In all of the confusion, it can be tough to know what to do after a hit and run accident. This article is explains what steps to take to protect your rights. Hit and run accidents can be very difficult to prove or pursue. It is important that you take the steps necessary in order to get the compensation you deserve.
What to Do First After a Hit and Run Accident – Call the Police
Calling the police is the very first thing you should do after a hit and run accident. It is important to call the police for two reasons. The first is so the police can attempt to catch the person who hit you. Finding the person who hit you is the only way that you can get their insurance to cover you for injuries which you have sustained in the accident. In addition, even if the police do not catch the person who hit you, they will make a record of the accident. A police report is essential in a hit and run case. If the police are not able to catch the wrongdoer, you will have to pursue another avenue to get insurance to cover you in an accident. Regardless of the avenue you pursue they will all need a police report. This is important because after calling the police, the next step is to get medical care. You will need the report to make sure your care is billed properly.
What Does my Lawyer Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
The first thing that your lawyer needs to do is start a thorough investigation. While the police may come to the scene, often they won’t have time to do much investigation. Your attorney should have an investigator who will get to the scene as soon as possible. The investigator should take pictures of the area. The investigator should look for witnesses and for any cameras in the area. Many times, this will mean talking to local business owners to see if a security camera captured the accident. Finding a video of the accident will, obviously, result in a huge break in your case. If the investigation results in finding the wrongdoer, then you will be able to pursue that person’s insurance policy in an effort to get compensated for your injuries. If they cannot identify the wrongdoer, its important that your attorney knows what to do after a hit and run accident on the legal side.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
The first think your lawyer is going to ask is whether you have uninsured motorist coverage. If you have a car insurance policy in New York, then you have uninsured motorist coverage. This is insurance which gets used when you cannot find the person who hit you. Therefore, if the investigation is unable to find that person, this is the coverage you will use. This coverage can be pursued through an arbitration process which your lawyer should guide you through. In addition, this can open up no-fault coverage, which will help you with your medical bills and lost wages during the case.
What if You Do not Have Insurance?
What can you do after a hit and run accident if you don’t have insurance? This situation arises in mostly pedestrian or bicycle accidents. If you are hit and you do not have car insurance, your lawyer should help you through the MVIAC process. MVIAC stands for Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation. Essentially, it is insurance for situation where no insurance is available. In order to use MVIAC you must meet the following criteria:
- Involved in a car accident in New York
- Resident of New York at the time (unless special circumstances);
- No other car insurance is available;
- You are not the owner of the uninsured vehicle;
- You are not the spouse of the uninsured, while a passenger.
Essentially, this is your last resort in a hit an run accident. If you get to this step, it is important to contact and have a lawyer guide you through the process.