If you are driving on a New York street, walking on a sidewalk, or riding on a bicycle and are struck by another vehicle, the driver who hit you cannot simply drive off. State law requires a driver who causes injury or damage to stay on the scene to provide important information. A failure to do so is considered a hit and run. How the hit and run is punished depends on how severe the accident was.
The laws of New York describe different ways a hit and run driver can cause damage. These include damaging the property of another person, such as a home or anything considered a part of the home, or to the personal property of an individual. A driver who collides with a person on the road is also required to check on the injured person and provide identifying information to the injury victim if possible.
A failure on the part of a driver to provide information and report an accident can result in a number of punishments. A person who causes damage to property and drives off without providing information can face a prison sentence of up to fifteen days and fines that can cost up to $250. A judge may impose either of these sentences or both at the same time.
When a motorist injures a person and flees from the scene, the penalties increase. If a person is injured only moderately, the driver who engaged in the hit and run can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for not providing information or a Class A if the person actually flees the scene. When a driver causes serious injury and drives off without providing information, the penalty increases more to a Class E felony. If the injury victim dies, the penalty is upgraded to a Class D felony.
Hit and run punishments can increase if a driver had been charged with a hit and run in the past. If a motorist causes modest injury to a person and had been charged with this crime before, the penalty is upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor and the driver must pay a minimum of $500 in fines. Also, if a driver had fled the scene of an accident in the past and did so again, the driver is charged with a Class E felony.
This post is intended to educate you on New York laws on hit and run incidents. It is not intended to be taken as legal advice.