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Can I charge someone with vehicular assault if I was not injured in the incident?

Westfield, NJ |

I was the victim of a hit and run. My vehicle was purposely side swiped by another vehicle in a road rage incident. Neither me or my passenger was injured. The other driver stopped only long enough to walk up to my window and threaten to kill me. I was able to get a plate number and the police have identified and spoke to the other driver. He says I was the reckless one and threatened him yet he never reported it. Since the police did not witness it they say I have to file all of the charges. I have decided to charge him with Reckless driving, terroristic threats and leaving the scene of an accident. Is vehicular assault also a possible charge I can file? Is there anything else I should look to charge him with?

Attorney Answers 3


You describe a very frightening situation. You should report the incident to your insurance company immediately. The driver of the other vehicle could decide to make a claim against you for damages to his car and, if he claims to have been injured, you may face a civil lawsuit. Informing your insurance company now about this incident will satisfy your obligation under the policy to promptly notify your carrier of a potential claim.

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I agree with all the charges you have mentioned. You could ask the prosecutor to help you.

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Yes you can file vehicular assault. An "attempt" to harm is sufficient. You have a witness. Get a statement from that person and bring it with you when you sign complaints because the Court or the Court Administrator has to fine probable cause or the charges cannot be lodged. Take pictures of the damage both for the case and for the insurance claims. If parts of his bumper are on your side panel that will help since you don't hit a fist with your face. Also check the area to see if there are any banks or stores with cameras, even inside. They may have caught the attack.

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