Can I get money if I was injured in a motorcycle accident by a Hit and Run Driver?
Yes. When a car hits your motorcycle and keeps going, you can still receive compensation for your injuries even if you don’t know who hit you. Uninsured claims can usually be resolved in months rather than years.
When the identity of the car is unknown, you have a different type of claim called an uninsured claim with a different set of rules. It’s best not to speak with your insurance company because, with a hit and run accident, your insurance company becomes an adversary instead of being on your side.
You have uninsured coverage on your motorcycle insurance policy to reimburse you for injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver and other accidents where you cannot get money from the car which caused your accident.
How much money can I get in a Hit & Run accident?
You can get up to the limit of your uninsured coverage. For instance, if you have $300,000 uninsured coverage, you can not get more than $300,000. In most motorcycle accidents, we would be able to get you the maximum coverage amount.
Uninsured coverage is required under New York State law. Your motorcycle insurance policy must have a minimum coverage of $25,000. Hopefully, you purchased additional uninsured coverage which is available with most insurance companies for up to $250,000; $300,000; $500,000, and much more with some other insurance companies. We will find out how much uninsured coverage you have.
Should I report the Hit & Run accident to my insurance company?
No. An attorney should do it and we will do it for you. A hit & run accident must be reported within 90 days of the date of your motorcycle accident or as soon as reasonably practicable.
When you call your insurance company to report your motorcycle accident, you will speak with an insurance representative who will use a question guideline and has been trained to obtain answers which can be used to deny your claim. It’s best to call us first. Never speak with anyone else’s insurance company. If you already spoke to your insurance company, don’t speak with them again.
One of the things your insurance company will look at is how you described your accident. They will try to determine if a car cut off your motorcycle or if there was no contact between you and the car or truck.
What if the car cut off my motorcycle and there was no contact between us?
When a car cuts off your motorcycle, it can happen in different ways. To find out more about this, see our page about when a car cuts off your motorcycle.
Sometimes, a car cuts off your motorcycle and stops but the police let the driver go because there was no contact. If you have the plate number of the car, you still have a case against the driver. If you don’t have the plate number, the accident is the same as a hit and run.
The law requires contact in a hit and run accident, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t get money for you.
We’re experienced with Hit and Run claims where there is no evidence of contact and have won these cases for our clients even when other lawyers did not want the case. If another attorney said you don’t have a case, call us now! Call 7 days / 7 nights 1-800-487-8911
We represented a motorcyclist who was on an exit ramp when her motorcycle went into a guard rail. There was no evidence of another car hitting her motorcycle. The police officer wrote on the police accident report that she lost control of her motorcycle and strike a guard rail there was no indication of any other vehicle involved.
Nationwide insurance refused to pay and filed a petition in New York Supreme Court in Suffolk County requesting an order to permanently stop us from continuing with our claim at arbitration. We opposed the petition and won the right to have a hearing in Supreme Court to determine if there was contact between the motorcyclist and another vehicle. At the hearing, the insurance company had the police officer testify that the motorcyclist told him she lost control of her motorcycle on sand and gravel. We showed that the police officer appeared to have a problem with motorcyclists and that he screwed up his investigation of the accident. The judge ruled in our favor stating that he did not believe the police officer. Nationwide paid the entire insurance policy to our client.
We also have many other uninsured claims where there was no evidence of contact or a hit and run accident and we were successful in preventing the insurance company from being entitled to a hearing to determine contact which means that the insurance company lost before they even got started.
In the image below, the only evidence of contact with another car that struck a motorcycle in this hit-and-run accident was a tiny streak of blue paint on the motorcycle exhaust. This was enough to successfully make a claim against the motorcyclist’s $300,000 uninsured insurance policy.
Even if you have already spoken with your insurance company, call us. Your insurance company will also look for information from many other sources that they can use to deny your claim. For instance, this information can come from hospital records, doctor records, MV-104, and other sources. We know how to combat evidence against you.
Your insurance company may require you to testify at an Examination Under Oath at which you should absolutely be represented by a lawyer. Your testimony will be compared with the statement you gave by telephone and the statements you gave to the hospital and other doctors. Take a look at how we prepare you for your testimony.
We advise that you do not give any statements to your insurance company on the phone or written reports to your insurance company until you speak with us. However, don’t worry if you already did.
What Is Required to Make a Claim for a Hit & Run Accident?
- If possible, ask the driver to stay at the accident scene.
- Call the police immediately, within 24 hours of the accident, or at least within a reasonable period of time.
- Take steps to ascertain the identity of the driver of the car (your motorcycle lawyer will do that).
- Provide proper notice of the underinsured claim to the insurance company. You should not do this yourself (your motorcycle lawyer will file your underinsured claim)
How soon do you have to file a police report?
ASAP. Just call 911 from the accident scene. If you didn’t, do it immediately!
In a hit-and-run accident, the accident must have been reported to the police within 24 hours of the accident or as soon as reasonably practicable. It’s always best to call the police from the accident scene. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, you may find out later that you have a serious injury.
In the case of Empire Mut. Ins. Co. v. Samya, 99 A.D.2d 973 (N.Y. App. Div. 1984), 472 N.Y.S.2d 666, the insurance company claimed the person who made the uninsured claim for a hit and run accident in Brooklyn had filed the police report too late. He was in the hospital for 5 days after the accident. Two days after leaving the hospital, he filed a police report. The New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department wrote, “In view of the seemingly legitimate hospitalization, the report was made within a reasonable time.”
How do you file a police report when you didn’t call 911 from the accident scene?
- Go to the police station immediately.
- If the police will not take a police report, ask for an MV-104 form to fill out. Fill it out at the police station.
- Make sure to write in the description on the report where the car made contact with your motorcycle or your body. For instance, the car hit my front fender or the car sideswiped me and my hand hit the car as I tried to push off the car.
- Give the MV-104 to the police officer and get the police officer’s name.
The day before writing this, we received a call from someone who reported the claim himself but didn’t properly give notice of the underinsured claim to the insurance company. It was now too late and he lost his right to file a claim.
An uninsured claim for injuries should be filed within 90 days of the date of your motorcycle accident or as soon as reasonably practicable. If you already waited too long, it still may be possible to file a claim. If you haven’t called us immediately after your accident, please don’t delay even one more day. Call us now, 7 days / 7 nights at 1-800-487-8911
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Motorcycle Attorney Phil Franckel talks about how motorcycle accidents are different
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is the author of all articles and content on this website, one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York, well-known for representing motorcyclists. He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Franckel created the motorcycle awareness campaign BE AWARE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE®.
Founding Partner Rob Plevy, Esq.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is a motorcycle accident lawyer and one of the Personal Injury Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Robert began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.