Perhaps the only thing more upsetting than getting into a crash is realizing the other person involved has left the scene without checking on you or calling for help. Under these circumstances, crash victims can be hurt and scared, not to mention angry.
It can feel like there is no way to hold the reckless party liable or collect damages for the financial and non-financial losses. However, there are ways to pick up the pieces after a hit-and-run crash in New York.
Report crash to police within 24 hours
Call the police to report the accident. The timeliness of you reporting the hit-and-run incident could make the difference in how the incident is resolved. Some insurance companies will deny a hit-and-run crash if it has not been reported to the police within 24 hours. As a result, failing to report to the police could preclude any chance of recovery.
Investigating the crash
While there may not be another person or their vehicle on-site, a crash scene can still contain a host of information to help parties track down the fleeing party. Everything from debris to paint scrapes can help identify the vehicle or type of driver involved.
Thus, parties should call the police after a crash to make a report. It is also crucial to talk to witnesses and collect recordings from dashcams, people on the scene and surveillance systems in the area. Put together, these details can create a complete picture of what happened and who was involved.
Another key to hit-and-run crashes could be camera footage. Look to see if security cameras or traffic cameras are in the area that could have documented the crash. These could be critical in finding the hit-and-run driver to hold them accountable.
No one expects an individual to gather this information alone. Lawyers, insurance agents, police and crash reconstructionists can play a vital role in investigating the crash.
Taking action to get closure
If you cannot locate the other driver, you can still take steps to get the help you need after a hit-and-run crash. Often, this entails negotiating with insurance companies to collect maximum payments through various types of coverage, which an attorney can assist with.
If you can identify a hit-and-run driver, filing a legal claim can be wise. Not only does it mean holding that reckless party liable for their actions before and after a crash, but it can also help victims collect damages for financial losses, emotional distress and property damage.
These solutions will not turn back the clock to stop a crash from happening or change the illegal actions of a hit-and-run driver. However, they can help victims cope with their injuries and losses to move forward.