What should I do about a hit and run car accident?

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What should I do about a hit and run car accident?

It occurred in my apartment complex. My car has a huge dent on the driver’s door with a black mark running across it. I am very sure of what car did it, (the car is very unique). I also have the other vehicle’s license plate number.

Asked on November 17, 2012 under Accident Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) If you have collision insurance, the best thing is to put in a claim to your insurer. That's what you have the insurance for.

2) If you lack collision insurance, but believe you know who did this, you can ask him/her for compensation. If he or she refuses to provide same, your next step would be to sue the person, at which point if he/she has insurance, his/her insurer will likely step in to possibly settle, or if not, defend, the case. The only way to force someone to pay is by suing.

If you end up going to trial, you would need to be able to prove, by a preponderance of the evidnece ("more likely than not") that the  other driver did the damage.

Insurers will typically settle if they think your case is very strong and they'd likely pay if they go to trial--in that case, they will offer you some money now to avoid the risk of paying that much or more later, after also paying legal fees.


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