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Are Hit and Run Accident Victims Entitled to Compensation?
You might have been stopped at a traffic light or a pedestrian crossing the street. Suddenly, a car comes directly for you and strikes you. As you wince in pain, you notice the car take off. You cannot catch the license plate. The nightmare starts as you become the latest victim of a hit and run accident. Are you entitled to compensation? Who do you make a claim against?
Unfortunately, it might not be a simple injury claim. Some hit and run accidents result in fatalities. A 2014 report prepared by the New Jersey State Police provides documentation concerning fatal hit and run fatal accidents that year. Thirty-three people lost their lives due to hit and run accidents. The victims were comprised of one driver, two passengers, twenty-eight pedestrians and two pedal cyclists. An argument could be made that the most fatal hit and run crashes involve those on foot.
It is very frustrating when someone leaves the scene of an accident. As a victim, your first priority should be seeking medical attention. If you have lost a loved one to a hit and run accident, you may want to know how to pursue a claim for their death.
Hit and Run Accident Claims
Hit and run drivers leave accident scenes for a variety of reasons. They may be driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It could be that the driver is behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle. Perhaps there is no liability insurance. In a few cases, it is a matter of panic. The driver may ultimately turn themselves into the police.
We suspect that most hit and run drivers are hopeful they can get away with their actions. Depending on the severity of your injuries, the police may attempt to locate the driver who fled the scene. Despite best efforts, this may prove futile. Here’s what you should know about getting your medical bills paid if you are the victim of a hit and run accident:
- You Sustained Injuries While You were a driver: In many cases, your own car insurance will provide you medical bill payment under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.
- You Were a Passenger in a Vehicle Involved in a Hit and Run: If you were a passenger in a car that was struck by another vehicle, you might want to read our article directed specifically to passenger automobile accident victims. Your first resource would continue to be your own car insurance coverage.
- You Were a Pedestrian Injured in a Hit and Run: If you were a pedestrian struck by a car that left the scene of the accident, your medical bills might be paid by your own car insurance. If no one in your household has automobile insurance, NJ PLIGA (New Jersey Property – Liability Insurance Guaranty Association) may afford you benefits.
In addition to seeking medical bill payment, those who are injured in hit and run accidents have a right to further compensation. Claims may be made under the uninsured motorist coverage afforded by most standard policies. Take a look at how these types of claims are made. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide you with more details concerning the pursuit of a claim arising from a hit and run accident.
Hit and run accidents can cause personal injury or death. At the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo, we have learned that these types of car crashes also cause lots of frustration. Not sure how to proceed? Contact us for a complimentary meeting.