It is bad enough being involved in a car accident. It’s even worse when the other vehicle flees the accident scene. Motorists left behind at the scene after a hit-and-run accident often wonder what happens next. These victims often feel helpless and think they will not be able to make a claim since they can’t find the car that caused the accident. However, this is not the case. This is why you need an experienced NJ personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney will help you make a claim for the property damage to your car, medical bills and fair compensation for your injuries.
What Happens in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you are a victim of a NJ hit-and-run accident, there a several things that can happen. The most important thing you must try to do is write down the license plate of the other vehicle. This way, if the other car drives off before police respond to the accident, you can give this information to the officers. Also, try to note the make, model and color of the other vehicle, and a description of the driver if possible. The more descriptive information, the better. Take pictures of the other car and driver with your cell phone if you are able.
Another scenario is when you are hit by a “phantom” vehicle. In this case, the other vehicle that hits you takes off so fast that you are unable to get a license plate in order to identify the other vehicle. If this happens, you must still call the police to the accident scene to complete an accident report. Take photos of the damage to your vehicle to document the damage.
Immediately Report the Hit-And-Run Accident
In either case, if you are injured, seek immediate medical care. When you are well enough, you must immediately report the hit-and-run accident to your insurance company. And, since you called the police, you will be able to provide your insurance company with the accident report. If you have the other car’s license plate, your NJ injury lawyer will be able to make a claim against the hit-and-run vehicle. If the other car was a “phantom” vehicle, your NJ injury lawyer will be able to make an uninsured-motorist claim.
Uninsured-Motorist Insurance (UM) covers you in the event the other driver without insurance causes your injuries. New Jersey law requires insurance policies to provide UM coverage in case you are involved in an accident with an uninsured vehicle or a phantom car.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you in making a claim regardless of whether the police locate the hit-and-run vehicle or whether it’s a phantom vehicle. Your attorney can also set up your PIP claim so that your medical bills for your injuries are covered.
If you or a loved one is involved in a NJ hit-and-run car accident, you should contact an attorney familiar with handling these claims. Please see my NJ Car Accident Checklist if you are in an accident. Remember to notify your insurance company immediately about the hit-and-run or phantom vehicle. Do not sign anything or settle with the other insurance company – it can bar your claim against the other driver, even if he is not located.
My NJ Injury Lawyer Howard P. Lesnik, Esq. offers free strategy sessions to address any issue or questions you may have about filing a claim for a hit-and-run accident.
Please contact NJ Injury Lawyer Howard Lesnik, Esq., immediately if you were involved in a NJ car accident. I personally handle NJ personal injury cases on a regular basis. Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.