victim of the accident leaves the scene, you should not chase after them. Instead, you should stay at the scene and inform the police about the hit-and-run accident.
If a driver leaves after an accident you should take these steps:
Collect As Much Evidence As Possible
The idea is to feed the police with as much information as possible. Note down the other vehicle’s registration number, its model, colour, and any other identifiable feature on the car before its disappearance.
Also, provide a detailed description of how the accident happened to help the police identify the main culprit. Backing your information with photos of the scene and of your damaged vehicle could be of help too.
Note down the names and contacts of any persons around as they can act as your witnesses in a court of law. You can also ask them to hang around as they wait for interrogation by the police.
Notify Your Insurer And Get Medical Assistance
After collecting all the available information about the accident, you should inform your insurer about the accident and its hit-and-run nature so that they can commence with claim preparations. On the other hand, if you can’t establish the number of injuries you have sustained, you should go for medical tests and examinations to identify injuries. This information is very vital when it comes to evaluating your losses.
Obtain The Police Report
After you and your witnesses exchange the accident information with the police, the police should advise you when their report will be ready. For convenience purposes, note down their names and badge numbers to quickly collect the report.
What Damages Can Victims Get From A Hit And Run Accident Claim In New York?
In Olean, New York, the plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages if the defendant is beyond any reasonable doubt found to have recklessly caused the accident. The punitive damages are meant to compensate the plaintiff for their pain, suffering, medical expenses, loss of salary, and the permanent change of lifestyle, which might have been triggered by accident.
The punitive damages are also charged to inform other road users of the awaiting consequences if they engage in any form of misconduct on the road. They are calculated depending on the defendants’ lack of morality and their financial capabilities.
How Long Do I Have To File A Hit-And-Run Accident In Olean?
There is no predetermined amount of time you can take to file a hit-and-run accident in New York, as it depends on the availability of evidence. For instance, if you could capture the culprit’s car registration number and the car model before they escaped, it could take the police a matter of weeks to get the perpetrator. Also, the investigation process would take no time if your witness could help the police identify the car and the driver who escaped.
On the other hand, if you did not manage to gain sufficient information about the hit and run culprit, then the investigation process will take a longer time and thus delay filing a claim against the hit and run culprit.
The length of filing the claim will also take longer if you sustained severe injuries and can’t participate in the investigation. However, you can always investigate the car accident, file a claim and get the compensation you need through the help of an experienced hit and run accident attorney.
Why Do you Need A Lawyer?
If you get involved in a hit-and-run accident, you need the help of an auto accident attorney to help you with investigating the accident and filing a claim. The good thing about auto accident lawyers is that they will help you get the compensation you deserve even if you don’t have sufficient backing for your claim.
When you identify the culprit and they plead for a settlement of the claim without going to court, your lawyer will help you calculate the approximate settlement amount and protect you from exploitation.
On the other hand, if the defendant cannot pay the settlement amount as requested, your attorney will help you file a compensation claim against the defendant. They will also represent you in court proceedings, thus giving you a humble time to concentrate on your other activities.
Contact An Olean Hit And Run Accident Lawyer For A Free Consultation
Leaving after being involved in a car accident is a serious crime that drivers should avoid at all costs. If you happen to be an accident victim, do not leave the scene; instead, take time to collect accident information as you wait for the police. And, whether the responsibility for the accident falls on your side or not, you can always get justice with the help of a car accident lawyer in Olean.
When looking for a car accident attorney, do not go beyond Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers. Our legal experts have a deep understanding of the complexities of investigating a hit-and-run car accident. Contact us today and get the kind of compensation you deserve.