Hit and Run Accidents
New Jersey Hit And Run Accident Lawyers
Whether you’re in a car, on a bicycle, or walking, no one is safe from a hit and run accident in New Jersey. But different types of hit and run collisions result in different consequences – like injuries, insurance coverage questions, and other concerns.
Multi-Car Hit and Run Accidents
When you’re in a vehicle yourself, you have a bit more protection from the impact of a crash than you’d have as a pedestrian. But that doesn’t mean your accident wasn’t serious. Each day, people suffer life-altering injuries in collisions with other vehicles. Instead of helping you or calling 911 to get you medical attention immediately, the other driver leaves the scene and you’re your life at risk.
In addition to the injuries you suffered, you may be worried about the damage to your car and how you’ll make those repairs. Or if you’re a passenger rather than the driver, you may not have an auto insurance policy of your own and in a no-fault state like New Jersey. This situation can make paying for your medical care after an accident a lot more complicated.
Bicycle Hit and Run Accidents
Imagine a driver hitting bicyclist and then fleeing the scene. A bicycle, and even protective gear like a helmet, can offer victims little protection in the case of a collision with a car. The injuries victims suffer tend to be very serious including skull fractures, broken bones and ruptured ear drums. Cyclists struck by a car often need surgery, intensive care, and weeks to months of rehabilitation and they may never make a full recovery.
When the driver speeds away from the accident without stopping to see if the victim is okay, those injuries become worse. Waiting longer to get medical care could mean the difference between life and death. A hit and run accident victim who is left lying on the road may face further danger from approaching vehicles. To make matters even worse, many bicycle hit and run car crashes involve young people – children, teenagers or college kids.
Pedestrian Hit and Run Accidents
Like cyclists, pedestrians are vulnerable to serious injuries when a two-ton motor vehicle strikes them. When the driver leaves the scene of the accident, they’re often leaving the victim for dead. It’s alarming how frequently drivers either never bother to stop or flee once they see how badly the victim is injured. Since 2010, NJ law requires drivers to stop whenever a pedestrian is in a marked crosswalk. However, there are still too many drivers failing to follow this law. And, as a result, innocent pedestrians get hurt.
Penalties for a Hit and Run
It is illegal to flee the scene of an accident. If caught, the person who struck you or your family member may face criminal hit and run accident charges. According to the New Jersey driver’s manual, hit and run accidents in NJ that result in a bodily injury or death can lead to penalties such as:
• Driver’s license suspension, for one year for first-time offenders or permanently for repeat offenders
• Fines that range from $2,500 to $5,000
• Possible jail time of up to 180 days (six months)
In some circumstances, motorists can face additional charges, like manslaughter or assault by auto. These charges may be considered crimes of a more serious nature, and they may carry hefty penalties like heavy fines and years of incarceration.
The person who left you injured and alone at the scene of the accident certainly deserves to face the consequences. However, none of these criminal penalties will help you personally. Hit and run accident fines paid to the government won’t help you afford the heft medical expenses you need to get better. No matter how long the driver spends in jail, your path toward recovery won’t be any easier. A criminal losing their driver’s license won’t help you get your life back, walk again, go back to work or live pain free.
Legal Options after a Hit and Run Accident
Unlike criminal charges, civil claims address the harm that the victim has suffered. Pursuing a hit and run accident claim can get you compensation for all of the damages the crash has caused including:
• The medical expenses you incurred diagnosing and treating your injuries
• The income you have missed out on while your injury kept you from working
• The loss of future opportunities in your careers and hobbies
• The cost of future care, if your doctors expect aspects of your injury to be long-term or permanent
• The pain and suffering you experienced because of the crash and the medical procedures you had to undergo
The only way to fully understand your legal options is to discuss the specifics of the case with a hit and run lawyer at the offices of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble. Or simply Contact us online or call 1-908-928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817 for a free no obligation consultation.