Often times bicyclist can be the victim of a hit and run motor vehicle related accident, in which there is physical contact with a motor vehicle and the motor vehicle flees the scene of the accident and remains unidentified. This is known as a hit and run uninsured accident.
There is another category of uninsured status, in which the offending vehicle is identified, but does not have active insurance coverage. This is known simply as a uninsured accident.
In order to have a valid claim for a hit and run accident, there are three basic requirements aside from injury. The first is that there must be physical contact with the offending vehicle. Second, the accident must be reported to the police within 24 hours of the actual accident. The third requirement is that there was no reasonable opportunity to identify the vehicle.
If you are in an accident with a vehicle that later proves to be uninsured, you will have an uninsured motorist claim as long as there was physical contact with the uninsured vehicle.
In the case of a hit and run and an uninsured motorist claim, you will have both a valid No-Fault claim and a Bodily injury claim. The bodily injury claim is conditions upon proving fault and conditioned upon proving a serious injury or what is known commonly known as a threshold injury. The No-Fault coverage, proving fault and the threshold injury is discussed in detail in our bicycle – motor vehicle accident video.
In both categories of cases – hit and run or uninsured, the primary provider of coverage is the insurance company for any vehicle registered to anyone including yourself within your household related by blood or marriage.
If there is no vehicle registered in your household, then the claim must be filed with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). The is a statutory entity that provides a safety net of minimum coverage for victims of uninsured and hit and run motor vehicle accidents in New York State.
In an uninsured motorist claim, the provider of coverage steps into the shoes of the uninsured vehicle, and will attempt to defend the case on whatever available basis there is for them to defend the claim.
The time to file the valid claim for No-Fault benefits is 30 days from the date of the accident. The time to file for a valid hit and run claim is up to 90 days following the accident and the time to file for an uninsured motorist claim is a soon as reasonably practicable.
The deadlines involved can be construed very strictly, so if you have been involved in this type of accident, do not delay obtaining proper representation.
Please contact our office to learn all the aspects involved in your situation. There is no obligation, and of course the consultation is free.