Not Much to Go on in Fatal Motorcycle Crash on NY Roadway
Posted on August 21, 2016
New York State Police are still investigating a fatal motorcycle crash in Sand Lake.
According to investigators, an unidentified driver in a Subaru Forester was pulling onto Route 43 after leaving a store’s parking lot when he or she collided with 60-year-old motorcyclist Joseph Rezey of West Sand Lake, NY. Rezey was thrown from his bike and landed hard on the pavement, suffering serious injuries. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he was soon declared dead.
Hit-and-Run Crashes in New York
About 50 percent of drivers who leave the scene of a collision are later apprehended and held responsible for their actions. However, even if the hit-and-run driver is not caught, the victim in a hit-and-run accident still has options.
Most hit-and-run drivers do not remain at the scene because they feel they can get away with it. Indeed, first responders sometimes only conduct a cursory investigation in these cases. This is largely because emergency medical responders are at the scene to attend to injured victims and stabilize the situation, not to gather evidence for a future negligence lawsuit.
To find the tortfeasor (negligent operator) in these types of hit-and-run accident cases, attorneys often partner with private investigators. Private investigators do things like:
- Canvass the Area: Sometimes, witnesses who will not talk to the police will talk to a private investigator. Other times, witnesses are reluctant to come forward because they only saw part of the crash; however, every piece of the puzzle helps.
- Monitor the Area: Stakeouts are time-consuming and boring, but many times, the tortfeasors live or work in the area of the auto accident, so they do indeed return to the scene of the crime.
- Supplemental Investigation: First responders rarely have the time or resources to ask at local body shops and check on the damaged vehicles that have come in recently for repairs, but private investigators often take this step.
Because of the low standard of proof in civil court, the jury can typically conclude that the vehicle’s registered owner was driving at the time of the crash – unless the owner has a compelling alibi.
If the driver is caught, many jurors may award punitive damages to punish the tortfeasor and deter future wrongdoing. If the tortfeasor is not caught, most victims can obtain compensation for their injuries from their own insurance companies. Since the insurance company wants to keep a paying customer, these cases sometimes settle relatively early and on terms that are favorable to the victim.
“No tortfeasor” does not mean “no recovery.” For a free consultation with aggressive personal injury attorneys in New York, contact Proner & Proner. Mitchell Proner is a motorcycle crash survivor, so he is passionate about fighting for the rights of injured motorcyclists.