Last month, a man was traveling southbound on his way home to New Jersey from New York around 3 a.m. when he suddenly hit another vehicle. Both vehicles split, and the man pulled over onto the highway’s left shoulder. The other vehicle was disabled and incapable of being driven out of the right center lane. The man exited his car to assist the disabled vehicle when he was suddenly struck by a 2008 Infinity that blew through the center lane between the two cars. The Infinity did not stop. However, the hit and run driver was tracked down five hours later.
Later, the man who was struck would be identified as an off-duty New York police officer. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
What Do I Do in a Hit-and-Run Accident?
In New Jersey, drivers who are involved in a car accident have a duty to stop. It doesn’t matter if anyone was injured or whether it was a minor accident—hit and run drivers are required to stop and go back to the scene. New Jersey laws require drivers to report the accident and give “reasonable assistance” to anyone who was injured.
If this is not the case and you were a victim of a hit-and-run accident, it is imperative that you do not leave the scene of the accident to confront the hit-and-run driver. Pull over to the shoulder to avoid blocking traffic or, if possible, go somewhere safe to report the car accident. Do not leave the scene of the accident as well.
Instead, try and identify the make, model and the license plate number of the hit-and-run driver. If you can, obtain a description of the driver who hit you. Immediately call the police once you are stopped to report the hit and run accident, using the license plate number if you are able to obtain it. If anyone is nice enough to stop and participate as a witness, be sure to obtain their contact information for the police report.
Always Contact an Attorney for Hit-and-Run Accidents
After a police report has been filed, immediately call an attorney to assist you in filing a claim and handling insurance companies. Unfortunately, 16 percent of all car accidents result in hit and runs, according to a national study. After a hit-and-run accident, you will want an experienced car accident attorney on your side to fight for your rights.