How New York Law Defines a Hit-and-Run Accident

Based on New York law, a hit-and-run accident occurs when a party involved in a car crash leaves the scene of the accident and fails to provide the necessary information required by law. This applies to crashes with other vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians.

Under NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law, motorists involved in accidents have certain legal responsibilities, including filing a traffic report.

When Do You Have to File a Motorist Accident Report?

According to the NY Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when a motor vehicle accident occurs, you must remain at the scene of the accident and render reasonable assistance. You must also do the following:

  • File an accident report when the accident results in property damage that is greater than $1,000 (including to yourself)
  • For such accidents, all parties involved must file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of the accident
  • Exchange information including your driver’s license, registration and insurance with the drivers involved
  • Notify the police immediately if a person is injured or killed (in addition to filing the accident report)

It is a crime to leave the scene of the accident if the accident resulted in personal injury or death.

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident?

Notify the police if you have been injured and fill out the report. In addition to complying with the above, you must report the accident to your insurance company within the time limit stated in your policy.

In most instances, supplemental uninsured motorists/underinsured motorists insurance will cover damages resulting from a hit-and-run accident. You can review what type of policy you have and the coverage it provides.

It is wise to note down all the details you can remember, including the make of the other driver’s car and contact information of accident witnesses. It is also vital to seek medical treatment right away.

If your damages or injuries are serious, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can protect your rights to recover from your insurance company and advise you regarding proper settlement offers based on the extent of damages and your policy limits.