Hit And Run Occurrences
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 1,400 deaths are attributed to hit and run accidents each year in the United States. During a three-year period, the number of deaths increased by more than 13 percent. Those who have the highest risk of being killed by a hit and run driver are pedestrians. They account for over 59 percent of hit and run fatalities. According to a report from the NHTSA, pedestrian deaths account for over 11 percent of all fatalities involving vehicles. In 2015, there were over 37,500 hit and run accidents in New York City.
Duties of Drivers
It is a law in the state of New York for those involved in a vehicle accident to check, if possible, and see if anyone is injured. They are also required to alert emergency services. Should the accident be severe, it is required they alert law enforcement as well. All individuals involved in the accident are required to exchange insurance and contact information. It is against the law to leave the scene.
When a hit and run accident involves a vehicle and motorcycle rider, the injuries and property damage can be severe. Many New York courts believe that individuals who leave an accident scene after hitting a motorcycle rider have committed an exceptionally egregious act. It is believed a driver should have known the motorcycle rider could be badly injured.
All violations of New York’s hit and run laws are considered a serious matter. Should a person only causes property damage and leaves the scene they could be found guilty of a New York traffic infraction. They could be given a fine of up to $250 or be incarcerated or both. Should an individual be moderately injured and an involved driver leave the scene, they could be found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. People found guilty of this crime will be given a minimum fine of $250 as well as be incarcerated. They could also receive a fine of as much as $500 and a number of other potential penalties. Should a person be charged a second time, they will be given a minimum fine of $500 that could go as high as $1,000 and other penalties as well as be incarcerated. Should an individual be charged again, they could be charged with a Class E felony. The fines could be up to $2,500, and they could be given a number of other penalties as well as being incarcerated.
Special New York City Rules
New York City is one of the largest and busiest places in the world. The city has its own set of unique laws covering driving. They are designed to work with the traffic laws covering the state of New York. Recently, a new section was added to the city’s Administrative Code addressing leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it. It applies to New York City drivers as well as anyone who is driving within the city itself. Section 19-191 covers the civil penalties for leaving the scene of an accident and not reporting it. This section obligates anyone driving a vehicle who knows, or has reason to suspect; they caused property damage or personal injury while operating a vehicle in New York City. The New York City laws also require a driver to stop and share information that identifies them to those involved in the accident. This information must also be shared with responding law enforcement, a judicial officer as well as at a police station if requested.
A person may or may not be found guilty of hit and run in a criminal court and still have to face a civil lawsuit. A plaintiff can receive compensation for a number of things including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earnings and more. A defendant could also be required to pay compensation for property damage. Loss of consortium as well as pain as suffering may also be compensated. It’s possible for a judge to require a defendant pay punitive damages. This compensation to a plaintiff is a financial punishment for their reckless or intentional actions of a defendant that resulted in injuries and damage.
When a person is charged with hit and run, they need to speak with experienced legal professionals. In some cases, it could have been caused by mistaken identity or an individual permitting someone else to drive their car. If a person is an accident victim, knowledgeable legal professionals will know how to represent their clients to achieve the best possible settlement for injuries and property damage.