It’s human instinct to want to flee the scene after getting involved in an accident in New York. However, that’s the last thing you want to do in that situation because it comes with very serious consequences. If someone hits you and runs, here’s what to do.
New York hit-and-run laws
In New York, people involved in motor vehicle accidents have a legal obligation to stop, identify themselves, check if everyone is okay and then call for help for anyone injured. In fact, according to Vehicle and Traffic law § 600-1a, you must exchange your contact, license and insurance information with the other driver no matter how minor the accident is.
Calling the police will depend on the extent of the accident. For instance, if no one is injured and property damage appears to be less than $1,000, you don’t need to call the police. However, if property damage seems to be beyond $1,000 and a person shows signs of injury, you must contact the police regardless of who’s at fault.
Catching a hit-and-run driver
When someone hits your car and runs, don’t chase them down. Stay at the scene of the accident and capture everything you can about their vehicle. For instance, note down their license plate and the car’s color and model quickly before it vanishes.
Next, call the police and report the incident. If there is a personal injury, you must mention it in the call to get an ambulance if needed. Also, take down the details of the police officer you are calling, like their badge number, name and phone number. Your insurance company and lawyer will follow up with them if anything arises.
If you are well enough to get out of the car, gather as much evidence of the scene as possible. Ask the bystanders or witnesses about the hit-and-run driver and their vehicle, and take pictures of your car.
After you give the police information about the car that hit you, they will do the rest of the job finding it. In the meantime, you’ll want to get your insurance company to compensate you for the damages and any injuries.