A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver in a vehicle causes an accident and leaves the scene without providing information. Under Illinois law, it is a misdemeanor if the accident resulted in property damage, and a felony if the accident resulted in injury or death.
Hit-and-runs include when another vehicle hits you and speeds away from the scene, as well as when a vehicle hits your parked and unattended vehicle and leaves no information. While the first type may result in more property damage and risk of injury, the second can be tougher in a legal sense if you have no clues or information about the at-fault driver. If a hit-and-run occurs on your parked vehicle when you’re away from the scene, write down as much information as possible, including the time, location, and direct damage to the vehicle. Look for any witnesses at or near the scene and obtain their contact information if necessary. Then, contact the police as soon as possible and file an accident report with all important details to use later, as well as to protect your ability to earn compensation for the injuries you’ve sustained.
In Illinois, uninsured motorist coverage as part of a liability insurance policy is required by law. If you are injured by an uninsured motorist, this can help you earn compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Hit-and-run accidents are among the most severe in terms of injury and death and typically occur when a driver in a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, cyclist, or another vehicle and then flees the scene instead of staying and taking responsibility for their actions. Fortunately, many of these cases are still pursuable and compensable when you file a claim with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a hit-and-run accident, we at Agruss Law Firm are here for you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected and you are fully compensated for your injuries and losses.
Leaving the scene of an auto accident, especially one which resulted in injuries, is strictly illegal, but still happens on a regular basis: the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that about 11% of all auto accidents involve hit-and-run drivers. Here is Illinois state law as it applies to these accidents:
(625 ILCS 5/11-401) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-401)
Sec. 11-401. Motor vehicle accidents involving death or personal injuries.
(a) The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident, or as close thereto as possible and shall then forthwith return to, and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until the requirements of Section 11-403 have been fulfilled. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
Bicyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable to hit-and-run accidents. In 2010 alone, nearly 800 pedestrians lost their lives after being struck by a driver who then fled the scene. These accidents are terrible enough, but for a driver to leave the scene and hope to not get caught injuring another person is reprehensible in an entirely different way and the drivers are eventually identified in a number of these cases.
However, even in cases in which the driver was not identified, a pedestrian or bicyclist who was the victim of a hit-and-run may still pursue compensation via their own auto insurance company if they carry uninsured motorist coverage; this can potentially cover medical expense, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the driver responsible for the hit-and-run doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to compensate the victim, an “under-insured motorist claim” (UIM) may then be filed.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based personal injury law firm, and helping our clients is about counseling, advocating, and ultimately solving problems. With years of experience successfully representing the people and not the powerful, we will file your claim and take care of the insurance company, medical bills, property damage, and lost income. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, our personal injury lawyers are not paid attorney fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.