A reckless driver smashed into one car and careened into at least three others before fleeing the crash scene in Staten Island, New York.
The wreck occurred at the intersection of Travis Avenue and Victory Boulevard in Staten Island, NY. According to Staten Island police, a female in a Lexus sideswiped a parked car and then continued driving. The suspect also struck multiple vehicles as she sped away. One car was actually launched into the air due to the force of the collision.
Additionally, one of the victims, identified only as a 75-year-old man, was declared dead at the scene. Ten other victims were rushed to a nearby hospital.
Staten Island police officers remained at the site of the hit-and-run accident for several hours, investigating the car crash and collecting evidence. However, at this time, no arrests have been made.
Hit-and-Run Accidents in New York
Because these kinds of accidents have lower standard of proof, more than 50 percent of hit-and-run drivers are held liable for damages in civil court. By contrast, in a criminal hit-and-run case, the prosecutor must prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant drove the car and intentionally fled the scene. This is much more difficult to establish.
In civil court, the plaintiff need only establish, by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning “more likely than not”), that the defendant drove the car that was involved in the hit-and-run accident.
In criminal cases, “beyond a reasonable doubt” essentially means that the proof must be so convincing that a guilty verdict is the only possible conclusion supported by the evidence; a preponderance of the evidence simply means that a fact is more likely true than it is untrue.
Criminal cases are also built differently than civil cases. The former almost exclusively rely on information gathered by first responders and possibly some investigatory follow-up. But in a civil case, an experienced personal injury attorney will often partner with a skilled private investigator to:
- Extensively canvass the area for witnesses.
- Continually monitor the area to look for the suspect’s motor vehicle.
- Diligently inquire about the damaged vehicle at local repair and body shops.
Even if the driver is not identified, victims can usually sue their own insurance companies for damages stemming from a hit-and-run car crash. And if the driver is caught, jurors will often award additional punitive damages to punish the tortfeasor (negligent driver) and to deter future wrongdoing.
Victims in hit-and-run crashes have legal options. For a free consultation with an aggressive personal injury attorney, contact Proner & Proner. We have six office locations in the Tri-State Area.