Jersey City Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney
Hit-and-run accidents seem to be an increasing trend in Jersey City, New Jersey, and throughout the rest of the United States. A hit-and-run accident is when one driver hits a pedestrian or another vehicle and then leaves the scene afterward. In most of these incidents, there is a victim who is badly injured or property that has been severely damaged. The driver at fault is likely afraid to face the consequences of their actions, so they leave the scene and hope that no one suspects them as the guilty party. Sometimes they will get away with it too because their identity will remain undiscovered. If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, contact the Bhatt Law Group to speak to an experienced Jersey City Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney today. We specialize in handling these types of injury cases and will provide you with a detailed consultation to discuss your options.
Hit-and-Run Laws in Jersey City New Jersey
The state of New Jersey considers a hit-and-run to be a serious offense. Not all hit-and-run accidents involve people getting injured or killed. Something as minor as a fender bender could be considered a hit-and-run if the guilty driver flees the scene. In this type of case, the driver would likely be issued a citation. If the driver only slightly hit the car, they might not even be aware of the accident. But they could still face severe penalties for leaving the scene.
New Jersey courts want drivers to remain at the accident site, no matter how big or small it is. Even if you just crashed into a signpost on the road, you are supposed to wait for a public official to come by. If there was an accident with another vehicle and nobody was injured, each driver involved in the incident must stop their car and at least exchange contact information with each other. If there was an injury or serious property damage, then you must all wait for the police to show up.
If a hit-and-run driver causes someone to die or get injured, here are the possible penalties they could face if they get caught:
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
- Up to 6 months in jail.
- 8 points deducted from their driving record.
- License suspension for one year.
If a hit-and-run driver causes damage to another driver’s vehicle, here are the possible penalties they could face if they get caught:
- Up to $400 in fines.
- Up to 1 month in jail.
- License suspension for 180 days.
- 2 points deducted from their driving record.
These charges may be more extensive if the guilty driver has a history of reckless driving and hit-and-run accidents. They might also lose their insurance or see a huge increase in their monthly premiums. Therefore, if you are someone who has committed a hit-and-run, you need to contact a hit-and-run accident attorney immediately and go over your options. Consultations are confidential and protected by attorney/client privilege.
When the Driver is Located
If you find yourself to be the victim of a hit-and-run in Jersey City, you will have plenty of legal options at your disposal. This is especially true if the police find the guilty driver of the hit-and-run. Not only will that driver be facing criminal charges and penalties, they’ll also be facing a civil lawsuit from you as well. If they have insurance, then seeking compensatory damages will be easy.
First, you need to hire a hit-and-run accident attorney who will work with your insurance company to get you the proper compensation from them that you deserve. If you have personal injury protection and collision coverage on your insurance plan, then you are good to go. Personal injury protection will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses incurred as a result of the guilty driver hitting you. Collision coverage will cover vehicle damage expenses.
New Jersey requires all drivers to have a minimum of $15,000 for their personal injury protection coverage. This applies to just one person for each accident. However, you can elect to purchase up to $250,000 of coverage for this. But if you or the guilty driver does not have insurance, then you will need to file a lawsuit instead. Although you might not get paid even if you win the case, at least you will win on record.
When the Driver is Not Located
Do not assume that the police will always find these hit-and-run drivers. Even though the police perform an investigation at the scene of the crime, there are times when they’ll come up empty. In this case, your personal injury protection coverage from your insurance plan will cover your medical expenses up to its limit. It doesn’t matter which party was the cause of the accident. Plus, if you have uninsured motorist coverage, this can also help cover your medical expenses and any property damage that you suffered.
Unlimited & Limited Right to Sue
If you have a standard auto insurance policy in New Jersey and became victimized in a hit-and-run accident, then you must choose between two lawsuit options; a limited right to sue and an unlimited right to sue. Each one has their own set of rules regarding the compensation that you can get. Of course, the guilty driver of the hit-and-run accident must be found first or else you will have nobody to sue. Then you will only receive compensation from your insurance company.
An unlimited right to sue is a great lawsuit option if you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident and have experienced pain and suffering from it. This will give you compensation for all the injuries that you endured from the hit-and-run accident. The severity of your pain and suffering does not matter either. Meanwhile, you can file a claim with your insurance company and receive compensation from them too.
A limited right to sue is when you or your family member experiences pain and suffering from a permanent injury or multiple permanent injuries. Some examples of this include losing a body part, losing a fetus, displaced fracture, severe disfigurement, or even death. The courts will ultimately determine if your lawsuit option is acceptable or not.
The unlimited right to sue option will usually mean more compensation for you. However, it will also cause your insurance premiums to go up. Some drivers tend to choose the limited right to sue option because it costs insurance companies less money. As a result, the monthly premiums will not go up so much. If you’ve retained the services of a hit-and-run accident attorney, they will consult with you on which lawsuit option that you should make.
Contact a Jersey City Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney at the Bhatt Law Group today by calling (201) 798-8000 today.