New Jersey, like many states, takes hit and run accidents seriously. If you’ve been a victim or a witness, it’s crucial to know the steps to report such incidents. Not only does this ensure the safety and rights of everyone involved, but it also helps maintain the integrity of our roads and communities. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to report a hit-and-run accident in the Garden State.
Definition of Hit and Run in New Jersey
In New Jersey, a “hit and run” refers to an incident where a driver involved in a motor vehicle accident leaves the scene without stopping to identify themselves, provide necessary information, or render aid if required. The state has specific laws and penalties associated with leaving the scene of an accident, which are outlined in the New Jersey Statutes.
What to Do if You’ve Been in a Hit and Run Accident
1. Ensure Safety First
Before anything else, ensure that you and anyone else involved are safe. If there are injuries, call 911 immediately. Even if there are no visible injuries, it’s essential to move to a safe location away from traffic.
2. Gather as Much Information as Possible
While the details are still fresh in your mind, jot down:
- The make, model, and color of the fleeing vehicle.
- The license plate number, even if partial.
- The direction in which the vehicle fled.
- Description of the driver, if visible.
- Date, time, and location of the accident.
- Photos of the accident scene and damages, if possible.
3. Look for Witnesses
If there are any witnesses, kindly ask for their contact information. Their testimony can be invaluable when reporting the incident and during any subsequent investigations.
4. Contact the Police
In New Jersey, it’s mandatory to report hit-and-run accidents to the police, especially if there are injuries or significant property damage. Provide them with all the information you’ve gathered. They will file an official report, which will be crucial for insurance claims and potential legal actions.
5. Notify Your Insurance Company
Even if the culprit isn’t found, you should inform your insurance company about the incident. Depending on your coverage, you might be eligible for compensation for damages or medical expenses.
6. Contact Peter Michael Law, LLC
If you face challenges getting compensation or feel that your rights are being infringed upon, Contact Peter Michael Law, LLC for legal advice. A seasoned attorney can guide you through New Jersey’s legal landscape concerning hit-and-run accidents.
Follow up with the police department to stay updated on any progress in the investigation. Your involvement doesn’t end once you’ve reported the incident.
While we can’t always prevent accidents, being vigilant and aware on the roads can reduce the risk. Always be on the lookout for erratic drivers and maintain a safe distance.
Experiencing a hit and run can be traumatic, but knowing the steps to take afterward can make the process smoother. By following this guide, you’ll ensure that you’ve done everything in your power to report the incident correctly in New Jersey. Remember, safety first, and always prioritize your well-being and that of others on the road.