Being in a vehicle accident is difficult enough to work through when you’re worried about recovering from your injuries and keeping your finances afloat while you’re not able to work. But when the other driver doesn’t even stop and flees the scene of the accident, the anxiety and uncertainty increases as you navigate how and who will pay for the damages to your vehicle and your bills. Injured victims often wonder who pays in a hit and run accident?
Even if you’ve been hit by an unknown driver, you may still be able to recover compensation for your losses. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to help you navigate your options and approach the claim from all angles to build your case. In certain circumstances, and in coordination with the efforts of local law enforcement, our firm may be able to help locate the hit and run driver who caused the accident.
No-Fault Insurance Covers a Hit and Run Accident
Because New Jersey is a no-fault car insurance state, your own insurance coverage will play a role in how much compensation may be available in a hit and run accident. Assuming you have at least a Standard Policy for car insurance, you will have at least a minimum level of coverage for underinsured/uninsured motorists.
New Jersey’s uninsured motorist coverage pays for property damage or bodily injury if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist (a driver who does not have the minimum level of insurance required by law) or a driver who is insured, but who has less coverage than your underinsured motorist coverage. If you’ve been seriously injured, the minimum levels for a Standard Policy may not come close to covering the full extent of your losses. For that reason, we always recommend getting the most insurance coverage you can reasonably afford.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Hit and Run Accident
Follow these steps for what to do after a hit and run car accident.
1. Seek Medical Treatment and File a Police Report Immediately Right After An Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, you or someone else involved or witness to the accident should call 911 and report the accident as well as any injuries. While it may be tempting to chase after the car as it flees, do not leave the scene. The police will record the accident scene, take statements from you and any other victims or witnesses, and anyone needing medical attention will be treated or taken to a hospital. When speaking to the police officer, try to relate as many details of the accident and vehicle as you can.
2. Gather Evidence
This part can get tricky! Evidence gathering starts immediately on the scene of the accident and can continue for months in advance with medical bills and conversations. If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident. If any witnesses are present, ask for their name and phone number in case you are in need of a statement down the line. Make sure to also record your own thoughts and account of the accident. These types of details can get blurry later on, and something that you might not think twice about could be the key to a case.
3. Call a Car Accident Attorney
An experienced car accident attorney is essential to maximize your compensation from damages after a hit and run accident. He or she can provide you with invaluable advice and will normally handle a case on a contingency basis, meaning that they will not charge you out-of-pocket, but will take a percentage of any recovery they obtain for you. And, a car accident attorney has a lot of experience dealing with insurance companies, law enforcement, doctors, and others, which means they can significantly streamline the post-accident investigation and recovery process for you. A car accident attorney will also be able to coach you on how best to report the accident to your insurance provider.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for Help
As the victim of a hit and run accident, you deserve to get the maximum amount of compensation for the expenses involved. Working with experienced car accident lawyers can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Why risk being unfairly compensated and not having recourse to fix it? When you hire a personal injury lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, you pay nothing upfront. We work on contingent fees that are only collected if we win your case. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
Contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, for a free consultation. With our proven track record of success and our commitment to client care, we can turn your setback into a comeback.