Living in a densely populated area can certainly have its benefits. There can be access to all kinds of valuable resources, learning opportunities, and unique people and relationships. However, living in an area that is home to many other people means there that, at some point, there will probably be accidents of some kind.
One of the potential accidents is a hit and run. These usually happen in the form of vehicles crashing into other vehicles, pedestrians, or property, but even though they often happen quickly that can have a profound and serious impact on the people and things that are damaged. If you are involved in a hit and run, you may be frightened and confused, but knowing the consequences and what steps to take will allow you to exercise some control over the situation.
If you are involved in a hit and run
· Stop – According to New Jersey law, if you are involved in an accident you are legally required to stay at the scene and wait for the authorities to arrive. The point at which a person who caused an accident leaves the scene is the point at which it changes from being an accident to being a hit and run.
· Get medical attention – If necessary, contact emergency medical services and make sure that any person who needs medical assistance gets it. This should be the highest priority for everyone involved.
· Collect and give information – Collect as much information as you can. This include documenting the scene with pictures, getting contact information of witnesses, contact and insurance information of others involved in the accident, and giving others your information.
Consequences of a hit and run
Any accident involving a vehicle has the potential to have very serious consequences. Attempting to leave the scene of an accident could make those consequences much more serious, especially depending on their outcome. New Jersey law defines the potential legal consequences of first hit and runs as well as subsequence offences.
· Vehicle/property damage – If an accident only resulted in vehicle damage and no one involved was injured, the person who caused the accident and left the scene could be faced with up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $400 and a six-month suspension of their driver’s license.
· Death/injury – If an accident resulted in death and/or injury, the person who caused the accident and left the scene could face up to 180 days of jail time, a fine of up to $1,000 and a one year suspension of their driver’s license.
Hit and run accidents should not be taken lightly. If you have been involved in one, you may want to consider obtaining the services of a trained and experienced legal professional. They will be able to provide guidance and assistance as you move throughout the legal system.