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Investigating hit-and-run car accidents can be a challenge

What keeps a driver from remaining at the scene of a crash -- especially when someone is injured? That is a question that many families might ask after learning that their loved ones were seriously injured or killed in hit-and-run car accidents. New Jersey law enforcement officials sometimes struggle with investigating these crashes in order to get those answers.

In fact, at first glance, it might appear that what was really an accident involving more than one vehicle was just a single-vehicle accident. This was the first impression in a motorcycle accident that recently occurred on an unseasonably warm weekend day here in New Jersey at around 5:15 p.m. Emergency personnel arrived at the scene to find a critically injured 37-year-old man and his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

No other vehicles were at the scene, but during the course of the on-site investigation, police discovered that another vehicle was involved. The New Jersey State Police is asking the public for help in locating what is believed to be a silver minivan. Meanwhile, the victim was originally flown to a hospital in the area in critical condition that Sunday. Fortunately, by Monday, his condition was reported as having been upgraded to serious.

Once the vehicle and its driver are located, he or she could face criminal charges, along with a personal injury claim from the victim. If the motorcycle rider successfully proves that his injuries were due to the negligence of another, he could receive an award of damages similar to those awarded in other car accidents. Any restitution he receives from a monetary judgment could help with his current and future medical needs, along with his other financial losses.

Source:, "Police: Harley rider injured in Route 80 hit-and-run", William Westhoven, Feb. 20, 2017

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