Whether you are driving a car, riding a bike or just taking a walk, anyone can become a victim of a hit and run accident. It is difficult to imagine that someone could be so callous as to leave the scene of the accident without even calling for help, but unfortunately these types of incidents do happen. Therefore, you need the expertise of hit and run lawyers who have experience with these cases. At Gold, Albanese & Barletti, we can help you take back control of your life and gain the compensation you justly deserve if you have suffered a personal injury following a hit and run accident.
Penalties for Hit and Run Accidents in New Jersey
When it comes to hit and run accidents, a driver who fled the scene stands to face criminal charges if they are caught and brought before the court. Drivers in New Jersey have a legal obligation to stop their vehicle and render aid to any victims, call the police/emergency services and provide their insurance information. N.J.S.A. 39:4-129 outlines what leaving the scene of an accident entails. It comes with the following penalties:
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Which There Was Injury or Death
- Fines between $2,500 and $5,000
- Prison time of up to 6 months
- License suspension for 1 year for first offenders or permanently for repeat offenders
- Eight points on your license
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Which Only Property Damage Occurred
- Fines between $200 and $400 for first offense and between $400 and $600 for subsequent offenses
- Jail time of up to 30 days for first offense or between 30 and 90 days for subsequent offenses
- Two points on your license
Depending on the circumstances, additional criminal charges may also come into play such as assault by auto (2C:12-1c2) or death by auto (2C:11-5). These are very serious charges with consequences including heavy fines and years in prison.
Legal Options After a Hit and Run
In a hit and run case, civil charges are brought up in which a victim can pursue compensation from the hit and run driver in a personal injury case. The damages you can look to receive compensation for include the following:
- Current and future medical expenses related to your injury, including the potential need for long term or permanent care.
- Lost income that you missed out on due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering you experienced due to the accident and any medical procedures you had to undergo.
- Loss of future opportunities in your career and hobbies.
However, in the possible event that the person who caused the hit and run is never caught or they have no auto insurance, you will have to pursue compensation through your own hit and run accident insurance coverage. That can also require you to pay a deductible and copayments for medical bills and another deductible to get your car fixed if it was damaged. So it is important even if you are just pursuing a claim through your own insurance that you have experienced New Jersey hit and run lawyers on your side so you can claim the maximum benefits available to you.
What to Do if You Are in a Hit and Run Accident
If a motor vehicle accident has occurred and the person responsible has fled the scene, you are probably confused and scared. However, it is important to take the appropriate actions to have the best chance of getting compensation for your injuries. These are the steps you should take in a hit and run accident situation:
- Contact the Police – You should always report a collision to the authorities. Make sure to report everything you can about the accident. Even the smallest detail might provide a key insight. Make sure to get the name and badge number of the officer on the scene so you can receive a copy of the police report later.
- Seek Medical Aid – Do not wait to get medical help. Even if you seem fine, you could be suffering from an internal injury. Let the doctors handle the medical treatment.
- Gather Evidence – Make a note of and photograph everything you can think of relating to the incident, such as road conditions, weather, and time of day. Take pictures of the scene, any visible injuries and any property damage such as damage to your car or bike. If someone witnessed the accident, get their contact info and write down what they saw.
- Get in Contact with a Hit and Run Lawyer – You will want legal help as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you investigate the accident and get experts to help reconstruct the incident.
At GABL, we will help you sort everything out regarding insurance and who will pay for what while you work on recovering.
Need the Assistance of a New Jersey Hit and Run Lawyer?
When it comes to a hit and run incident, you want the best possible legal guidance to make sure you receive the maximum possible compensation for your injuries. You shouldn’t have to suffer long term financial consequences in addition to your physical and mental pain and suffering. At Gold, Albanese & Barletti, hit and run accidents are something we are very familiar with. We will aggressively pursue the best possible outcome for your case so that you can focus on getting back on your feet. We have convenient offices in Red Bank, NJ and Morristown, NJ.