Our NYC Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get Compensation if the Driver Who Hit You Fled the Scene.
When your life has been upended by a driver who failed to stay at the scene of a crash, you should contact an NYC hit-and-run lawyer to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Hit-and-run accidents can cause property damage and major injuries (including brain trauma) and even wrongful death. Survivors can be left dealing with tremendous pain and suffering and facing mounting financial costs at a time when they may not be able to work.
Unfortunately, hit-and-run cases are complicated by the fact that the drivers involved may be difficult to find. Drivers who leave the scene often do so because they lack insurance or are intoxicated. This makes it even more important to seek professional legal assistance to get the compensation you are entitled to.
Our Hit-and-Run Lawyers Understand How NYC Laws Apply to Your Case
New York law regarding hit-and-run accidents is complicated, and making mistakes can be costly, so you should not try to handle a situation like this on your own. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we know the law, the system, and what it takes to get our clients compensation to cover the many costs they face. We will attempt to find the hit-and-run driver, but we will also pursue the compensation that your insurance company owes you. Put our experienced team to work on your case today while evidence is fresh, witnesses can be found, and the driver who took off may still be located.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the details of what happened and show you how we can help. Let our law firm meet with you to help you better understand your legal options. You will not owe us any fees until we win your case. Call the New York City hit-and-run attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC today (516) 399-2364 to get started.
How an NYC Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer From Kaplan Lawyers PC Can Help You
Our legal team has decades of experience and a proven track record of maximizing settlements, and we are in the best position to ensure that you get everything you are entitled to. We can help by:
- Filing all paperwork in accordance with New York deadlines and court requirements.
- Attempting to track down the driver by interviewing witnesses, police officers, and first responders, and gathering evidence from traffic cameras and reports from the authorities. We’ll even hire private investigators, if necessary.
- Negotiating with insurance companies and their attorneys. New York state has a no-fault insurance system that will pay for medical bills, prescription costs, household services, transportation to medical providers, and lost wages up to your limits of coverage if you are injured. If you cannot find the driver who hit you, or the driver has no insurance, you can turn to your own uninsured motorist personal injury insurance to pay for your pain and suffering. However, insurance companies are out for profit and will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible. They employ armies of attorneys, claims specialists, and other experts, but our attorneys know the tactics they use and are prepared to combat them and fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Building your case and arguing in front of a judge or jury if your case goes to trial.
Compensation Awards a Hit-and-Run Lawyer in NYC May Win
Our Lawyers May Win a Settlement for You That Covers Both Your Economic and Non-Economic Damages.
New York statute ISC 5102 allows you to file a lawsuit if you have sustained a serious injury. The following qualify as serious injuries for the purposes of the measure:
- Significant disfigurement
- Loss of a fetus
- Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function, or system
- Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member
- Significant limitation of use of a body function or system
- A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
How Our Hit-and Run Attorney Proves Liability for the Accident
To win your hit-and-run lawsuit, our lawyers will have to show that the defendant in the case was negligent, at fault for your injuries, and therefore liable for the accident. There is a legal obligation, or duty of care, for responsible people to act in a way that does not harm others, or they may be held liable.
The following are necessary elements to prove liability:
- The defendant had a duty of care not to harm you.
- They breached that duty through some action or failure to act.
- This violation was directly related to the accident that caused your injuries.
- You suffered some harm as a result.
Damages You May Receive
In successful cases, our attorneys win compensation called “damages” for the losses and injuries clients sustain. The state of New York allows restitution for both economic and non-economic damages as follows:
Economic damages: These are for your monetary losses, such as:
- Medical and rehabilitation bills, estimated into the future
- Lost income from being unable to work, past, current, and estimated into the future
- Property damage.
Noneconomic damages: These are for damages that do not have a specific dollar value, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of consortium and loss of quality and enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement or permanent loss of limb.
Punitive damages: In some rare cases, where defendants act egregiously and recklessly at the time of a hit-and-run (such as by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs), punitive damages may be available. These are intended to punish the defendant and to deter such actions in the future.
New York does not have a damage cap for personal injury cases, and the more permanent and severe the injury (and the greater the resulting impact on your life), the higher the recovery may be.
Amounts of Damage Awards
Every case is different. There is a wide range of damage award amounts, from thousands to millions, depending on individual circumstances. Our attorneys will look at the factors involved in your case to determine an approximation of what your lawsuit is worth. We will consider:
- The amount of your monetary losses
- The type, extent, permanence, and effects of your injuries
- Your age, health, and physical condition before the accident
- Your family situation and responsibilities
- Your work situation – whether you will be able to return to work and what your earning capacity would have been if the accident had not occurred
- The conduct and recklessness of the party responsible for the injury
- The availability of insurance coverage and assets of the defendants
- Whether a death is involved.
Our Hit-and-Run Attorney Answers FAQs
Here are some questions our clients often ask:
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The statute of limitations (the time within which a claim must be brought following the date of the accident) is three years for a personal injury claim. Wrongful death claims must be brought within two years of the date of death, not the date of the accident itself. If the claim is being brought against a municipality, the time to bring a claim is significantly shorter, depending on whom the claim is against, so you should consult with an attorney immediately.
How will my medical bills be paid?
Whether you were the driver or a passenger, your medical bills will be paid for by the insurance company that covered the car you were in. However, you must file a No-Fault application with the insurer within 30 days of the date of the accident; if you fail to do so, you will have waived your right to file the claim for benefits.
Is the hit-and-run driver 100% at fault?
New York law follows the pure comparative negligence rule, which states that an injured party will receive compensation for their injuries in proportion to their percentage of contribution to the accident. For example, if a jury believes a claimant was 10% at fault, the other driver is responsible for paying 90% of the claimant’s damages. In most cases, if a hit-and-run driver has been identified, they will be held strictly liable (100% liable), as fleeing the scene can be considered an admission of guilt.
How long does it take for police to investigate a hit-and-run?
There is no specific timeframe for investigating a hit-and-run accident. The time it takes police to investigate a hit-and-run will depend on factors like the availability of witnesses, the presence of traffic cameras and cameras at local businesses that may have captured the accident, and other potential means of identifying the hit-and-run driver. It’s important to contact an attorney right away if you are the victim of a hit-and-run, whether the person who caused the accident has been identified or not.
How long will it take to settle my case?
Every case is different, but our legal team utilizes the most advanced technology and aggressive legal strategy to expedite our clients’ cases, reducing the time it generally takes to resolve disputes. How long your hit-and-run case takes to resolve ultimately depends on the specific circumstances of your case.
Hit-and-Run Victims Have Legal Options
Slideshare: Hit and Run Victims Have Legal Options
Top 5 Mistakes Made After a Hit-and-Run Accident
There are several steps you can take to maximize the amount of money you receive after a hit-and-run accident, such as documenting your damages, keeping track of all the bills you receive, and contacting an attorney very early on in the process. However, there are just as many mistakes you could make that could end up reducing the amount of money you are offered by an insurance company.
These are some of the most common missteps hit-and-run victims take after being injured by a negligent driver:
- Not filing an accident report with the police
- Failing to report the accident to their insurance company
- Assuming they will recover on their own and not seeking medical attention
- Believing that the insurance company will deal with them fairly
- Not hiring an experienced attorney who will complete all filings to protect their rights and ensure that the injured person will receive full compensation.
Your hit-and-run lawyer will give you legal advice about what you should and shouldn’t be doing in the days, weeks, and months following the crash. Your attorney will also handle most of the work associated with filing a hit-and-run accident claim, so you can rest and focus on your health and recovery.
Hit-and-Run Accidents Involving Pedestrians and Cyclists
While using the road in New York is a risky activity for everyone, those walking and using bicycles are at the greatest risk.
The most common injuries pedestrians and cyclists suffer in road accidents include:
- Traumatic head injuries: These can cause symptoms like cognitive disabilities, behavioral changes, memory loss, emotional dysregulation, and loss of physical capabilities.
- Spinal injuries: These can lead to partial or complete physical paralysis.
- Internal injuries: The most common of these include organ damage and internal bleeding. These injuries may not be immediately apparent and can be life-threatening if left untreated.
- Road rash: This is a common injury for cyclists who are involved in accidents. It occurs when the skin is scraped or torn away after contact with the pavement or road surface. Road rash can be extremely painful and debilitating, and may require medical treatment to prevent infection.
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries include bruises, sprains, and strains. They may not be as severe as other injuries, but they can still cause pain and discomfort and may require medical treatment.
- Broken bones: Pedestrians and cyclists commonly sustain broken arms, legs, and ribs in car accidents. These injuries typically require some degree of immobilization or surgery to heal properly. More severe breaks require more time, or more invasive treatment; the most serious may never heal fully.
It’s important to remember that cars and other vehicles are legally obliged to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks. If there is a pedestrian traffic signal at a crosswalk, pedestrians are required to wait for the signal to switch to “Walk.” Otherwise, the pedestrian’s right of way is automatic.
In some cases, the motorist will have a green light at the same time the pedestrian has a “Walk” signal. Despite the green light, the pedestrian retains the right of way in this situation, and the motorist must wait for them to pass.
“Dooring” is a type of car accident that occurs when a driver or passenger in a parked car opens the door into the path of an oncoming cyclist. The cyclist may be unable to stop or avoid the open door and can crash into it or be thrown onto the road or into traffic.
Because New York City is a crowded urban area with a lot of road users competing for space, dooring is common here. This is particularly true of areas of the city with a lot of bike lanes, or just a lot of cyclists.
In a dooring case, a court may try to determine who was at fault by determining whether the driver or passenger in the car was sufficiently aware of and responsive to their surroundings before opening their door. Of course, if the car involved fled the scene, a court is much more likely to take the view that the driver was at fault, and therefore liable to pay damages to the cyclist.
Call the New York City Hit-and-Run Attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC Today
At Kaplan Lawyers, we know how to get results for our clients. Our years of experience can be your asset. We encourage you to review our past results and client testimonials to get a better idea of our legal services. We also want the opportunity to meet with you and your loved ones to help you better understand your path to compensation.
If you can’t come to one of our offices, we can come to you. We value our client relationships, and we take our role as advocates seriously. Let us hear your story and help you devise a winning strategy.
We offer free initial assessments, and you are under no obligation to move forward with our firm if you don’t wish to do so. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so if you don’t win your case, we don’t get paid.
Reach out to our law firm to speak to personal injury attorneys who will fight for the payment you deserve — call (516) 399-2364 today.
“PROFESSIONALISM AT IT’S BEST! Ralph Sabatino, at Kaplan Lawyers, is a very thorough and competent professional who always had my best interests in mind. Ralph is a lawyer who strives to give the best customer service methods. What I especially liked about Ralph was that he kept me up-to-date on my case from the very beginning to the very end and always took my calls, a personal touch that most lawyers don’t afford. After almost a year and a half of fighting on my behalf my case was settled to my satisfaction. Thanks again, Ralph.” – Kyle Stover (Google Review)
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]