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Who pays for a hit-and-run?

Getting into a car accident is bad enough. When the responsible party flees the scene without leaving information, your claim can be even more complicated. You may have suffered serious injuries or expensive property damage, all with no one to hold accountable.

A hit-and-run means you may not know the identity of the person who negligently or recklessly caused your damages. This does not, however, bar you from financial recovery. A few different outlets could be available to you.

Insurance claim

New York is a no-fault state - one of just 13 in the country. Under New York's no-fault laws, it will not matter who caused the car accident. All involved parties will seek benefits from their insurance companies, regardless of fault. In a typical car accident case, no-fault laws may not be ideal for the not-at-fault driver. In a hit-and-run, however, they can help.

Thanks to New York's no-fault insurance system, not knowing the identity of the at-fault driver should not interfere with your insurance claim. You will file a claim with your insurance company as you normally would, seeking damages for your medical bills and property damages. Your insurer will investigate the case and may offer a settlement for the value of your damages.

Personal injury lawsuit

If your insurance company refuses to settle your hit-and-run accident case, you may need to take the claim to court. A few options could be available to you. You may be able to pursue compensation from someone other than the hit-and-run driver, such as the entity in charge of roadway maintenance. You may also be able to bring a claim against your insurance company for handling your case in bad faith.

A bad faith claim states that an ordinary and prudent insurance company would have accepted the settlement demand in the same situation. If you or your lawyer can prove this is the case, the courts may order the insurance company to pay your original settlement, plus additional compensation to cover legal fees and interest. You could use your settlement to pay for your related losses.

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Sivin & Miller, LLP Attorneys at Law
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New York, NY 10007

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