You spent the day exploring the local city and return to your parked vehicle, now with body damage. What do you do? You don’t know who damaged it and you’re not sure how to find out. This is an all too common occurrence which leaves many wondering who is responsible for their vehicle’s damages.
What is a Hit and Run Accident?
A hit and run accident is any accident in which the responsible party causes damage to another vehicle, and then leaves the scene of the accident. While hit and run accidents are most commonly attributed to moving vehicles, this is not always the case. A driver who causes damages to a parked car and then leaves is also guilty of a hit and run. Hit and run accidents carry heavy fines and legal consequences.
What to Do If You Hit a Parked Car
A driver might also wonder what to do if they hit a parked car and the vehicle’s owner is nowhere around. If you damage a parked vehicle in a parking lot, it is your duty to stay at the scene of the accident.
New Jersey Legal Consequences
Leaving the scene of an accident of a parked vehicle in New Jersey can lead to:
- Six-month license suspension
- Legal fines between $200-$400
- Maximum of 90 days in jail
- Points added to your license
In New Jersey, the law does allow you to notify the driver with written notice of the accident. A written notice should include the following:
- Name of the driver
- Address of the driver
- Contact information
- Insurance information
If damages exceed beyond that of the vehicle, then the driver must notify the local police department immediately.
What to Do If Your Vehicle is Damaged
If you come back to a damaged vehicle and there is no note left as to who is responsible, then you will want to report the damages. File a police report with the local police department who may be able to track down more information about who is responsible. They may be able to gather information from nearby video cameras or witnesses. If possible, request any information from witnesses when you return to your vehicle.
It can also be helpful to document the damage. Before moving the vehicle, take photographs of the damage and your location. This can provide necessary evidence of the accident, which may be important to your case later on.
Be sure to also notify your insurance company of the damage. Depending on your insurance coverage, they may or may not cover the damages. It can also be useful to reach out to a car accident lawyer. A lawyer may be able to further investigate your case and gather more details. If they are able to track down the responsible driver, then they can seek compensation for your damages, either through their insurance company or through a third-party personal injury claim.
Contact an Edison Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Hit and Run Case in New Jersey
Did you experience property damages due to a hit and run in New Jersey? Don’t wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive car accident attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. represent clients with extensive property damage due to a hit and run in Edison, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, Piscataway, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 906-1500 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, as well as offices in Edison, Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.