Can I Recover Damages for a Hit-and-Run?

Being the victim of a hit-and-run is scary and confusing, but you can still recover damages for your injuries.

A hit-and-run accident occurs when one driver hits another and then leaves the scene of the accident without exchanging information, or even making sure the accident victim is okay. You will have many concerns after being involved in a hit-and-run, but one of the main issues you will face is whether you can recover damages to cover your losses. Fortunately, New Jersey law provides many options to recover compensation after a hit-and-run crash.

Insurance Coverage Available After a Hit-and-Run

Like every other state, all drivers in New Jersey are required to carry minimum amounts of auto insurance. Unlike most states, New Jersey follows no-fault auto insurance laws. Fortunately, these laws allow you to file a claim with your own auto insurance company to recover damages for your medical expenses, regardless of who was at fault. This insurance, known as personal injury protection (PIP), will only cover your medical costs and a portion of your lost income. Other types of damages, such as pain and suffering, are not available through PIP.

Many drivers leave the scene of an accident because they do not have proper insurance and they want to avoid trouble with the law. When this is the case, you can use your own uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to claim damages.

Filing a Lawsuit After a Hit-and-Run Accident

When the hit-and-run driver’s own negligence caused the crash, you can file a lawsuit directly against them to obtain certain types of damages. Of course, you can only file a lawsuit if the police find the hit-and-run driver. In New Jersey, there are two options for filing a lawsuit — an unlimited right to sue or a limited right to sue. The type of lawsuit you file will depend on the option you chose when you first purchased your auto insurance.

If you chose the unlimited right to sue option, you can file a lawsuit to claim pain and suffering regardless of how serious or minor your injuries are. To obtain other damages, you will have to file a car insurance claim. If you chose the limited right to sue option, you can only file a lawsuit for pain and suffering against the other driver if you sustained a permanent injury. Permanent injuries are typically considered to be:

  • The loss of a body part
  • Significant scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of fetus
  • Total or partial loss of a bodily function or organ

The courts have discretion when determining whether an injury is serious enough or permanent, so you may still sue for many different types of injuries.

Our New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers Can Help with Your Hit-and-Run Claim

The aftermath of a hit-and-run accident is confusing, and the last thing you want to do is worry about filing an insurance claim or lawsuit. At Lomurro Law, our Freehold car accident lawyers know how to secure the damages you need after a hit-and-run and will assist you throughout the entire process. Call us today at (732) 414-0300 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.