Each year thousands of New York State residents become the innocent victims of hit & run car accidents. The hit and run car having fled the scene causes the innocent accident victim to believe that he or she is left without any recourse. Who is going to pay for the hospital bills? Who is going to pay for the accident victim=s lost wages and other incidental needs?
Who is going to compensate the accident victim for his personal injuries? The consequences of an accident can be devastating and can cause severe financial and emotional hardship.
Fortunately New York State has created a corporation called the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC) which provides comprehensive compensation to innocent victims of accidents, who through no fault of their own, were involved in motor vehicle accidents caused by: (1) Hit & Run Motor Vehicles; (2) Stolen Motor Vehicles; (3) Uninsured Motor Vehicles; (4) Motor Vehicles operated without the permission of the owner; as well as several other situations.
The Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation will pay to any qualified person, no-fault benefits, up to $50,000.00 for hospital, surgical, medical, dental, prescription drug expenses and other economic losses including lost earnings. In addition MVAIC will also compensate the accident victim for injuries caused by the accident (please note that not every injury is compensatable). A maximum sum of $25,000.00 is available to any one person injured in any one accident and $50,000.00 in the event of death. These sums are in addition to the no-fault coverage provided for medical bills and time out of work.
To qualify for compensation payments an accident victim must report the accident to a police, judicial or peace officer within 24 hours of the accident and then adhere to strict time limits in filing their claim. There are certain exceptions which may allow an accident victim additional time.
If there is a car in your household, you may be entitled to additional benefits. What most people don’t know is that New York law requires all insurance companies issuing policies in New York State to provide uninsured coverage to their policy holders. The same type of coverage provided by the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation is available to you from your automobile liability insurance policy. In addition your insurance company must also offer Supplemental Uninsured/ Underinsured benefits. This would allow you to obtain coverage up to $250,000. or more instead of the minimum $25,000. This added protection usually costs only a few dollars for a great deal of protection. So, if you are hit by a hit and run driver or driver without insurance you can make a claim against your own insurance company for up to your policy limits. The additional underinsurance coverage also protects you if you are injured by another driver who has a minimum, $25,000., policy of insurance.
There is help available for those injured by a hit and run driver, or a car with little or no insurance. However there are strict rules to be followed. As always, it is important that you contact a competent attorney immediately after an accident to protect your rights.
We hope that this information has proved helpful to you. As always, if you would like to pursue any accident claim involving personal injuries please call our office. We are ready, willing and able to help you.