When a person is involved in an auto accident, it generally triggers the fight-or-flight response. If you have done something wrong, it is likely that your gut will tell you to leave the scene and hope that no one sees you or notices your license plate number. Even if you were backing from a parking spot and scraped another vehicle and left the scene, you can face legal consequences.
It should not be a surprise that leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense in Illinois and can have serious ramifications. Leaving the scene of an auto accident is also known as a hit and run accident, and carries harsh punishments for the responsible party upon conviction.
Regardless of who was at-fault for an accident, leaving the scene is against the law. You are required to stop and offer aid to anyone who may have been injured in the accident. You must also exchange personal information and details of insurance so that the affected party can make a claim to get compensation for their damages.
Penalties and Charges of a Hit and Run
Illinois laws regarding leaving the scene of a traffic accident are laid out in 625 ILCS 5/11-402 Several factors can affect the severity of charges depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Here is an overview of penalties and charges in a hit and run accident:
- If the accident involved only property damage and no one was injured or died, you are required to exchange contact and insurance information. If you fail to do so, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty may include a fine of $2,500 and up to one year of jail time. Your license may also be revoked if the damage to any vehicle was more than $1,000.
- If the accident resulted in bodily injury, property damage of over $1,500, or death of a person, it is essential to file an Illinois Crash Report at a police station, no matter who was at fault. The crash report should be submitted to the Illinois Department of Transportation within 1- days of the accident. If you are unable to send the report, your driver’s license may be suspended by the Secretary of State.
- A hit and run accident causing personal injury or death is a serious criminal offense. It is a Class 4 felony to leave the scene of an accident involving personal injury without providing assistance and can lead to a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years and a 25,000 fine. If you flee the accident scene involving death, it is a Class 3 felony that is punishable by 5 years of prison sentence and a $25,000 fine.
If you were involved in an accident and the other driver fled the scene, you must make a police report and inform your insurance company of the incident. It is advisable to work with an auto accident attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve to recover your damages. Contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.