Hit and Run Accidents
Hit and Run Accident Attorneys in Chicago
Any motor vehicle accident, in general, can be a very traumatizing, damaging, and costly event in a person’s life. But when the accident is a hit and run, it can make matters much more stressful and troubling. It can be frustrating to be left alone after an accident and angering to think that they would not face the consequences of their actions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2016, there were 1,980 fatal hit and run crashes which resulted in 2,049 fatalities. This is a very troubling statistic and shows the deathly consequences of some hit and run accidents. The at-fault driver should be there to civilly handle the matter and assist the person that they have hurt.
At Agruss Law Firm, LLC, we have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run accident, contact our office today for a free consultation.
The Aftermath of a Hit and Run Accident
After a hit and run accident, you are bound to feel frustrated that the at-fault driver did not own up to their actions and properly handle the situation. But, there are a few things that you should do to make the best effort for the chance at a more favorable outcome.
The first thing that you should do is assess the situation and figure out if you are hurt, despite the initial feeling of shock. If you are hurt, call 911 immediately or have someone else that is able to do so. Your safety is the priority. Even if you are not hurt, you should call the police to report the accident and begin looking into the accident, the circumstances leading up to it, and see if they can find some sources to track down the other driver.
If you remember any details about the driver or their car, this would be a good time to tell the officers, as it may help them in finding them quicker. You should not attempt to chase the driver, as it could escalate the situation or lead to a second accident among other drivers. Once you have been treated for any potential injuries, you should contact your insurance company to inform them about the recent hit and run accident. You will likely have to file a claim with your insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage. Then, we recommend that you contact one of our experienced attorneys to assist you in navigating this difficult process with your injuries, property damage, and we will handle matters with your insurance company so that you get a fair outcome.
Why Do Drivers Flee the Accident?
Drivers that leave the scene in a hit and run accident do so for several reasons, however, they are absolutely not justified in doing so. No matter what, their outcome may be less severe if they own up to their wrongdoing. Our attorneys can help you solve this matter and help put your mind at ease.
They may flee the scene since they are under the influence and do not want to be caught when the police arrive. They also may have been violating traffic laws or have a history of doing so. They may fear that this accident may be the last straw and they are afraid to suffer the consequences. They may have been uninsured and fearful of the resulting damages that they would have to pay. They may have been underage and fearful of being caught by their parents and the police. They may have been “on the clock” for their job and afraid of the repercussions if their superiors discover that they got in an accident at this time. No matter what, the answer to what to do after any type of accident is to stop and speak with the other driver so that you both can resolve the situation.
Illinois Law Regarding Hit and Run Accidents
Different states have their own statutes regarding the aftermath of a hit and run accident. In Illinois, hit and runs can come with some heavy penalties for the runaway driver. The punishment does depend on the outcome and severity of the accident.
- Fleeing a hit and run accident that causes property damage but no injuries as well as failing to report it is considered a Class A misdemeanor. The driver may have to pay a fine of up to $2,500 and may face up to one year of jail time. If the vehicle damage is over $1,000, they may also have their license revoked.
- Fleeing a hit and run accident and failing to return within a half-hour could carry a $25,000 fine or a three-year jail sentence.
- Fleeing a hit and run accident that caused bodily injury, property damage over $1,500, or death can result in a license suspension by the Secretary of State. This type of accident would require a filing of an Illinois Crash Report to a police station.
- Fleeing a hit and run accident that caused bodily injury is considered a Class 4 felony. The driver may face a prison sentence of up to three years and a $25,000. In the event of a death, it is a Class 3 felony carrying a five-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
Motor vehicle accidents are can be very serious in terms of the damages. Repairs to your vehicle can be tens of thousands of dollars, or it could be completely totaled. You may also have sustained some serious injuries requiring hospitalization or surgery. Common motor vehicle accident injuries include bruises and cuts, whiplash, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, neck or spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even death.
With our help, we will make sure your claim is successful and that you are fairly compensated for the damages and experience that you have had to endure. Some common damages that can be recovered after a hit and run accident include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death (in a wrongful death claim)
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run accident, contact our office today for a free consultation.
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