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Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers

Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers

Car accidents occur frequently in New York City. When a driver leaves the scene after causing an accident with another driver, pedestrian, cyclist, or parked car, it is considered a hit-and-run accident.

The most common type of hit-and-run accident occurs in parking lots when a driver hits another parked vehicle and leaves the scene without attempting to locate the vehicle’s owner or provide insurance information. Unfortunately, many instances occur when an at-fault driver flees the scene after injuring others, which can result in heavy punishments.

In New York City, hit-and-run accidents often result in severe or fatal injuries when they involve pedestrians or cyclists. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, one in every five fatalities involving pedestrians or cyclists is due to a hit-and-run accident.

Is it Against the Law to Flee the Scene of an Accident?

When you are involved in a car accident in New York, you are legally required to remain at the scene and call the police if the accident results in injuries, death, or over $1,000 in property damage. You do not have to report the accident if there are no injuries and minimal property damage. However, you must still stop and exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. 

Why Do Drivers Flee the Scene of an Accident?

Unfortunately, many drivers leave the scene of an accident, particularly those who know they are responsible. Drivers flee for several reasons, including:

  • Panic
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Attempting to avoid charges or be financially responsible
  • Driving without a license or on a suspended license
  • Breaking laws at the time of the accident, such as running a red light or speeding
  • Having active arrest warrants for other crimes
  • Assuming the accident is not severe or caused damage
  • Unaware they struck a pedestrian or cyclist

What Injuries Are Common in Hit-and-Run Accidents?

In Brooklyn, hit-and-run accidents can result in serious injuries, particularly if the driver strikes a pedestrian or cyclist. Some of the most common hit-and-run injuries include:

  • Amputation
  • Back injuries
  • Brain and head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Death
  • Facial and eye injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Psychological trauma
  • Road rash
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Whiplash

What Should I Do if I am Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident in Brooklyn?

Hit-and-run accidents can be nearly impossible to prove if you are injured and unable to gather information. Fortunately, the city’s traffic congestion and high number of pedestrians means there are likely several witnesses, some of whom may have taken photos or videos capturing the at-fault driver’s vehicle and license plate number. Witnesses are often at a better vantage point and state of mind when capturing important information. If you can, gather contact information, statements, and any photos or videos from witnesses who remain at the scene.

Additional steps you should take include:

  • Call the police to report the accident and any injuries.
  • Photograph the scene, including injuries, road conditions, signage, lighting, and other contributing factors.
  • Seek medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Certain injuries can have delayed symptoms that can become life-threatening if untreated. A physician’s medical report is also required for an injury claim.
  • Compile and keep all records and correspondence you receive related to your claim.
  • Hire an experienced Brooklyn hit-and-run accident lawyer to help identify the responsible driver and negotiate with insurance companies.

The penalties for drivers responsible for hit-and-run accidents vary depending on the severity of injuries. Fleeing drivers can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, vehicular assault, or manslaughter and can be fined thousands of dollars or face up to four years in prison.

Why Choose Rubenstein & Rynecki

Cases involving hit-and-run accidents are complex, especially if you cannot identify the driver. However, our experienced Brooklyn hit-and-run accident lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki have over 50 years of experience establishing negligence and litigating these cases.

In hit-and-run accidents, the legal concept of “negligence per se” can be applied to establish the fleeing driver’s responsibility. Under negligence per se, a person who injures another individual by violating a statute or law intended to protect others from harm can be considered negligent without further proof of their actions.

If you are injured in a hit-and-run accident, establishing negligence per se makes it easier for you to prove the other driver’s negligent actions without demonstrating that the driver breached their duty of care to protect others. Violating the applicable law itself serves as evidence of negligence, though you must still prove that your injuries directly result from the other driver’s violation of the law. Successfully establishing negligence per se can strengthen your case when seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.

Other ways Rubenstein & Rynecki can help include the following:

  • Investigate the accident scene.
  • Interview the responding police officers.
  • Identify the responsible driver.
  • Interview witnesses.
  • Prepare and file the required documents.
  • Establish your current and ongoing healthcare needs.
  • Negotiate maximum settlement with the insurance company.
  • Hire experts, if necessary
  • Represent you in court if your case proceeds to trial.

Can I Seek Compensation for a Hit-and-Run Accident?

Compensation in hit-and-run accidents depends on the circumstances and severity of the crash and your injuries. You may be entitled to seek compensation based on a combination of economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages refer to compensation for financial losses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, medication, rehabilitation, property damage, and more. Non-economic damages refer to compensation for intangible losses, such as disability, mental anguish, disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in car accident cases unless the at-fault driver’s actions were intentional, grossly negligent, or extremely harmful. Fleeing the scene of a car accident is considered an intentional act in New York, and punitive damages may be awarded to punish the hit-and-run driver and ultimately deter them and others from committing the same crime in the future.

What if the Hit-and-Run Driver Is Not Identified or Located?

If the hit-and-run driver is not identified or located, you may still have options for seeking compensation. For example, you can file a claim with your own insurance company under uninsured motorist coverage if you have this type of coverage in your policy.

How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Claim?

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is three years from the accident date or two years from the date of death.

Our Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki Help Injured Clients Establish Negligence and Seek Compensation

Hit-and-run accidents are common in New York City, often resulting in severe injuries. If you were injured in an accident with a driver who fled the scene, our experienced Brooklyn hit-and-run accident lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki can help you seek justice and hold the driver accountable. Call today at 718-522-1020 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Brooklyn, we serve clients throughout New York City, including The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

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