If you’ve been involved in a hit and run accident, there’s a different sort of helplessness that may hit you after the crash. Typically, victims are left with injuries and property damage, but they don’t know who to blame. A driver who leaves the scene of the accident in a hit and run may think that he or she is getting off easily, especially in cases where there are few witnesses or it’s dark and hard to see the vehicle. Still, it is possible for the victim of a hit and run to recover damages and compensation for his or her injuries in New Jersey.
How Do I File a Claim?
Immediately after a hit-and-run accident or any car accident, you may be stunned and disoriented, which may leave you unable to get a good look at the car that hit you or notice the license plate number or any identifying features of the driver. Without information on the car or driver, it may be difficult or even impossible to track down who hit you. This does not mean that the burden of the cost is entirely on you alone, though.
You can file a claim with your own insurance company under uninsured motorist protections to cover the cost of any medical bills and damage to your vehicle. If you had to miss work due to your injuries, or you had to make adaptations to your current lifestyle to accommodate your injuries, your vehicle insurance claim can be used to cover those costs as well.
Victims of Crime Compensation
In New Jersey, those who have been the victims of certain crimes, including hit and run accidents, can apply for compensation through the Victims of Crime Compensation Office. Anyone who wishes to file a claim needs to report the accident to the local police within nine months and must file a claim application within three years. There is a $25,000 maximum allowance for compensation, but it does provide financial relief for any damages to your vehicle or any outstanding medical bills, as well as physical and emotional therapy needs.
If you had to take time off from work to recover from your accident, or you missed a few shifts trying to get your car repaired or alternate transportation arranged, you can include this in your victims of crime compensation claim. The maximum amount of support you can receive is $600/week, for a period of 104 weeks in lost earnings for the directly-impacted victim.
If the police do catch the hit and run driver, you could be entitled to damages and compensation paid by him or her as well. This would initiate a more typical personal injury claim and could help you cover any outstanding costs.
Call Your Attorney
At Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, we represent anyone who has been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, even if the crash was a hit and run, and the other driver has not been found. For more information on your case and how to handle a claim against a hit and run driver, contact a New Jersey car accident attorney at HCK for a consultation today.