What Should You Do If You Are the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident?
Hit and run accidents are on the rise across the nation and in New York City.
According to cars.com, hit and run accidents nationwide increased by 60 percent between 2009 and 2016. Citylimits.org reports that "New York City has suffered from a hit-and-run epidemic for years, and the NYPD is struggling to keep up."
Unfortunately, this fact increases people’s chances of being a victim of a hit and run accident. In a hit and run accident, the party at fault has fled from the accident scene.
What Actions Should You Take if You Are Injured in a Hit and Run Accident?
The following are important actions to take whenever possible:
- Remain at the accident scene. It is a crime in New York to leave the scene of an accident where serious injury or substantial car damage has occurred. Besides, if witnesses are present, you should take down their contact information, which may help you track down the hit and run driver.
- Call 911. If you are injured, you should call 911 as soon as possible. Also report whether anyone else was hurt and provide your cell phone number. You will need to file a police report about the accident.
- Make a note of all the details you can remember or gather. Ideally, you could write down the other driver’s complete license plate number, but if you can only remember a few numbers or the state or a logo on the plate, write down whatever you can. Note the vehicle’s make, color and model along with the vehicle’s year. Was it a four door or two door car? Did it have any other identifying features, such as decals or bumper stickers? Was it damaged, and if so, where and how large was the dent, cracked glass or other damage? Did the vehicle have identifying noises, such as a loud muffler sound? What did the driver look like — male or female, age, appearance and clothing? Were there other passengers, and if so, how many and what details can you remember about them?
- Seek medical attention. If your injuries are serious or if you are injured at all, it is wise to seek medical attention right away. Adrenalin and shock can make you unaware of symptoms. A brain injury, internal bleeding or whiplash may not be readily apparent. Seeking medical attention may be more important than you realize.
When Should You Seek Legal Help?
If your injury is serious or vehicle damages are extensive, you should consult with an attorney. An experienced attorney can advise the best course of action.