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Hit-and-run car accidents leave unanswered questions

Vehicles strike far too many pedestrians each year across the country, including many here in New Jersey. Some of those pedestrian vs. car accidents are hit and runs, which leave many people with unanswered questions. The biggest question most people have regarding this type of accident is how the driver could leave the person to die -- or, at least, leave the victim seriously injured -- without calling 911 even if he or she fails to stop for whatever reason.

For example, a vehicle that fled the scene recently ran down a 17-year-old boy. When the vehicle and the 23-year-old man who was driving it at the time of the crash were later located, he claimed that he did not stop because he thought he struck an animal. However, police say that two things contradict that story.

First, a witness reported that the area where the crash took place is well lit, and after the impact, the vehicle took off quickly. Second, the driver attempted to hide the wrecked vehicle with a tarp. The man now faces charges of vehicular assault, fleeing the scene and failure to report an accident.

The teenager suffered serious injuries and was in critical condition at last report. Despite the severity of his injuries, he was taken into surgery to relieve swelling on his brain. A family member says that in addition to the head injuries, his neck and several vertebrae in his back are broken. He also has injuries to his legs.

The teen may have survived the crash, but he may never be the same again. At present, there is no way to know whether he will make a full recovery, and he could be left with permanent injuries. His current and future medical needs will most likely come with a hefty price tag. A personal injury claim could result in an award of damages that could help the family alleviate the financial impact of his injuries. As is the case in other New Jersey car accidents, it will first be necessary for negligence on the part of the driver to be proved.

Source: NBC Philadelphia, "Police Arrest Hit-and-Run Driver Who Injured HS Football Player: Officials", Dan Stamm, David Chang and Morgan Zalot, June 9, 2015

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