Hit and Runs: Can You Get Compensation?
It is a founding principle of New York personal injury law that people who cause accidents should shoulder the financial costs suffered by victims. Unfortunately, some drivers never stick around to share their identity and their insurance information. Instead, they take off soon after causing a collision.
Fortunately, Brooklyn motorists can receive compensation to cover their expenses from several sources—their personal injury protection benefits, uninsured motorist coverage, and possibly from the state’s fund.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits
New York is a no-fault state, so injured motorists always contact their own insurer when reporting a claim. In New York, every person who registers a motor vehicle must carry $50,000 in no-fault benefits.
In a minor accident, these sums might be sufficient. However, the cost of medical care continues to skyrocket. It isn’t unusual for injured motorists to easily exhaust their PIP benefits treating relatively minor injuries like fractures, soft-tissue injuries, and concussions. If so, you need to turn to other sources to cover your losses.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
Insurers in New York must offer their drivers uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage can kick in if you were injured in a hit and run and could not identify the driver who injured you. Generally, drivers will carry $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in UM coverage, which is the minimum.
New York’s Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC)
Some people injured in hit and run accidents don’t own a vehicle and therefore don’t have insurance. They might be pedestrians or cyclists, but they have suffered serious injuries after a hit and run.
In this case, you might apply to the state’s MVAIC fund for compensation. This fund provides $25,000 per person in no-fault benefits, up to $50,000 per accident. To qualify, you must meet strict eligibility requirements:
- You were a resident of New York when the crash happened.
- You were involved in a motor vehicle crash in the state.
- You have no automobile insurance.
- You do not own the vehicle involved in the crash.
- You are not the spouse of the uninsured vehicle owner or a passenger in the vehicle.
You also must move quickly to receive benefits. For example, you must:
- Report the accident to the police within 24 hours.
- Submit a notice of intention (NOI) within 90 days if you were involved in a hit and run.
Injured in a Hit & Run? Please Contact Us
After an accident, motorists might feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities. As medical bills arrive in the mailbox, you need to fill out forms and possibly haggle with your insurance company.
At the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates in Brooklyn, we understand how stressful the aftermath of an accident is. If we can be of help, please contact us without delay. You can schedule your free, no obligation consultation by calling 718-407-4123.