Uninsured Hit and Run Accidents New York
In New York, it is against the law and a crime which can range from a misdemeanor to a felony if a person operating a motor vehicle flees or leaves the scene of an accident knowing or has cause to know that someone has been injured due to an accident involving a motor vehicle. Despite this law, operators of motor vehicles continue to flee or leave the scene of motor vehicle accidents, whether on purpose, due to fear or sometimes as a result of uncertainty. Some of these drivers are operating motor vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol and others are driving without a proper license or proper insurance coverage.
Whatever the reason, accidents involving hit and run vehicles where drivers flee the scene of an accident often leave injury victims with serious issues that go beyond getting the medical treatment that they need. Although witnesses and/or the presence of surveillance cameras can assist in locating the operators and/or owners of motor vehicles which have fled or left the scene of an accident, there is no guarantee that the parties responsible for a hit and run accident may ever be found.
The mere fact that you are unable to locate any information concerning the identity of the driver or owner of a motor vehicle which was involved in a hit and run accident does not mean that you are helpless under the law. There are resources and sources of recovery relating to your medical expenses, lost wages and compensation for your pain and suffering and any permanent injuries you may have sustained. This is why it is extremely important to contact a hit and run accident attorney immediately so that you can discover all of your rights and options in addition to being guided appropriately so that you and your loved ones can be compensated for any harms and losses which have occurred due to a hit and run accident that has resulted in injuries or death.
Aside from a hit and run accident, you or a loved one may have been involved in an accident where even though the identity of the operator and the owner of the vehicle are known, there may be no insurance coverage available for the vehicle which caused an accident. This scenario could occur if a motor vehicle involved in an accident was stolen or the vehicle did not have insurance which may have lapsed or the vehicle was never insured to begin with. There could also be other circumstances surrounding the operation of a motor vehicle which gives rise to no available insurance coverage available for the accident. For example, the individual driving the vehicle may not have had permission or consent to operate the vehicle which results in the insurance company disclaiming coverage. There are a number of circumstances surrounding the operation of a motor vehicle which could result in a vehicle not having insurance at the time it is involved in a motor vehicle accident. This type of accident is referred to as an
The Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. have been representing victims of hit and run and uninsured accidents for over 33 years and are fully knowledgeable concerning all of the remedies available to those victims and their families as a result of a hit and run or uninsured accident. Navigating and prosecuting claims arising from hit and run and uninsured accidents can be complicated and require investigation of the peculiar facts and circumstances surrounding every situation which is unique. You should contact the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. as soon as you are aware of this type of accident so that you and your family may be provided with a free evaluation in order to determine how best to proceed so that all necessary claims may be pursued in order to obtain full and fair compensation for any harms and losses which have occurred due to either a hit and run or uninsured accident.
Available Remedies in New York
When Household Motor Vehicle Insurance Is Available
Whether you were a passenger, pedestrian or a driver of a motor vehicle or motorcycle that was involved in an accident caused by a hit and run or uninsured driver of another motor vehicle, there are options and remedies available to you.
If a pedestrian victim in this type of accident resides in a household where either he, she or someone else in that household owns a motor vehicle, it is likely that the insurance policy covering that particular vehicle in the household will have “uninsured motorist coverage” to cover the motor vehicle accident victim in a hit and run or uninsured accident. This is true even though the motor vehicle in the household was not involved in the accident and there is no relationship between the car(s) in the household and the accident in question. In fact, New York law requires insurance companies underwriting motor vehicle insurance to provide for “uninsured motorist benefits.” What this means is that you or a loved one who has been the victim of a hit and run or uninsured accident can pursue various benefits and coverage as a result of the availability of an automobile insurance policy covering a vehicle that is owned by someone who lives in your household.
A(1). Benefits and Coverage Available under Household Motor Vehicle Insurance
The benefits are referred to as No-Fault benefits which will cover immediate and necessary medical and health care costs which are necessary in order to receive appropriate and necessary medical care and treatment following an accident as well as various lost wages due to the inability to work and other reasonable and necessary expenses which are more fully discussed in our web content entitled “HOW ARE MEDICAL/HEALTH EXPENSES, LOST EARNINGS AND OTHER EXPENSES COVERED AS A RESULT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT?”
Other compensation and damages for pain and suffering due to injuries or death resulting from a hit and run or uninsured motor vehicle accident are available under the uninsured motorist coverage endorsement in the household automobile insurance policy which will determine the amount of money you or a loved one can pursue for pain and suffering and injuries or death. Remember, the No-Fault benefits you are entitled to under that policy are separate and distinct from your ability to pursue pain and suffering and injury compensation under the uninsured motorist coverage endorsement. Moreover, pursuing monies to cover you or a loved one for pain and suffering, injuries or death under the uninsured motorist coverage endorsement can take place outside of court through arbitration without a judge or jury and this is often a much faster process than having to proceed as a party in court.
1. Victims Who Do Not Have Household Motor Vehicle Insurance Available
For those victims who reside in a household where there is no motor vehicle owned by anyone, the law in the State of New York has resulted in a corporation being set up under the New York Insurance Law called the “New York Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC)”. MVAIC was created in 1958 by the New York State Legislature and operates as a non-profit organization which provides No-Fault coverage to victims who are eligible for benefits in the same manner that other insurance companies would be required to pay No-Fault benefits where there is insurance coverage available in an accident. Additionally, there is available through MVAIC the right to pursue compensation for pain and suffering and other injury damages if you or a loved one is eligible, meaning that you are a qualified person under the law. Effective January 1, 1996, the maximum amount of recovery for injuries, including pain and suffering to one person who is eligible is $25,000.00 and $50,000.00 if there have been two or more persons that have been injured and are seeking recovery for injury as the result of one accident. If someone has died, the applicable coverage is $50,000.00.
In order to be a qualified person permitted to submit a claim to MVAIC, the victim must be a resident of New York State or a resident of another state or country that has a substantially similar program to New York State’s program in that state or country. Furthermore, a qualified person is someone other than a person who would be permitted coverage through some household policy or the owner of an uninsured motor vehicle and his/her spouse when a passenger in such a vehicle.
With respect to claims that are being made against MVAIC, there are many procedures and requirements. Furthermore, there are time limits which require claims to be made within ninety (90) days of the happening of an accident.
Additionally, if an accident resulted from a hit and run, under New York Insurance Law, there is a requirement that the accident be reported to the police, a peace officer or a judicial officer, or the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, within twenty-four (24) hours. Of course, if circumstances surrounding the accident could not be reported within twenty-four (24) hours, the rights of victims should not be prejudiced if it can be shown that it was not reasonably possible to make such a report within twenty-four (24) hours or that it was made as soon as was reasonably possible.
Other Information You Need to Know
The bottom line is that there are many complex and specific rules, regulations and procedures which relate to pursuing all claims relating to a hit and run and/or uninsured accident, whether against an insurance carrier covering a motor vehicle in the household you live in or through MVAIC. Once you or a loved one can proceed with such a claim, many of the same laws relating to “serious injury threshold” and “comparative negligence” may very well become applicable depending upon the circumstances. These issues are more fully addressed and discussed in our other website content under “MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS”.
If you have been the victim of a hit and run and/or uninsured motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to telephone the Law Offices of Ira M. Perlman, P.C. & Robert D. Rosen, P.C. for a free consultation regarding all of your rights and to discuss all of the resources available to you and your loved ones in order to recover full and fair compensation due to any injuries or death resulting from this type of unfortunate motor vehicle accident.