What to do after a hit-and-run in New York

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The metropolitan areas of New York are one of the most congested in the country. Hordes of pedestrians, couriers weaving through traffic on bikes, taxis and commuters all navigate the state’s crowded streets. Unfortunately, New York hit-and-run statistics show that there are still a high number of pedestrian fatalities. Despite all the efforts to create a Vision Zero plan that eliminates hit-and-runs by creating safer street designs and lower speed limits, the number of hit-and-runs in New York was up 26%. If you are involved in a hit-and-run, stopping at the scene of the accident is the first step in avoiding further trouble.

Hit-and-runs in New York

A hit-and-run in New York could result from knocking out the side view mirror of a parked car and continuing on without leaving a note or be as serious as fatally striking a pedestrian and fleeing the scene. Most hit-and-runs in New York cause damage to property instead of injuries and deaths. Nevertheless, they are still a serious traffic violation.

New York hit-and-run laws

New York hit-and-run laws require all drivers to stop at the scene of the accident, provide help and exchange information. If drivers do not follow the rules regarding their obligation to stay on-site of an accident, they could be subject to fines, jail time or both. Additionally, drivers could be charged for leaving the scene of the accident even if they were not at fault.

According to the hit-and-run New York statute, fines for property damage hit-and-runs can be up to $250 with up to 15 days of imprisonment. For hit-and-runs that cause personal injury, drivers could be charged with a class B misdemeanor and have fines between $250 and $500. For drivers with a prior hit-and-run incident on their record, a new conviction could be classified as a class A misdemeanor, resulting in fines up to $1,000. If serious injury is caused, drivers with prior convictions could receive up to a $5,000 fine. License revocation is also possible.

A hit-and-run charge may be presented as a traffic violation on someone’s driving record, a misdemeanor or in more serious cases, a felony. As a result of the incident, car insurance premiums will likely increase and remain high until the points from the hit-and-run are removed from the driving record.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in New York

A hit-and-run can be more severe than a standard accident since it can endanger the lives of the people who were hit. Leaving the scene of an accident without checking on the other parties could mean that the medical care injured individuals might need may not come in time.

Insurance companies consider drivers that leave an accident scene to be especially high-risk to insure due to the potential extent of harm. Compare how the average annual full coverage premiums vary based on standard coverage after an at-fault accident and after a hit-and-run, which could be upwards of $1,000.

Average annual full coverage premiums

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After an at-fault accident
New York average $2,321 $4,225 $2,450
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,311

3 things to do after a hit-and-run in New York

New York hit-and-run law requires drivers to take at last three steps following an accident, otherwise they could be charged with leaving the scene:

  1. Stop: Do not leave the scene. Instead, check to see if anyone is injured and in need of help or emergency medical services. Even if you were not at fault, you could face hit-and-run charges if you leave.
  2. Exchange contact information: Share your insurance and contact details with the other involved parties and drivers and collect theirs. This information helps when gathering evidence of the accident.
  3. Wait for the police: If there is damage, injury or death caused, call 911 and wait for the police to arrive. The state requires police to investigate and file a report for more serious accidents.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Multiple types of car insurance coverage could help cover a hit-and-run. Liability insurance, for example, is a basic level of coverage and pays for the damages and injuries you cause to others up to the limit of your vehicle policy. Any excess amounts would need to be paid out of pocket.

Both collision and uninsured motorist coverage are available to offer more financial protection than standard liability insurance. Collision coverage helps pay for repairs or replacement of your vehicle after at-fault accidents. Uninsured motorist coverage could help pay for your damages if someone else caused the accident, but cannot be located because they left the scene without exchanging insurance information.

Frequently asked questions

How much does car insurance cost?

The cost of car insurance depends on several factors, including the type of coverage and carrier you choose. Full coverage is typically more expensive than minimum vehicle insurance because it adds coverage for your vehicle. Based on rates we collected from Quadrant Information Services, the average cost of car insurance is $565 per year for minimum coverage and $1,674 per year for full.

How much does my car insurance go up after a hit-and-run in New York?

Car insurance rates nearly double to $4,225 on average after a hit-and-run. Rate increases are typically even higher than after an at-fault accident due to the critical nature of leaving the scene of an accident.

Should I call the police after a New York hit-and-run?

According to the hit-and-run New York statute, it is necessary to call the police if someone is injured, dies or significant damage occurs. Everyone involved should remain at the location until the police arrive. Even if you were not at fault, leaving the accident site before the police arrive could be classified as a hit-and-run violation.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident and hit-and-run.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.
Edited by
Insurance Editor