A New Jersey man pleaded guilty last week to fleeing the scene of a Tom's River car accident that the left a 17-year-old boy severely injured.
The driver, a criminal defense attorney from Brick, said that he was reading text messages or emails at the time of the New Jersey hit-and-run accident. After the crash, he convinced his assistant to take the blame. The police's investigation ultimately revealed the assistant's admissions to be untrue.
The driver faces a sentence of up to six years in prison. His punishment, though, could have been a lot worse had he not pleaded guilty. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to drop charges of aggravated assault, obstruction of justice and drunk driving.
New Jersey Car Accident Lawsuits
Hopefully, the injured victim and his family will get some closure from seeing the driver sentenced. However, although criminal sentences can bring some emotional relief, they do little to compensate accident victims for the harm that has been done to them.
Accident victims can seek monetary damages by bringing a negligence lawsuit in civil court. New Jersey personal injury lawsuits allow accident victims to recover for direct monetary losses, including medical bills and lost income, as well as for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
In some cases, victims can also seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate victims for actual losses. Instead, they are intended to punish especially egregious conduct and discourage future similar misconduct.
It's important to note that the burden of proof is lower in civil case than in a criminal case. For example, drivers can be held responsible for drunk driving in a civil claim, even if they were not convicted of drunk driving in criminal court.
If you were injured in a New Jersey car accident, an attorney can help you understand your rights.