Hit and run cases are very common in New Jersey. These accidents not only result in tragic injuries and even deaths, but also cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in property. A hit and run accident can leave your life upside down in mere seconds. Things become all the more complicated and difficult if the accident results in injuries.
According to the State Police, the number of hit and run accidents in New Jersey is increasing every passing year. It is one of the main reasons for injuries, property damage, and death. Until now, there have been 242 accidents in New Jersey this year with 260 fatalities recorded.
Just like other types of motor vehicle accidents, hit and run accidents also occur because of a distracted driver. The driver may be under the influence or is extremely fatigued. There are also other factors involved in hit and run cases, but in most cases, it is the negligence of the driver that is to be blamed.
Regardless of the cause of the accident, it is important to stay at the scene if you are involved in a hit and run case in New Jersey. However, many drivers prefer to flee the scene. This doesn’t negate what can be done by the affected party to make the best out of this unfortunate situation.
How you react after being in a hit and run accident can play a major role in the kind of compensation you may receive. This compensation package can be used to pay money for your medical bills and monthly packages. It can also cover your lost wages in case you are injured to an extent that you are unable to go to work.
If you are in New Jersey, then it is important to educate yourself about what to do after being in a hit and run accident in New Jersey. How you handle the aftermath can help you a lot when it comes to getting compensated for the losses you have to bear because of someone else’s fault.
Here is what you should do if you are involved in a hit and run case.
Steps to Take After a Hit and Run Accident
1. Keep Calm
Being in a car accident is not an easy thing. It is a nerve-wrecking experience that can have an impact on your for your entire life. It becomes even more frustrating when you see the other car fleeing the scene of the accident.
However, it is important to remain as calm as you can. Keep reminding yourself that you will hold the fleeing driver accountable for their actions and will recover the damage for your property damage and injuries.
2. Stay at the Scene
It is important to stay at the crash scene after the accident. Many people are tempted to follow the vehicle that hit them. However, it is not the best idea to leave the site of the accident. Following the other driver can be dangerous for you. Your car may not be in the best shape and driving with an injury is also not the best idea.
Staying at the scene will allow the firefighters to evaluate you. Medical personnel will attend to your immediate medical needs and you can also speak to the police about the accident more convincingly when you are still at the site of the accident.
3. Document Evidence
If you notice that the driver of the vehicle that hit you is trying to leave the scene of the accident, then make sure you note down as much information about the driver and the vehicle as possible. Here is the information you should note down:
License Plate Number: Try and get a hold of the license plate number of the hitting vehicle. Write downt the plate number if you can see and note it down. Even note down partial plate number if you are unable to notice the complete one. This information can come in handy for the police when they are trying to identify the driver who was involved in the hit and run case.
Vehicle Description: In addition to noting down the license plate number of the hitting vehicle, also note down any other thing about the vehicle that you can note there and then. Try to get a close look at the fleeing vehicle and jot down any information that can help in identifying the vehicle. Note the color, model, make and any damage that may be visible on the vehicle. If you can take a picture of the vehicle safely, take it. Try to capture the license plate number of the fleeing vehicle as well.
Description of the Driver: If the driver is trying to flee the scene of the accident, then try to have a close look at them so that you can describe or identify them for the police. Try to remember details about them and write them down somewhere so that you don’t forget them when the police arrive. These details can come in handy when the police try to find the culprit. Here are the details that you should try to note:
- Hairstyle and color
- Approximate age
These details can also come in handy if the person driving the vehicle is not the registered owner of the vehicle. In such cases, a criminal case will only be filed against the driver of the vehicle and not the owner. This is a common practice if the car involved in the hit and run accident in New Jersey was stolen from someone. Again, it is best if you can take a photo of the driver before they flee the scene.
4. Speak with Witnesses
It is important to collect as many witnesses of the accident as possible. These witnesses may have noticed more things than you did. They can help you in identifying the vehicle and the driver. You should look around and see if there is someone who may have witnessed the accident. If you find some people, talk to them.
Also, make sure that you get their names, phone numbers, and any other contact information. Try to write down or record their statements and ask them to tell you all the details that they can about the incident.
If the hit and run accident took place near a business, you can ask the owner for their security camera footages. These cameras may have captured some important details about the fleeing vehicle that can be used as evidence against the driver if you take them to court.
5. Call the Police
It is important to call the police as soon as you can. If you are unable to do it yourself, ask someone to do it for you. Let the person on call know that the hitting driver has fled the scene and give them as many details as possible about the accident.
An accident report can be created once the police arrive at the scene. You should obtain a copy of their report for future reference. This can come in handy when you file a lawsuit for personal injury claim. Drivers involve in hit and run cases can face fines, suspension of their license and may even have to serve jail time.
6. Seek Medical Care
It is important to seek medical care as soon as you can if you have received any injuries as the result of the accident. Let the firefighters and the responding EMTs examine you at the spot and tell them if you feel any pain anywhere in your body. Accept their transport if they offer it for taking you to the hospital. If they don’t offer you transport, you can request them for it so that your injuries can be checked in detail and you can get a report for them from a doctor. You may experience delayed onset of pain. It is important to document all the medical evaluation done on you so that you can show it to the court.
7. Submit an Insurance Claim
New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state. You can file an insurance claim if you have been involved in an accident, regardless of whose fault it is or whether or not you can identify the driver. If you want to get your insurance claim as soon as possible, you should file the claim immediately so that the process can be started. Some insurance companies also have some time limits for filing a claim for a hit and run case. Therefore, you should review your policy to find out any deadlines and make sure that you don’t miss them.
Depending on the level of insurance you have purchased, you may be able to recover compensation for lost income, medical care, and even death benefits. If you have identified the driver, you can also file a personal injury lawsuit against them. This can be done if you have purchased a policy that offers unlimited right to sue. With a policy offering a limited right to sue, you will only be able to file a lawsuit in case you have suffered a permanent injury as a result of the accident.
8. Contact a New Jersey Hit and Run Lawyer
Getting insurance claims can be a tricky thing, especially when it is a hit and run case in New Jersey. You can get help from a New Jersey car accident lawyer to assist you on your case. An experienced attorney will investigate your claim and will back up your case with evidence. They will also work to negotiate a settlement so that you can get the compensation you deserve for the problems you have faced as a result of the hit and run accident.
How to Choose a Hit and Run Lawyer in New Jersey?
Here are some important things to consider when choosing a lawyer for your car accident.
Experience: Experience with handling similar cases as yours should be the first thing you should consider when choosing a lawyer for your car accident case. Look for a law firm that has worked on similar cases and has a proven track record. They will understand your situation and you will be in a better position to recover the losses as they have experience in the field. You can check their experience by visiting their website, calling or visiting their office.
Expertise: It is important to choose a law firm that has expertise in handling hit and run cases. They have lawyers that can offer you the best advice as they have studied to be experts in this field. You can ask them about their education, knowledge and experience before you choose them for your case.
Conduct a Background Check: Before you hire anyone to represent you, make sure you do a background check to see if they are the best choice for your case or not. You can visit their website to check for their credibility. You can also ask around for recommendations and check the internet for their reviews.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run accident in New Jersey, then we will be happy to help you. We have years of experience handling clients with hit and run cases and have helped them recover compensation that they deserve. Our lawyers understand the legal procedures inside out and will make sure that you are compensated in the best manner possible for the physical and psychological injuries you had to sustain because of someone else’s fault. We are a credible law firm and do all we can to ensure that our clients are paid for the problems they had to face because of someone else’s negligence.
If you are looking for a New Jersey hit and run lawyer, then give us a call. You can discuss your case with us on our free consultation helpline or book and appointment to talk to our legal experts. Get in touch with us today.