New York City pedestrians and bicyclists are especially vulnerable to hit-and-run crashes.
One reason why so many hit-and-runs involve pedestrians and bicyclists is that the driver’s vehicle will often not sustain a lot of damage. A driver who chooses to break the law and speed away from an accident is usually able to do so.
Meanwhile, injured bicyclists and pedestrians may not even be able to identify the type of vehicle that struck them.
Despite the best efforts of New York’s authorities, many hit-and-run drivers get away with their crimes. Even if they don’t, they also may have not been carrying adequate insurance at the time of the crash. They often will not have other means of paying compensation either.
Fortunately, a hit-and-run accident victim does not have to give up on getting compensation for their losses just because the driver is never found or has no means to pay. Sometimes, another person or business may be responsible for the accident.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents may be able to file claims with their insurance
It will depend on what type of coverages they bought, but most victims of hit-and-run accidents should also explore filing a claim with their own insurance carriers.
New York by default requires its motorists to carry what is often called no-fault insurance, as well as uninsured motorist coverage.
No-fault, which is also called personal injury protection, requires an insurance carrier to pay its own policyholders benefits if the policyholder gets hurt in an accident.
The carrier must pay these benefits even if the accident is the policyholder’s responsibility. They apply to hit-and-run crashes as well.
Uninsured motorist coverage requires a carrier to pay benefits if another motorist injures an insured victim and that motorist either cannot be found, does not have insurance, or does not have adequate insurance.
Claiming these benefits can be a financial lifesaver for victims of hit-and-run accidents. However, insurance companies may be reluctant to pay these claims without legal wrangling.