It is possible to bump another vehicle, or property like a mailbox or sign. However, if you leave your information and do not make sure that no one is hurt or you are certain there was no damage, it may be considered a hit & run in New Jersey.
New Jersey’s hit-and run laws state that you can be fined, suspended your license, or even jail for leaving an accident scene. You can avoid the hit-and-run penalties by knowing the right steps to take in case you are involved with a collision or an accident.
New Jersey Hit-and-runs
Recent data has shown that the number of fatal hit-and run accidents in New Jersey has increased by 38% between 2013 and 2016. The majority of pedestrians killed in these accidents were hit by cars. Distracted driving was also a contributing factor to the rise in deaths.
No matter if you’re behind the wheel, riding a bike or walking, being alert to other vehicles and aware of the hit-and-run laws could prevent serious or dangerous outcomes.
New Jersey hit-and-run laws
Title 39.4-129 in New Jersey defines what happens to someone who leaves an accident scene. You must stop immediately if you hit someone or property. You could face a hit and run charge if you leave the accident scene.
The severity of hit-and run accidents will affect the amount of the fines. A first offense will result in a minimum fine of $200 up to $400. A third-degree crime is when someone is injured or killed. This can lead to imprisonment and a fine of $2,500 to $5,000. Even if there was no injury, this could be considered a third-degree crime. A New Jersey hit and run conviction can result in a suspension of your driver’s license and higher auto insurance premiums.
New Jersey: How do hit-and-runs affect car insurance rates
Hit-and-runs can be a serious offense. Although many people assume they are an accident because of the collision, leaving the scene of an accident is usually treated more harshly than a normal accident. Hit-and-runs are dangerous especially if the victim was hurt and requires medical attention.
A hit-and-run in New Jersey could result in an premium spike up to $1,489, as opposed to $860 for a normal accident. This is a substantial increase, but the impact of hitting-and-run is much less than national average rates.
Five things to do following a New Jersey hit-and-run
Accidents can happen. Accidents can happen to even the most careful drivers. How you handle this situation can make the difference between an accident and a more serious crime, such as leaving the scene. Consider the following precautions and steps to avoid being charged for hit-and run.
- Stop immediately: According to the hit-and-run New Jersey statute, drivers involved in collisions must stop immediately. It could be considered a hit and run if you leave the scene.
- Evaluate the situation and all parties. Ask everyone if they are okay. It is a good idea not to leave until emergency services arrive if it is not clear if someone has been hurt.
- Emergency services should be called immediately if anyone seems disoriented or injured. It is important to seek help for any injured persons following an accident.
- Take photos of what happened. If you have damaged property of someone else and they are not there, please leave your contact information along with a brief explanation.
- Contact your insurance carrier immediately. You can provide additional information while you are still on the scene. Send photos to your carrier indicating the extent of the damage.
Is insurance available to cover hit-and-run?
If you’re the victim of a New Jersey hit and run, but don’t know who hit you or your vehicle in the accident, your insurance company will usually cover you. If the driver of your vehicle is known, they will typically pay for the damage to your vehicle.
Liability insurance covers the injuries and damages to other people and vehicles if you are the one who caused the accident. To pay for repairs to your car, however, you will need collision coverage.
Questions frequently asked
What is a hit and run accident?
Hit-and-run can also be called leaving the accident scene. A hit-and-run is when you strike something, such as the backview mirror of a parked vehicle, and fail to stop or leave your information. A serious offense could be committed if you hit a pedestrian while fleeing the scene. A hit-and-run can result in a fatality if the pedestrian who was injured is unable to call for assistance.
What if I am hit by someone and leave the accident scene?
You may not be able identify the person who caused an accident or fled to collect damages. Uninsured motorist coverage is offered by most insurance providers. This will usually cover your injuries and repairs after a hit-and run, even if they are not your fault.
Is it possible to get my car insured higher if there is a hit-and run?
Hit-and-run is considered to be more serious than a regular accident and can cost more. If you are convicted of leaving the scene after an accident, your car insurance cost could double.