There are more than 6 million drivers in New Jersey. The New Jersey Department of Transportation shows that in 2017 there were 270,231 vehicle crashes. This boils down to almost 1 out of every 20 drivers experiencing some form of auto accident in 2017. When a collision happens, leaving the scene is the worst thing you can do.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense that comes with harsh penalties. The penalties become even more severe if another party is injured or killed. In addition to being fined, the driver may face jail time and could lose their license. Should you leave the scene of the accident, these are some of the things you should know.
If you are driving and have an accident, you have a few steps to complete to keep you from facing hit-and-run charges. First and foremost, come to a complete stop as close to the scene as possible. Next, identify yourself to the other parties and the police officer who responds to the accident. If there is no one around, you should report the accident to the nearest police station.
Leaving the scene
Should you neglect these steps and leave the scene, you are in violation of New Jersey law and could face criminal and civil charges. If the accident results in vehicle or property damage but no personal injury, the fine could ranging from $200 to $400. A driver could also lose their license for six months and get two motor vehicle and insurance points on their abstract. If another offense occurs, the driver could lose their license for up to a year.
If you leave the scene of an accident where bodily injury has occurred, the penalties become much more severe. Under New Jersey law leaving the scene of an accident where personal injury has occurred results in a fine of $2,500, 8 insurance and motor vehicle points and one year loss of license.
Leaving the scene of an accident also incurs penalties outside the justice system. Insurance companies react harshly to anyone who flees the scene of an accident. Companies have been known to raise the monthly premiums by a significant amount, or even drop the coverage. There have been cases where other insurance companies flat-out refuse to cover those convicted of leaving the scene.
Contact an attorney
If you have been in an accident and have fled the scene, you need to act quickly. Contact an experienced attorney to help represent you. Your attorney should help you understand your rights and legal options. Leon Matchin is here to help. As an attorney with experience in traffic law violations, Leon will fight for you every step of the way. Contact Leon by phone at 732-887-2479 or email him at [email protected] to get started.