Hit-and-run car accidents happen more often that you think. As a Central and Syracuse New York car accident lawyer, I know. I have handled dozens of cases like that. And there was just a hit-and-run in Auburn, New York this week. News media report that an Auburn, NY resident was seriously injured Saturday at 1:45 a.m. when a hit-and-run car crashed into him while he was riding on his scooter on Division Street. The scoundrel drove off and left the poor scooter-driver high-and-dry — and seriously injured. The police are asking anyone with information about this tragic, and despicable, act to contact them. So please do!
This same thing could happen to you, whether you are a pedestrian or in your car. Let’s say the cops never find the bum who hit you. Where can you turn for help getting your medical bills paid, and your lost wages reimbursed? And against whom can you bring claim pain and suffering compensation?
The answer? “Your own automobile insurer”. That’s right, your own car insurance has a provision in it called “uninsured motorist coverage”. That means that if an uninsured or a hit-and-run motorist strikes you as a pedestrian, or while you are in your car, you (and your passengers) can claim wage loss replacement and medical benefits (“no-fault”) as well as liability benefits (generally “pain and suffering compensation”) through your own “uninsured motorist coverage”.
The trick is you have to notify your insurance carrier early on that you are making the claim. Otherwise the insurer might disclaim based on “late notice”.
So if you are the victim of a hit-and-run – whether while driving your car or as a pedestrian, call your own auto insurer. Make an uninsured motorist claim. But also contact an experienced New York auto accident lawyer to help you. He or she can guide you through the process. If your insurance carrier refuses to give you a fair settlement for your pain and suffering compensation — and that’s not unusual – you will need your lawyer to fight for you.
By the way, even if you don’t own a car or truck, and you are struck as a pedestrian by a hit-and-run driver, you can seek the same kind of insurance coverage through a New York State-regulated agency called the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). And you will definitely need a lawyer to guide you through that process.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels & Smolak, P.C.