After a car accident, the first thing everyone wants to do is call the police. They can help facilitate a quick and safe exchange of insurance information between you and the other driver, and they can also assist you in getting checked out by a medical professional.
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However, what happens if the other driver flees the scene? The answer is that they can be charged with a hit-and-run. This is a serious offense that can result in fines and jail time, depending on the severity of the injuries.
In New York, VTL 600-2a states that drivers must remain at the scene of an accident if it causes injuries or damage to property. If the injuries appear serious, they must call an ambulance and aid anyone in need. This is a legal requirement in order to minimize the chances of being prosecuted for a hit-and-run.
The next step is to collect evidence at the scene of the accident. Write down the license plate number of the vehicle involved in the crash, take pictures of any damages to your car and nearby property, and ask for witness information from nearby people.
You’ll need this evidence in order to submit an insurance claim. This will also provide a good start to tracking down the at-fault driver.
It’s a good idea to make contemporaneous notes of the accident since this will protect your memory and guard against forgetting important details after a while. You can do this with a pad of paper or your smartphone, or by using a voice recorder.
If the accident isn’t that serious, you may be able to leave your contact and insurance information in a note attached to the windshield of the other driver’s vehicle. This is a good way to ensure that you can track down the driver after the incident, and it also helps to make sure that you can get paid for your expenses in the future.
Afterward, you’ll want to reach out to a criminal defense attorney to represent you and to guide you through the process. Most attorneys offer a free consultation to help you understand your legal options and how to proceed after a hit-and-run accident.
The police will look for the at-fault driver and will try to locate them by collecting witness statements, reviewing nearby security footage, and patrolling the area around the crash. If a witness knows the identity of the at-fault driver, the police can use motor vehicle records to find them.
A hit and run is a serious violation of the law, and it can impact your driving records and your auto insurance rates in the long run. A conviction can lead to jail time, a fine, and punitive damages. In some cases, insurance companies cancel your policy for hit and run.
The key to handling a hit-and-run accident is to stay calm. It’s only natural to be upset and anxious, but this reaction can cause you to do things that could put your safety at risk. In addition, staying in that state can also cause you to miss crucial information that could help you get the compensation you deserve.
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