According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the incidence rate of hit and run accidents has increased by 19% since 1999. Some experts believe that this may have something to do with the fact that nearly 14% of all drivers in the country are completely uninsured. While it is illegal to operate a vehicle without a minimum amount of liability coverage, the threat of legal consequence has not been enough to stop all negligent drivers from getting behind the wheel. Instead, some choose to flee the scene when they are at fault for causing an accident—which is a serious crime. Fortunately, the number of uninsured drivers in New York is relatively low (5%). It is important to understand that this is not the only reason why a driver would be hesitant to stop after causing a collision, however, as there are numerous circumstances that could lead to a hit and run.
For this reason, the Long Island personal injury attorneys at The Odierno Law Firm, P.C. encourage you to learn more about the financial options that are available to you after a hit and run. Since you would typically file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company, you may be wondering if you would have to foot the bill. Considering the fact that New York law requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, the answer to that question should be no. As long as you, yourself are properly insured, you should not have a problem securing compensation after a hit and run. Instead of filing a claim with the responsible driver's insurance company, you would simply file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance company. If you have acquired the minimum amount of coverage, your policy would typically include $25,000/$50,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury.
This means that you would be able to collect $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for two or more people. While this would be a significant contribution to the cost of your medical expenses and vehicle repairs, it may not be enough to cover even half of the total damage. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you consider purchasing a more substantial level of coverage. In doing so, you can ensure that you will be protected after a hit and run or an accident with an uninsured driver. If you have already been involved in such an accident, however, our firm would like the chance to review your case. We will work diligently to secure the level of compensation that you deserve—either by filing an uninsured motorist claim or tracking down the responsible individual and holding them accountable—so we ask you to get started today by calling our office for a free consultation.