An MTA bus driver who killed a 69-year-old man in Staten Island and fled the scene is now facing criminal charges, according to news reports. The victim, Patrick Varriale, was crossing Forest Hill and Platinum Avenue intersection at around 4:30 a.m. on May 13, 2022.
As Varriale was crossing the road, an MTA bus driver collided with him, but didn’t stop and continued down the street. The driver was later identified, questioned, and arrested for the hit-and-run accident. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and failure to exercise due care.
Hit-and-run accidents are tragically common in New York and across the United States. While fleeing the scene of an accident that results in death can be charged as a crime, loved ones of hit-and-run-accident victims can also pursue civil wrongful death lawsuits against the at-fault party.
Can You File an Insurance Claim for a Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident?
The hit-and-run driver may never be found or come forward because they may face criminal prosecution for leaving the scene of the accident. Hit-and-run drivers are considered “uninsured motorists” by an injured pedestrian or the occupant’s insurance companies. In that case, the victim’s or their household’s auto insurance policy may step in and provide insurance coverage and medical benefits.
Since uninsured motorist claims are fact sensitive and often are affected by a victim’s place of residence, anyone wishing to make an uninsured motorist claim should contact an experienced and qualified injury lawyer to determine their rights.
Who Can Claim Compensation for Death in an Accident?
In New York, a wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by the personal representative of the victim’s estate. The recovered damages are then distributed based on wills, trusts, and state law. A surviving family member can only file a claim if they are appointed as the victim’s representative. However, compensation may be passed to the victim’s surviving spouse, children, parents, or siblings.
What Damages Can Be Recovered for a Fatal Hit-and-Run Accident in New York?
You could be entitled to compensation if your loved one was killed in a fatal car accident in New York. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you and the victim’s loved ones might be able to recover damages such as the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Any necessary medical expenses incurred by the victim before they passed away
- Loss of future income contributions
- Other financial costs associated with your loved one’s death
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in New York
The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in New York is currently two years. This gives victims’ families and estates two years to initiate legal action by filing a complaint in the appropriate court. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this time frame, the court will most likely dismiss your case.
Contact the New York Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. Today
Was your loved one killed in a hit-and-run or other type of traffic accident? If so, you deserve a chance to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions. Contact the New York wrongful death attorneys at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C. for a free consultation today.
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Since 1981, the compassionate personal injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon have been delivering results for our deserving clients. We are solely committed to helping injured individuals, never representing corporations. No matter how large or small your personal injury case is, you can trust that it is important to us.