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Struck by a hit-and-run driver? You can make a claim

Leaving the scene of an accident results in what is called a "hit-and-run." A hit-and-run driver can be prosecuted, even if he or she was not at fault for a collision. The exception to this rule is if the driver leaves the scene of the accident temporarily to seek out help.

The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident varies, but it could be a misdemeanor or felony depending on where it takes place. In New Jersey, a person can be found guilty of a hit-and-run crash if the person was driving and involved in the accident, knew he or she was in the accident, left the scene knowingly and unlawfully and caused harm to another person.

Any driver who is aware of being in an accident needs to immediately stop the vehicle at the scene or stop as close to the scene as possible and to return to the scene as soon as possible.

Penalties for leaving the scene include a maximum fine of $1,000 for leaving the scene of an accident with an injury or death. The first offense leads to a fine or up to 180 days in jail (or both in some cases). The driver's license is suspended immediately upon conviction for one year. In cases without injuries, the driver may not be imprisoned and only has to be concerned with a fine.

If you've been in an accident with a driver who left the scene, it's important to talk to police about what happened and to make a claim for compensation. You are a victim, and it's important that the driver is held accountable in all possible ways. Our website has more information.

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