What Recourse Do You Have if You’re Injured in an NJ Hit and Run?
Being hurt in a car crash is traumatic in itself, but your anxiety level will likely be higher if the other driver fled the scene. Hit-and-run accidents present special difficulties in terms of obtaining compensation for your medical costs and other losses. Nevertheless, there are positive steps that can be taken to pursue your rights and remedies.
Steps after you’ve been injured in a hit and run
After an accident, you’re naturally focusing on your injuries and those of your passengers. However, it’s vital to get as much information as you can about the other cars and drivers involved. If you notice that a driver is not pulling over and seems to be driving away, make notes of any distinguishing features of the car or the driver. Get the license plate number if you can. Other features include the color, make and model of the car. Taking photographs of the car and the driver is the easiest and most accurate method of obtaining this information. Also, take photos of your visible injuries, of the damage to your car and of the accident scene in general.
You should also notify the police immediately. In New Jersey, it is a crime for a driver to leave the scene of an accident that causes bodily injury without notifying the police and without giving their information to the injured party. A driver is also responsible for assisting in the transport of the injured party to the hospital if medical assistance is deemed necessary. Your statement will help the police with their investigation so they can track the hit-and-run driver down. If the police investigation locates the driver, you will be able to seek compensation from that driver through a personal injury lawsuit.
After obtaining medical attention, contact your insurance company and let them know you were injured in a hit-and-run accident. In New Jersey, you must first seek compensation under your own insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage before making a claim against another driver. Such a claim will be restricted if (as most people do) you chose the “limited right to sue” option, which allows lawsuits only for certain severe injuries.
If the police cannot find the at-fault driver, you can claim against your auto policy’s uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This coverage is designed for incidents where the at-fault party does not have enough insurance to cover a victim’s injuries. Although UM/UIM is not mandatory in New Jersey, it is likely that your policy includes this coverage.
Finally, you can make a claim with your health insurance company for injuries and other losses that your PIP and UM/UIM insurance did not cover.
It is also in your best interest to consult with an experienced auto accident lawyer. Kevin T. Kutyla, Esq. in Succasunna will do everything in his power to investigate your accident and to help you get the compensation you deserve. Arrange a consultation by calling 862-354-8931 or contact us online today.