Are Hit and Run Accidents Increasing in NYC?
It is against the law for motorists to flee the scene after an accident. If someone was in the vehicle at the time of a collision, then a motorist should stop and render assistance. Even if a vehicle was unoccupied, a motorist should try to find the owner or, at a minimum, leave notice of their identity and information about their insurance.
Motorists who flee can face steep penalties when caught. For example, leaving the scene of an accident where someone suffered bodily harm can be either a Class B or Class A misdemeanor, depending on the seriousness of the victim’s injuries. A motorist can spend time in jail and pay a fine, among other punishments.
Nevertheless, stories of hit and run accidents seem to be increasing in New York City. Injured motorists are left in the dark about who is responsible for their damage, which makes it unlikely they will receive compensation at all.
One of the most disturbing hit and run accidents occurred in early January, when a man was hit by a bus in midtown. According to the New York Post, the man was struck when he tried crossing Fifth Avenue at 59th Street. The bus accident was so traumatic that the man ended up in the hospital with severe trauma. It is unclear whether the driver of the bus was aware that he or she had struck a pedestrian, but the driver did not stop.
Another horrifying accident only a day earlier involved a sanitation truck that struck a mother and her son in Queens. The Post reported that a mother and her son were traveling down 57th Street in Corona around 7:00 am when the DSNY vehicle crashed into them. The truck was attempting to make a right-hand turn when it hit the pair, killing the son and leaving the mother in critical condition in the hospital.
Obtaining Compensation after a Hit and Run
If you were struck by a driver who fled the scene, you might struggle to obtain compensation. Fortunately, New York state requires that motorists carry personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. These no-fault benefits can come in handy during a hit and run accident. Currently, New York requires that motorists carry at least $50,000 in PIP, which might be enough to cover a minor or moderate injury.
Those with more serious injuries might lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation. We encourage injured pedestrians and motorists to meet with a lawyer to consider options. If you carry uninsured motorist insurance, then you might be able to use that insurance to cover medical bills, lost income, and other losses.
Speak with a Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyer Today
The days following a hit and run are disorientating. Many victims are unsure of what they can do. Please contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman today. We are a long-time personal injury firm in New York City that has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. To schedule a free consultation, please call 212-285-3300 or submit this contact form.