What Should I Do if I’m Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident?

call police

If you or someone you love has been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you may not know how to proceed. Without realizing it, many accident victims make mistakes that hinder their ability to recover compensation for their damages. Don’t make the same mistakes, like leaving the scene of the accident to try to evade liability. Please continue reading to learn what steps to take after a hit-and-run accident and how a talented Essex County Auto Accident Attorney can help get the justice you deserve. 

What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?

A hit-and-run accident occurs when a motor vehicle hits another car, person, or object. Then, the driver operating the vehicle that caused the damage flees the accident scene without providing any identification or aid to the other parties involved. However, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime in New Jersey. A hit-and-run accident can result in both civil and criminal penalties. Therefore, you must remain at the accident scene until the authorities arrive to avoid the potential consequences.

What Steps Should I Take If I’m Injured in a Hit-and-Run Accident?

Knowing what steps to take to safeguard your legal rights is crucial if you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident. Following an accident, if you can, safely pull over to the side of the road. If you can’t pull over, you should exit the vehicle and move to a safe place away from oncoming traffic. From here, you must examine yourself for any injuries. Even if your injuries seem minor, you must contact emergency services and thoroughly examine them to ensure you receive proper treatment.

If you determine there are no injuries, you still need to contact the authorities for law and insurance purposes. Under New Jersey law, you are obligated to report an accident to the police if it results in any form of injury or death or if the property damage exceeds $500. While waiting for law enforcement officers to arrive, document as much as possible if you can. It can be distressing to learn the other driver has fled the scene. However, it would be best if you tried to remember the following details:

  • A description of the other vehicle. This includes their license plate number, make, model, color, and other distinctive features. It’s beneficial to note their direction to help the police track them down.
  • A description of the other driver. This includes their race, sex, hair color, and other distinguishing characteristics.

It’s also essential to gather as much evidence as possible by taking photos of the accident scene, the property damage, and your injuries. If there are any witnesses, you should gather their contact information as they may be able to remember details you might have missed. They can also contribute to a police report. Make sure you obtain a copy of the police report, as it contains crucial details essential for your legal claim. Under no circumstances should you attempt to chase after the driver as they may be dangerous.

Nevertheless, the most crucial step you can take after a hit-and-run accident is retaining the legal services of an experienced attorney, who can help you investigate the circumstances of the accident and gather pertinent evidence to prove your claim. At the Law Offices of Christopher T. Howell, Esq., we are prepared to help you hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence.