Motorcyclists don’t get much respect on New York’s roads. Not only are they cut off or tailgated by angry motorists, but sometimes drivers won’t even stop after forcing a motorcyclist off the road or even after crashing into them. Instead, these drivers hit the gas and flee the scene.
If you were injured in a hit and run collision while riding your motorcycle, please reach out to Larson & Gallivan Law. OurGlen Falls motorcycle accident lawyer will meet with you to discuss your collision, your injuries, and what you hope to get by way of compensation. The good news is that you do have some options for receiving money for your injuries.
You Cannot Use No-Fault Insurance
To register a motorcycle, you will need to have minimum liability coverage. However, this insurance only covers other people who are injured due to your negligence. So if you struck a pedestrian, then he or she could make a claim on your insurance. Liability coverage will pay for their injuries; it will not cover your own injuries.
What about your car’s no-fault insurance? Anyone who registers a car needs to show proof of financial responsibility, which they do by purchasing necessary insurance. New York requires at least $50,000 in personal injury protection coverage, called PIP. These are no-fault benefits which an injured driver or passenger can use to pay for medical care and replace lost income.
Unfortunately, as theDivision of Financial Services explains, motorcyclists and their passengers are excluded from PIP coverage. That means you can’t access those benefits even though you are the victim of a hit and run. Fortunately, you do have some other options, so you are not entirely prevented from receiving financial help.
You Can Sue the Driver if Found
If the driver had stopped, you could swap insurance information. That would make it easy to submit a claim to their insurer. New York drivers also carry liability coverage which will step in and cover losses caused by the policyholder. Unfortunately, the driver has fled, which is why you are in a bind.
Still, the police might locate the fleeing driver, which is one reason to call the cops promptly after the crash. It is illegal for a driver to flee after hitting anyone, and the police issue a bulletin. Share whatever details you have about the car that struck you or forced you off the road:
- Car color
- Car make and model
- Bumper stickers or window stickers
- The direction the driver fled
- Any details about the driver (gender, hair color, glasses, and so on)
If the police find the driver, our Glen Falls motorcycle accident lawyers can sue them or make a claim with their insurer. Don’t give up hope that this person will be found.
You Might Make a Claim with the MVAIC
MVAIC stands for theMotor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation. It is the name of a fund that pays compensation to those injured by uninsured drivers. It offers up to $50,000 in benefits and can cover hit-and-run accident victims. There are certain eligibility requirements for those injured while riding a motorcycle:
- Your accident happened in New York
- You are a New York resident
- No other insurance is available to use
There are also some strict time limits for reporting:
- 24 hours to report the accident to police
- 90 days to submit a Notice of Intention (NOI)
If you don’t meet these deadlines, then you will take yourself out of consideration for MVAIC compensation. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you contact an attorney quickly following a hit and run collision. MVAIC is a great resource for those injured by dangerous drivers, and we can walk you through the process and answer your questions.
You Could Sue a Different Party
Not all accidents are the fault of drivers. There could be other parties that bear at least partial responsibility for your accident. For example, a road defect could have forced a car into your lane, which led to a collision or forced you to drive into the ditch.
For example, construction debris could have caused a driver to momentarily lose control, or a pothole could have sent them flying into your lane. In these situations, the driver isn’t necessarily at fault (even though they fled the scene). You might have the ability to sue the municipality responsible for maintaining a safe road.
Suing any government agency is complicated in New York. The state is immune and makes only narrow exceptions to this blanket immunity. There are also deadlines to meet before you can go into court and file a lawsuit. Go over the deadline, and bad things happen, so please contact a lawyer to fully review this option.
What to Do after an Accident
In addition to calling the police about the hit-and-run driver, you should document your accident and injuries as much as possible. For example, take pictures using your phone of your bike and where it ended up (such as smashed against a tree). Also photograph any skid marks on the road. Of course, don’t attempt this if you are in too much pain to move.
As mentioned above, also report the accident to the police. Let them know you were involved in a hit and run. Police resources are limited, but they are more likely to search for the driver if you suffered serious injuries.
Go to the hospital and tell the attending physician that you were in a crash. Call an ambulance if you need a lift. We recommend putting all medical bills, including receipts for a wheelchair or prescription drugs, into a folder to preserve. These will help you prove your losses, which is a key component of any claim, even MVAIC claims.
Call Our Glen Falls Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The legal team at Larson & Gallivan is committed to holding hit-and-run drivers accountable. But we will also use all the tools in our toolbox to help victims access compensation. Please call us today, 518-862-8799, for help with your claim.