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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

How Do I File a Lawsuit After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

When you have been seriously injured by a motorist in a hit-and-run accident, you should begin working with an aggressive New York car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Hit-and-run collisions can be devastating, resulting in debilitating and life-threatening injuries. When pedestrians and bicyclists are involved in hit-and-run collisions, they often suffer fatal injuries. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, pedestrians and bicyclists account for approximately 65% of all hit-and-run fatalities.

Gathering Evidence for Your Lawsuit

In nearly all car accident cases, but particularly with hits and runs, it is essential to gather as much evidence as you can at the scene of the collision. Not only can the evidence you gather help an accident reconstruction expert show how the crash happened, but it can also be critical for identifying the driver who fled the scene of the collision. Take as many photographs as you can, and be sure to capture the scene more broadly in addition to taking close-up photographs. If you are able to identify skid marks from the driver’s vehicle, or any property damage in which the driver’s vehicle paint may be visible, it is particularly important to capture that kind of information. Witnesses can also be key in a hit-and-run case.

Determine If You Have Met the Serious Injury Threshold

Before you begin moving forward with a car accident lawsuit after a hit and run, you need to work with an attorney to make sure that you have met the serious injury threshold required by New York Insurance Law § 5104. According to the specific language of the statute, a serious injury can include any of the following:

● “Death;

● Dismemberment;

● Significant disfigurement;

● A fracture;

● Loss of a fetus;

● Permanent use of a body organ, member, function, or system;

● Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;

● Significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or

● A medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than 90 days during the 180 days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.”

If you are eligible to file a lawsuit, you will need to work with your New York injury lawyer to gather evidence for your hit-and-run lawsuit.

Work With Your Lawyer to Build a Case Against the Hit-and-Run Driver

Once you know you are eligible to file a lawsuit, you will need to work with your car accident lawyer in New York to build a case against the hit-and-run driver. In addition to any evidence you gathered at the scene of the crash, your attorney can seek information from a police report and may be able to obtain crucial evidence from traffic cameras. As an article in StreetsBlog NYC emphasizes, traffic cameras may be able to identify the driver’s vehicle and, in some cases, the license plate number. Yet in addition to locating the car involved in the crash, you will need to be able to show that a particular driver was behind the wheel when the collision occurred.

Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer for Assistance

Filing a lawsuit against a hit-and-run driver can be complicated, and in some cases it may be difficult to prove the driver’s identity without substantial investigatory work from your legal team. Our experienced New York car accident attorneys can help. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC today to get started on your claim.


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