Hit And Run Accident Lawyers

Everyday millions of people go about their day, driving to work , school and other activities. Because there are so many vehicles on the road, accidents are common. While most drivers are responsible and stop when they hit another vehicle, some are not and they leave the scene. In many cases, victims are left with debilitating injuries that require ongoing medical care. The following explains how personal injury law can help victims who suffer injuries at the hands of a hit and run driver. If you have been hurt in this manner, contact a hit and run accident lawyer to discuss the options available to you under the law.

What Is A Hit And Run?

A hit and run is when a motorist strikes another vehicle or a pedestrian and does not stop to render aid or take responsibility for the accident. According to the National Highway Safety Administration or NHTSA, out of every 100 accidents that occur in the U.S., 11 of them are hit and runs.

What Are The Penalties For A Hit And Run?

Hitting someone with your vehicle and fleeing the accident scene is a crime in every state in the United States. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the severity of the victim’s injuries, the driver may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Punishment for at fault hit and run drivers could include:

  • Fines
  • County Jail Time
  • Time In State Prison
  • Probation
  • Community Service

Unfortunately, many accident victims are unable to give law enforcement an accurate description of the offending vehicle, which means many hit and run drivers go unpunished unless there are eyewitnesses to the crash.

Why Do Drivers Hit And Run?

Most drivers who flee an accident scene do not want to be interviewed by the authorities because they are:

  • Driving Under The Influence
  • The Have An Outstanding Arrest Warrant
  • They Are Frightened
  • They Do Not Have A Valid Drivers License
  • They Do Not Have Up To Date Insurance

    Common Hit And Run Injuries

    The severity of an accident victim’s injuries depend largely upon the size of the vehicle and the force of impact. Some of the most common injuries in these cases include:

  • Closed Head Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Crush Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Burns
  • Spinal Cord Fractures
  • Paralysis
  • Severed Limbs

Personal injury cases hinge upon the victim being able to prove the driver was careless or negligent and caused their injuries. Hit and run cases typically prove negligence on the part of the driver because they did not stop and give law enforcement their contact and insurance information.

What Damages Can I Receive?

If you are successful in your personal injury lawsuit, you may be awarded damages for your injuries and accident related expenses such as:

  • Emergency Room Fees
  • Ambulance Transport Costs
  • Hospital And Doctor Bills
  • Lost Wages
  • Future Lost Wages If You Are Disabled
  • Cost Of Speech, Physical Or Occupational Therapy
  • Pain And Suffering
  • Emotional Distress

    In cases where an accident victim’s injuries are life changing and debilitating, punitive damages may also be awarded. this type of award is designed to be harsh, so the driver does not make the same mistakes in the future and hurt someone else. whether or not punitive damages are given to the victim depend on the laws in your state and the circumstances surrounding the accident.

    How Can A Lawyer Help?

    Hit and run cases can be complex and difficult to prove. For this reason, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Some things your lawyer may do to help you prove your case are:

  • Hire Investigators To Locate The Vehicle Responsible
  • Obtain Police Reports Pertaining To The Accident
  • Requesting Your Medical Records
  • Consulting Medical Experts About Your Prognosis
  • Negotiating A Settlement
  • Filing Your Case In Court
  • Locating Eyewitnesses To The Accident
  • Representing You At Trial

If you or someone you love has been injured at the hands of a hit and run driver, there is help available. Contact a personal injury lawyer to learn if you have a valid claim and should proceed with filing a lawsuit in court. Your lawyer may be able to help you obtain a fair settlement for your injuries and expenses. While a monetary award cannot restore your health, it can provide the funds needed to move ahead with your life after your recovery period ends.

Do I still have a claim if the accident is partially my fault?

Many people think they do not have a claim for personal injuries following an auto accident when the mishap is their fault, but this is not always the case. While an injured claimant can be denied coverage for personal injuries in some instances when the accident is an intentional act, states like New York have implemented pure comparative negligence law along with a “no fault” insurance law that allows most injured parties in an accident to receive some form of financial recovery based on the material facts of the case. Denial of any insurance claims usually stems from incidents that are the result of intentional acts. Insurance companies in New York are generally focused on determining if a claim is fraudulent when they issue a denial, as accident insurance fraud is a very serious problem in the state and especially in New York City. Even though the purpose of the Article 51 no-fault law is to begin coverage of medical bills and replacement of lost wages in an expedited manner, there can still be potential legal complications when the insurance company is suspicious of an auto accident injury claim. This potential alone is a significant reason that it is vital to retain an experienced Long Island accident attorney to represent your injury case.

Understanding No Fault Insurance

Fault and negligence are not considered following an accident in a “no fault” state in many cases. Medical bill and lost wage claims are submitted to the personal insurance company of the injured party first, with the case then being evaluated for further damages against negligent parties. In exchange for the quick beginning of coverage for injured parties, there are also restrictions on when a lawsuit can be filed following an accident. Injuries must be very severe, including fatalities, permanent disabling injury or dismemberment, and the court determines if the case qualifies for additional damage litigation. This can be a real problem for the novice injured party who is attempting to handle the claim personally. No fault insurance is not as simple as it sounds, and it is easy to be denied full compensation without an aggressive accident attorney who will investigate an accident for all potential avenues of compensation.

Understanding Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is the legal doctrine that all accidents are not obvious in terms of fault, as many times accidents involving two or more vehicles are the fault of multiple drivers or external causes. Many accidents actually happen as a result of automotive equipment failure, such as an air bag engaging without impact or a faulty brake system. In addition, truck accidents are often caused by failing equipment, especially when the driver has been lax in safety inspection aor truck maintenance. Each driver in an accident is evaluated for comparative negligence, normally by the respondent insurance companies first. If an accident case goes to court for a full trial, the jury will then be charged with the duty of determining an official comparative fault percentage for each driver. The comparative fault percentage is then used to determine the amount of damages that insurance companies must pay each injured driver. This is by no means a scientific process, and insurance companies try to control this component of the settlement from the very beginning, including the injured party’s own insurance company. Just because the insurance agent acts friendly in the beginning does not mean the company claims adjuster will not intensely investigate the accident looking for a reason to limit a total payout. The percentage is used to discount the amount of damages they are required to pay, and overstating a claimant’s contribution to the crash can lessen the value of the claim. This is the area of a claim where personal injury attorneys work most diligently in protecting the client’s right to full compensation for injuries.

Never let your insurance company deny you full financial compensation using any one of the several negotiation tactics that trained professional insurance claims adjusters use to reduce the value of a settlement. Just because they know they will be required to pay benefits does not mean they will not try to discourage retaining an attorney while embellishing your personal contribution to the cause of the accident. Even apparently simple cases can get complicated, especially when the injured party carries significantly higher amounts of coverage on their personal auto policy. Always get an attorney who is familiar with the local court system and understands how to craft a strong case on your behalf that will result in a maximum settlement or potentially being made financially whole following an accident claim. If a claim goes to trial, the fact that the claimant is partially at fault for the wreck does not stop the financial damage recovery process and many times gross negligence can still be a factor for one or more of the other motorists.

How do depositions work?

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There are many aspects to cover when a lawyer is preparing a case for trial. From the beginning, the lawyer will develop a theme or strategy for her case. The lawyer will utilize the theme as a foundation of the case. Everything done in preparation for the trial should be done with this theme in mind. From evidence that will be utilized at trial, what motions to file, what witnesses to interview, and who should be deposed, the theme of the trial should remain in the forefront of trial preparation.

Deposing someone is known as conducting a deposition. The person being deposed is known as the deponent. Depositions are conducted in order to gather testimony from someone involved with a case. They are a discovery tool which helps to assemble testimony and documentary evidence before trial. Depositions involve testimony gathered outside the courtroom that will possibly be utilized later in the courtroom.

Typically, the testimony given during a deposition is conducted orally with a lawyer posing the questions and the person being deposed answering the questions. A court reporter will transcribe the testimony which is taken under oath. The court reporter, usually a Notary Public, can lead the deponent through a verbal oath so that affidavits can be signed stating that the testimony is complete and accurate.

Prior to conducting a deposition, information regarding time and place must be provided to the deponent in a timely manner, usually 5 to 10 days. Persons who are not a party in either side of a lawsuit can be deposed as well. In addition to providing the time and place, a subpoena to appear and give testimony must be provided in these cases.

If there are documents, photographs, or any other types of evidence referred to during the deposition, these are marked and numbered as appropriate. The court reporter will attach these additional exhibits to the complete deposition transcript.

As the deposition begins, the attorney can ask the deponent any number of questions of a wide variety. There are questions that may or may not be allowed in the courtroom. Some examples of these are questions may lack relevance or be considered hearsay. However, all questions are allowed during a deposition. The answers to these types of questions may uncover evidence and admissible statements that can be used in the courtroom.

Since it is taken with lawyers present and under oath, the deposition becomes a significant piece of evidence. When the case goes to trial, the attorney can utilize the deposition to impeach a witness when their testimony on the witness stand differs from what is documented in their deposition.

As technology has evolved, so has the technology behind depositions. It is becoming more common to see depositions taken via affordable video recordings. However, there are some specifics that must be taken care of. Both parties must agree to the recording. This is done through an agreement signed by both sides and is known as a stipulation.

There are many advantages to taking a deposition in the form of a videotaped recording. This type of deposition offers more than that of a transcribed deposition. With video, there are many additional types of information that are captured. While written and audio recorded depositions save the spoken word, videos save facial expressions, posture, and specific body movements of the deponent. This can in part help with questionable and ambiguous statements. Also, any bodily injuries can be indicated as well. For witnesses that are unable to testify during a trial, the videotaped deposition can resolve this issue. If a specific videotaped deposition is utilized as evidence at a trial, juries can be affected to a greater degree by a visual recording than with only a videotaped deposition.

Depositions can also be taken by telephone. These are allowed under federal rules and in many states. The rules for a deposition taken via telephone are the same as the regular deposition. The attorney asking questions will want to stipulate at the beginning that the deposition is being recorded. A telephone deposition can be conducted in a conference call situation with each party at separate locations.

Video conferencing is another type of technology that can be utilized to take depositions of parties. Video conferencing combines the audio portion of a deposition with a video recording. Video conferencing can help to clear up any confusion with unclear spoken words and make viewing exhibits easier.

Depositions are a necessary tool utilized by attorneys in preparation for a trial. There is little difference between information captured within a deposition and that of testimony given in a trial. The major difference is how the recorded information is utilized. Information in a deposition and testimony at a trial are both given under oath. However, the judge makes the decision as to what parts of a deposition are admissible at trial.

Fatal car accident lawyers

As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there were 35,092 traffic fatalities in the United States in 2015. Of those, 1,121 occurred in the State of New York.

When a family member dies as a result of the carelessness and negligence of another person or entity, there’s a profound impact on his or her survivors both emotionally and economically. Compensation for the loss of their family member can be sought by the decedent’s survivors through New York’s wrongful death law that is found in the Estates, Powers and Trusts Code. To establish a wrongful death, five elements must be proved. Those are that:

  • There was a death
  • The death was caused by the wrongful conduct of the defendant
  • That gave rise to a cause of action which could have been maintained at the moment of death by the decedent if his or her death had not resulted
  • That at there was at least one survivor who suffered monetary loss because of the death
  • There has been appointment of a personal representative on behalf of the decedent

Common scenarios for wrongful death cases
A wrongful death case can be brought as a result of a number of different types of accidents. They include:

  • Auto, truck and motorcycle accidents
  • Air, boat and bus crashes
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
  • Workplace Injuries
  • Premises liability
  • Nursing home neglect or abuse
  • Medical malpractice

    To prove a wrongful death by negligence, the personal representative of the decedent must prove the following:

    • That a duty was owed to the decedent by the defendant
    • The defendant breached that duty
    • The breach of duty caused the accident
    • The accident was the proximate cause of the decedent’s death
    • The decedent’s estate and survivors suffered damages

    If any single one of those elements isn’t proved, the wrongful death case completely fails. Sometimes wrongful death cases involve allegations of product liability or intentional acts. Those have other elements that must be shown.

    Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit?
    Only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can bring a wrongful death action in New York. Most states permit a family member to commence the action, but New York won’t allow a family member to do so unless he or she is the personal representative. The personal representative is allowed to seek damages incurred by the decedent’s heirs, beneficiaries or devisees along with any damages suffered by the estate. If damages are recovered, the personal representative then becomes the statutory trustee for purposes of distributing the proceeds to those who are entitled to share in them.

    Damages that can be recovered
    As every wrongful death case is different, damages that are recoverable in a New York wrongful death case vary widely. Some of the more common damages awarded include:

    • Reasonable and necessary medical expenses in connection with the decedent’s final injury
    • Funeral and burial costs
    • The decedent’s lost earnings between the time of the decedent’s final injury and death
    • The value of the support and services that the decedent provided to his or her family
    • The value of the nurturing and guidance that the decedent provided to his or her surviving children
    • Any lost inheritance that any surviving children might have been entitled to
    • Any pain and suffering experienced by the decedent between the time of injury and time of death
    • Interest of nine percent on the total award from the date of death

    New York is one of a small minority of states that generally does not permit an award of damages for the emotional distress for the loss of a family member. The only exception to this rule is if a family member was actually present or witnessed the event that caused the death of the decedent.

    The statute of limitations
    Every state has a wrongful death statute, and every state has a statute of limitations in connection with their wrongful death statute. If an action is not filed within the time specified by a statute of limitations, it is likely that it will dismissed forever. In New York, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought within two years of the decedent’s date of death.

    Evidence can get lost, destroyed or tampered with, and witnesses can vanish into thin air and disappear forever. Couple those facts with the statute of limitations, and you’ll understand why it’s critical for the family of a wrongful death victim to seek the assistance of an experienced and respected wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. If you believe that your family member was the victim of a wrongful death anywhere in New York, contact our offices right away at 855-252-4788 for a free consultation and case evaluation. You can also use our online contact form, and somebody will be right back with you. You don’t need a penny in your pocket to retain us. We take these cases on a contingency fee basis which means that we don’t get paid unless we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf. There’s no reason not to contact us.

How soon do I need to notify people about my intention to file a claim for my accident injuries?

After a car accident, there are time limits for when you should complete parts of the process. For example, immediately after an accident with injuries, you’ll want to visit a doctor or have an ambulance take you to the hospital. You don’t want to delay because that will hurt your chances at recovery. If you delay other parts of the process, it’ll impact whether you receive damages for your injuries.

Document the Incident
These steps are valid in the case of any accident where there have been injuries. You’ll want to write down as much as you can remember about what led to the accident. If there are witnesses, try to ensure that you have their names and a statement about the accident especially when someone else was at fault.

Lost Wages and Medical Bills
After the accident with injuries, you’ll need to document how much time you missed from work and keep meticulous notes about the medical portion of your claim. Any evidence, pictures and notices should be in a file.

Notifying the Insurance Company
While you don’t have to know whether you intend to sue or not after a car accident, you do have to notify your insurance company of the accident immediately. You’ll contact your insurance company as well as the other person’s company to inform them of the accident.

Notification of Intent to Sue
After an accident, you don’t have to sue immediately, but you can let the other party know that you intend to sue them. This is a step in the process that you can take or not. It’s not required unless the entity you’re suing is the city, county or state, which had a part in the accident itself.

Hiring a Lawyer
At some point in the process, it makes sense to hire a lawyer. It should actually be done as soon as possible when you’ve decided to sue the other party. The attorney can provide sound, practical advice about the steps you need to take in the process. He or she will be able to do much of this work since it can be incredibly confusing when you’re still reeling from the accident and dealing with your injuries.

When you meet with a lawyer for the first time, it should be as soon as possible after the accident, so he or she can give you quality legal advice. Every situation is a bit different, but they all will follow the same laws and rules, which the lawyer can help with as soon as you make contact.

The state of New York has rules about car accidents. If you plan to sue an individual, you’re living in a no-fault state, which means that you’ll have to collect from your own insurance company for your injuries before you can sue the other party unless you have serious injuries. There’s a threshold of injuries covered by the no-fault claim.

From the time of the accident, you have 3 years to approach the court and file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries or the accident itself. This is called a statute of limitations.

When you pass the statute of limitations in the state, you are unable to file a claim. The court system will refuse to hear any part of your case because the law is in place, and you’ll have to follow it.

The rules are different for the government. You might be planning on suing the city or state because of the circumstances surrounding the accident. For example, you might want to file a suit against the driver of a city bus who caused your accident. In this case, you’ll have 90 days to file a complaint against the city. The complaint differs from the actual lawsuit. You’ll have up to one year to file a lawsuit against the city in the same case. You’ll have 90 days to file a complaint against a county or the state itself too.

This might not seem like a lot of time since medical treatment can still be ongoing at the 90-day mark. You don’t have to know the final outcome of your treatment or the final numbers to file an intent to make a claim.

Letter of Notification
While you might have called your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company to inform them of your intent to sue, you should send a notification letter too. There can be no mistake when you’ve sent the letter to the other party in writing. The driver responsible for the accident and your injuries might even talk to their insurance company about settling the case in a timely manner, which can only help your case.

There are always statute of limitations when it comes to filing a lawsuit against someone else in the event of an accident. You can always file an intent to sue letter with the other party long before you’re ready to file the lawsuit itself. If you plan on suing a government agency or the city, county or state for the accident, you have less time than you might have expected. It’s always a good idea to speak with an attorney about the specifics of your case before time runs out for the claim itself.