Hit and Run Motorcycle Accidents
In New York, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, even if the collision seems minor. After a motorcycle accident, drivers should stop to see whether the motorcyclist is injured, examine the extent of damage to the car and motorcycle, and offer assistance if needed. Failure to stop and help can constitute a hit and run, which is a crime. Persons injured in hit and run motorcycle accidents should discuss their situation with the seasoned Syracuse motorcycle accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano.Hit and Run Motorcycle Accidents
Under New York Vehicle & Traffic Law section 600-1a, drivers must share their license and insurance information with other drivers in an accident. The police do not need to be called if no one is injured and the property damage seems to be less than $1,000. However, in most cases, motorcycle collisions involve catastrophic injuries. When accidents involve injuries, a driver needs to call the police and file a report, except when they’re physically incapable of doing so.
Motorcyclists cannot purchase no-fault insurance, which typically covers damages after an accident regardless of fault. Therefore, to recover compensation, a motorcyclist must prove that someone else was at fault. Hit and run motorcycle accidents pose a unique challenge when the responsible party cannot be identified. It is possible that a police investigation may locate the driver who fled the scene.
When the driver of another vehicle can’t be identified, you may be able to file a claim under an uninsured/underinsured motorist endorsement of your own insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage is optional. It allows you to pursue losses from your own insurance company if you’re involved in a hit and run accident, or if an at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance coverage.Liability
When a driver can be located, it may be appropriate to pursue damages in a Syracuse personal injury lawsuit. In order to hold a hit-and-run driver responsible for your motorcycle accident in a lawsuit, you will need to show it’s more likely than not: (1) you were owed a duty of reasonable care, (2) breach of the duty of reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. A driver could breach its duty to use reasonable care to a motorcyclist by failing to follow traffic signs and signals, speeding, weaving, tailgating, or driving under the influence. For example, if a driver failed to yield to you while you were driving through an intersection with the right of way and crashed into you, before fleeing the scene, you may be able to hold that driver accountable, assuming he or she can be located.
Uninsured motorist coverage can protect a motorcyclist and his or her passengers if the motorcycle is hit by an uninsured driver. When a policy owner or passenger suffers injuries because of the actions of another driver who doesn’t have liability insurance, the policy owner’s insurer needs to pay the insured person’s damages. Many drivers carry only the minimum liability insurance. Some insurers will honor the uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist clause of a policy, but others may try to unfairly deny your claim or offer you too little, which is why it is critical to retain a seasoned lawyer who has a strong reputation with insurers.Damages
If you can establish a hit-and-run driver’s liability, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. These are damages intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had you not been injured in a motorcycle accident. They can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment. The amount of damages will depend on the particular losses you sustained.
When people die in hit and run motorcycle accidents, their loved ones may file wrongful death lawsuits to obtain pecuniary losses from the drivers. Identifying the responsible parties can be difficult unless the police are able to apprehend the at-fault driver who fled.Retain a Syracuse Attorney
If you were injured in a hit and run motorcycle accident, you should discuss whether you have a viable claim with our seasoned Syracuse lawyers. We represent motorcyclists and their passengers across upstate New York in Auburn, Rochester, Lowville, Herkimer, Watertown, Wampsville, Oswego, Ithaca, Utica, Canandaigua, Cooperstown, Lyons, Oneida, Binghamton and Elmira. Complete DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s online form or call us at 315-479-9000.