Posted on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at 2:47 pm
When you’re involved in a car accident, it’s natural to assume the other driver will stop their vehicle and wait for law enforcement to arrive. You think anyone involved in a crash will be concerned about another person’s well-being. Unfortunately, some motorists flee the scene without checking on others or waiting for an officer to investigate.
Hit and run accidents can be scary. You experienced a sudden and traumatic event and found yourself alone at the crash site. It’s crucial to take the necessary steps to locate the negligent driver so you can hold them liable for their actions. Report the accident to law enforcement, seek medical treatment, and hire an attorney immediately.
State Law Regarding Hit and Run Accidents
According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 600, any person involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in property damage, injury, or death must:
- Stop and provide a license and insurance identification card for the vehicle
- Give their name, residence, insurance information, and license number to the other party
- Provide all required information to the officer at the scene or report the accident to the nearest police station or judicial officer as soon as possible
Violating this law can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge. The hit and run driver could face an expensive fine and imprisonment.
It’s vital to go to the hospital after speaking with the investigating officer. You need to begin treatment, so there’s documentation of your injury. If the doctor recommends follow-up care, be sure to follow their orders. Medical records are valuable evidence in hit and run cases.
How to Locate the Driver in a Hit and Run Accident
If an accident occurs and the other driver flees the scene, call 911 immediately. You should stay where you are until an officer shows up to investigate. If necessary, ask the 911 operator to send an ambulance for transport to a nearby hospital.
Law enforcement should speak to you about what happened and interview anyone who witnessed the crash. If you can recall relevant details, such as the car color, the direction the driver was heading, and the license plate number, inform the officer. You should also describe what the driver looks like if you saw them before they drove off.
The police report can be useful during a hit and run investigation. Your legal team can request a copy and review the information it contains. There might be details that help determine where the driver went after fleeing the scene.
Maybe there’s a security camera near the location of the crash your lawyer can use to find the motorist. Or a resident in that area could have seen everything and written down vital information about the driver and their vehicle.
Your legal team can use various resources to track down the driver and hold them responsible for the harm they caused.
Your legal team can talk to witnesses and obtain their statements. Someone might have seen the entire incident, including where the driver headed after the collision.
Sometimes, witnesses write down information, such as a license plate number, description of the car, and description of the driver. Your legal team can gather all necessary information from the witnesses to try to find the motorist.
Your legal team can contact the investigating officer for details that might help track down the hit and run driver. Law enforcement can also investigate the accident. Fleeing the scene is a criminal offense. They might want to locate the driver to press charges. If they figure out who’s responsible, your legal team could determine any available auto insurance coverage to file a claim on your behalf.
Traffic cameras are common throughout New York. Many buildings also contain security cameras. Your legal team can secure footage from these cameras to try to capture the crash as it happened. A clear image of the car and license plate can make locating the driver easy.
Department of Motor Vehicles
Your legal team could call the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to request information about the driver if anyone wrote down the license plate number. Law enforcement might also have asked the DMV for the results of a license plate search.
Residents and Business Owners
Anyone living or working near the scene of the accident could provide helpful information. Your legal team can speak with the residents and business owners in the community for details regarding the driver or their car. It’s possible someone knows who the person is or saw what happened.
Injured in a Hit and Run Accident? Call Hach & Rose, LLP
If you suffered injuries in a hit and run accident in New York, contact the New York car accident lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP immediately. We have successfully represented injured clients for nearly 20 years. Our team of dedicated attorneys will fight to find the at-fault motorist, hold them liable, and recover the compensation you deserve.
Call us at (212) 779-0057 now for your free consultation.