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What Are the Consequences of a Hit and Run in New York?

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If you leave the scene of a car accident before the police arrive without leaving your appropriate contact information or knowing if the accident caused injuries, you could face criminal charges for committing a hit-and-run. You may wonder, “what are the consequences of a hit-and-run?”

Below, we describe what happens if you’re charged with a hit-and-run in New York in the article below, as well as the next steps victims of hit-and-run accidents should take.

What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident?

A hit-and-run accident happens when a driver strikes another vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist and doesn’t stop to assess if there are injuries or property damages after the accident. By leaving the accident scene, the driver could face criminal charges.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 600 defines hit-and-run accidents. It requires that drivers stay at the scene of accidents that cause property damage, injuries to a person, or injury to domestic animals, including dogs, cats, horses, or cattle.

Penalties for a Hit-and-Run or Leaving the Accident Scene

Depending on the severity of property damage and injuries the accident caused, a person convicted of fleeing the scene of an accident could face a simple traffic violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony. Penalties could include:

  • Traffic violation. A fine of up to $250 and up to 15 days in jail.
  • Class B misdemeanor. A fine of up to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.
  • Class A misdemeanor. A fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
  • Class E felony. A fine of up to $2,500 and up to four years in prison.
  • Class D felony. A fine of up to $5,000 and up to seven years in prison.

Traffic violations include failing to share your license and insurance information and leaving the scene of an accident that only caused property damage. Leaving the scene becomes a misdemeanor if someone suffered injuries in the accident and you leave the scene without sharing your information.

If the accident results in serious injuries and you leave the scene, it becomes a Class E felony. A Class D felony results from leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality.

If convicted of a hit-and-run, you would also have to pay administrative fees, court costs, get points on your license or have your license revoked, and have a criminal record.

What to Do After a Collision

If you hit another vehicle or person in your car, you must stop to take the appropriate measures to report the accident and verify that there are no injuries. You should:

  1. Stop to assess any injuries or property damage from the accident.
  2. Exchange your insurance information and contact details with the other driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist.
  3. Report the accident if the damage appears to total more than $1,000 between both vehicles or if there is an injured person or fatality at the accident scene. You must wait for a police officer to arrive and give your recounting of the accident for the report.

Suppose you can’t find the owner of a parked vehicle. In that case, you must leave a note with your information and report the accident to your local police department, even if there is no visible damage to either vehicle.

Filing an Accident Report

You must file an accident report within ten days if the total amount of property damage between vehicles exceeds $1,000. Each driver involved must file a motor vehicle accident report with the DMV.

If you can’t locate the owner of a vehicle or an injured domestic animal, you must contact the police to file a report.

You must call the police immediately to report an accident with an injured person or fatality. Each driver and the responding police officers must file a motor vehicle accident report with the DMV.

If the property damage totals less than $1,000, simply exchange your information with the other driver. You do not need to file a report unless the repair shop quotes more than $1,000 in damage. Remember that if the damage totals more, you only have ten days to file your report with the DMV.

What to Do if You Are the Victim in a Hit-and-Run Accident

What are the consequences of a hit-and-run for the victim? If you walk out to your car in a parking lot and find a dent that wasn’t there before, what steps do you need to take? 

What if you get rear-ended at a light, and the other driver speeds off? You need to file your report by taking these steps:

  1. Call the police after realizing that someone hit your car or if you are worried about injuries after being struck in a hit-and-run accident. You will need the police report for evidence when submitting a claim to your insurance company.
  2. Write down everything you can remember about the incident, including the vehicle’s make, model, or color and any identifying features of the driver.
  3. Take photos of the damage, injuries, and any contributing factors, like if the road is icy, wet, or dusty, and any nearby damage, such as if the driver also hit a sign or post nearby.
  4. Get witness contact information and ask nearby businesses if they have security footage of the area.
  5. Contact your insurance company to file a claim for your injuries and property damage.

Contact an experienced car accident attorney to help you manage your claim.

Contact an Experienced New York City Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney for Your Case

What are the consequences of a hit-and-run in New York? If you leave the accident scene, penalties can be severe. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to schedule your free case review.