What to do if my 12 year old was hit by a car and the driver left the scene but someone gave police the license plate number of the vehicle?

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What to do if my 12 year old was hit by a car and the driver left the scene but someone gave police the license plate number of the vehicle?

She suffered from bumps and bruises.

Asked on April 30, 2013 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There are separate criminal and civil cases here.  The criminal case is hit and run / leaving the scene of an accident which will be handled by the district attorney.

The civil case is your daughter's personal injury claim.  Contact the police to obtain the police report.  When the driver is apprehended, the police report will state whether or not the registered owner of the vehicle (if someone other than the driver) had auto insurance and the name of the auto insurance carrier.

If the registered owner of the vehicle had auto insurance, immediately notify the insurance carrier of your daughter's personal injury claim.  When your daughter completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor, obtain her medical bills and medical reports.  Your daughter's personal injury claim filed with the at-fault party's auto insurance carrier should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your daughter's injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  It is important for your daughter to receive medical treatment even for bumps and bruises to document the injury; otherwise the at-fault party's insurance carrier might deny the claim for lack of medical treatment.

If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the registered owner of the vehicle and driver if the registered owner is someone other than the driver.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter because she is a minor.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier,  the lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter. 

 


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