You never know when it will happen. You are in your vehicle going to work or even heading home. You have a green light at the intersection and begin to move forward in your vehicle when all of a sudden another motorist hits your car. Though you are already shocked, to add to your surprise the driver who hit you leaves the scene of the accident.
A vehicular hit and run accident is defined as a collision with an automobile and failing to stop and give identification of oneself or information such as insurance contact or a personal phone number. Not only can hit and run accidents damage cars, they can take lives. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report found that 1,557 people were killed in hit and run accidents in 2003. This number also included pedestrians. Furthermore, the foundation reported 11 percent of all crashes were caused by a hit and run driver. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analysis found that more than half of hit and run accidents occur on weekends between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
When a motor vehicle has been hit by another driver who flees the scene of an accident, there are some very important steps to follow. First, look for any witnesses who may have seen the accident. Someone may have written down the driver’s tag number or car information. In the age of camera phones, someone may have been able to take a quick picture of the vehicle. Then make sure you call 911 to have law enforcement officials and an ambulance (if needed). This will give you a report in case you decide to file charges if you identify the driver. Also make sure that you keep record of any medical bills or lost wages. You will also need to make sure that you contact your insurance company — remember that having car insurance in New York State is a law.
If you have recently been in a hit and run accident, speak with a professional attorney about your rights. Victims can receive compensation for medical care and lost wages because of the accident.