Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 600, “Any person operating a motor vehicle who, knowing or having cause to know that personal injury has been caused to another person,” must stop, share license and insurance information and file a report with the authorities. In other words, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident when someone has been hurt. But, every day drivers in New York City flee the scene without stopping, exchanging information, or offering any help.
An investigation led by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer discovered that there have been about 38,000 hit-and-run crashes in New York City in the year 2015. According to a recent New York Magazine report, about 34,000 of those accidents were minor and resulted in little more than dents and sideswipes. That means that about 4,000 New York City hit-and-run crashes this year involved a personal injury.
Hit-and-run injury accidents are common in New York City. They often go without legal repercussions for the at-fault driver. Only 480 of the 38,000 total hit-and-run incidents resulted in criminal charges. Of the 48 accidents that killed someone, only 28 of the responsible hit-and-run drivers were arrested.
Many New York City hit-and-run crashes go uninvestigated. Even those that are fully investigated don’t always result in an arrest. This leaves injured victims in the difficult position of not knowing whom to hold accountable for their losses, or how to get support for their medical bills, property damage, and time away from work. This is why all drivers in New York are encouraged to buy uninsured motorist coverage.
New York law requires auto insurance policies to provide uninsured motorist coverage. Drivers should also purchase additional supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage can provide support if you’re involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, or if the at-fault driver leaves the scene and is never caught.
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you need to contact a New York car accident attorney. Your attorney can review your case, help hold the at-fault driver accountable, and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation even if the at-fault driver isn’t apprehended.
Contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP at (212) 986- 7353. We can help.