When you are involved in a vehicle collision, you often have the option of filing a claim against the at-fault party for your damages. But what if the other motorist flees the scene without providing information? This is a situation where a New Brunswick hit and run accident lawyer might be able to help. You might feel completely lost if you cannot identify a liable party, so getting legal advice from our experienced car accident attorneys should be your first priority.
A hit and run describes a situation where a person gets in an crash and leaves the scene without identifying themselves. They either speed away before the other driver can talk to them, or they stop and talk for a little bit before jumping back into their vehicle and driving away without providing contact information. If an injured person happens to catch a license plate number, they may be able to track down the driver by running a Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) search on the plate. That name that comes up might not have been the one driving but they will be named on a lawsuit and will have to confirm who was driving.
Sometimes the person who causes the crash does not want to hang around for the police to get there and discover they do not have insurance. In addition, if someone gets into an collision in New Jersey and they do not have insurance, they lose their license for a year. This may cause someone to panic, but by leaving the scene they are making it more complicated for themselves.
If the at-fault driver speeds away immediately, it may cause the injured party to file an uninsured motorist claim. They have this option if they purchase uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on their policy.
An injured motorist will go to their own insurance company and say they were involved in a crash where the other person was uninsured. If the liable party has been located, the plaintiff could provide proof of non-insurance from that person’s former insurer.
Imagine a driver has their own policy and is driving someone else’s car when they get into a crash with an uninsured motorist. They are entitled to uninsured motorist coverage under both their own policy and the policy of the person who owns the car they are driving. The statute says the coverage would be pro rata – in other words, proportional.
If one policy has $100,000 of UM coverage and the other has $50,000 of UM coverage, the larger policy would pay two-thirds of any settlement or judgment ($100,000/$150,000), and the smaller policy would pay one-third ($50,000/$100,000). This is another reason why someone should contact a New Brunswick lawyer immediately when they get involved in a hit and run accident.
The person who left the scene of a crash needs to be identified and they might have charges filed against them, which can include a substantial fine and a loss of their license. If somebody leaves the scene of a crash, that can be seen as an implication they knew it was their fault or that they are uninsured. The law says if somebody leaves a crash quickly, a jury can conclude that person knew it was their fault.
As a practical matter, unless the plaintiff has a license plate number, it is difficult to find the perpetrator of a hit and run accident because the police do not have the resources to look for a specific vehicle with certain damage marks.
If the plaintiff can get the license number, a hit and run lawyer in New Brunswick could run a search and determine who may have been driving. Some individuals will admit it was them and others will reveal they let someone else borrow the vehicle at that time.
It can be a little chaotic when you do not have a liable party to name in your lawsuit. We can help with that. Reach out to a New Brunswick hit and run accident lawyer to discuss how you can get compensated.