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Witnessing a Hit and Run in NYC: What to Do and How to Report

July 28, 2022
Person in crosswalk

When a motorist crashes into another motorist or pedestrian and flees the scene without stopping to provide identification and rendering aid to people who may have been injured in the accident, this is considered a hit and run. Unfortunately, in such cases, the motorist will flee right away before they can even be identified. Usually, a driver that fled the accident scene wants to avoid liability for the crash or doesn’t want to get caught because they’re:

  • Driving while drunk or drugged
  • Uninsured
  • Scared of losing their driver’s license due to previous violations
  • Driving with a suspended license or without a license
  • In possession of drugs or stolen property
  • Driving a stolen vehicle

Witnessing a hit and run accident can be scary, especially if it causes severe injuries or damage to property. While the severity of the crash will determine your response to the incident, there are some important things you must do immediately to help the people involved in the crash until the police and emergency responders arrive.

Call for Help Immediately

When you witness an accident, never assume that someone else has already called 911 or the police. Once you’re connected to the operator, provide clear details about the accident. This can include information about the hit and run driver’s vehicle, the exact location of the crash, the vehicles involved, etc.

After calling for help and making sure that it’s safe to approach the crash, check on the people inside the vehicle. If anyone seems to be injured, particularly if their injuries are severe, don’t move them. Only move injured people if not doing so will further endanger their lives, such as if there’s a risk of the vehicle catching on fire. The best thing to do is to remain calm, reassure the injured victims that help is coming, and wait with them.

Never Chase or Go After the Hit and Run Driver

If you were in your car when you witnessed the crash and saw the driver fleeing the scene, you might be very tempted to go after them – you shouldn’t. Engaging in a car chase is never safe, and it’s possible that the hit and run driver is armed, intoxicated, or otherwise dangerous. Instead, whip out your phone and take photos or videos of the vehicle, which you can show the police later.

Give Your Statement to The Police

When the police arrive, they immediately investigate the scene and create a detailed report of the crash. This police report will contain their observations and the testimonies and contact details of any witnesses. Your statement will be very helpful for the crash victims when they file a claim to recover compensation for their injuries and related damages. You must do your best to give a detailed and accurate account of the things you saw.

Speak to an Experienced Bronx Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you have any concerns or questions about your car accident case or have been injured in a hit and run accident, contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman right away. You can find out more about your legal options for recovering compensation by scheduling a free consultation with our Bronx car accident lawyer. You can reach us at 212-285-3300 or online.


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