Being involved in a hit-and-run accident is a traumatic and painful experience. In Illinois, drivers involved in accidents must stop and exchange information with the other parties involved. However, hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver flees the scene without providing the necessary information. If you are in such a situation, knowing the steps to take to protect your rights and seek compensation is crucial.
This blog post will guide you through the essential actions to take if you’re injured in a hit-and-run Illinois accident while shedding light on relevant Illinois laws. When injured in an accident, you should follow these important steps:
The first and foremost concern after a hit-and-run accident is safety. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries and seek immediate medical attention if needed. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, away from traffic, to prevent further accidents. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers of the incident.
In a hit-and-run accident, obtaining the at-fault driver’s information is not always possible. However, remember as much as you can about the other vehicle involved, such as the make, model, color, and license plate number. Any information can be invaluable to law enforcement in locating the responsible party.
Get Medical Assistance
If you or any passengers have sustained injuries, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention. Your health should be the top priority, and getting prompt medical care not only ensures your well-being but also documents your injuries for potential legal claims. Always seek medical attention because some internal injuries are not visible or painful.
Contact the local law enforcement authorities to report the hit-and-run accident immediately. Provide them with all the information you have about the incident and the fleeing vehicle. A police report will be crucial for your insurance claim and potential legal action. According to Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/11-401), drivers involved in an accident must immediately stop at the scene and provide their name, address, vehicle registration number, and insurance information. Failure to do so can result in criminal penalties, including fines and potential license suspension.
Document the Scene
While waiting for the police to arrive, document the accident scene by taking photos or videos. Capture the damage to your vehicle, any injuries you or your passengers sustained, and any other relevant details. This evidence will be helpful for both your insurance claim and any legal proceedings.
If there were any witnesses to the hit-and-run accident, try to obtain their contact information. Eyewitness accounts can be crucial in identifying the at-fault driver and corroborating your version of events.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company immediately to report the hit-and-run accident. Provide them with all your details, including the police report, witness information, and photographic evidence. Your insurance policy may include coverage for hit-and-run accidents under the uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) provisions. In Illinois, uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory for all auto insurance policies unless the insured party explicitly rejects it in writing (215 ILCS 5/143a). This coverage can help protect you in hit-and-run accidents where the responsible party cannot be identified or is uninsured.
Consult Our Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident, it’s advisable to consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Our attorney can help you navigate the legal complexities, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue legal action against the responsible party if they are identified.
Being the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Illinois is a painful experience. However, by following these steps, understanding the relevant Illinois laws, and retaining an experienced attorney, you can protect your rights and seek compensation for your injuries and damages. Remember that seeking legal counsel from a qualified personal injury attorney can significantly improve your chances of obtaining a fair settlement or judgment.
Why Do Some Drivers Leave Hit-And-Run Accidents?
Hit-and-run accidents often leave victims in a state of shock and with life-threatening injuries, all while the responsible drivers illegally depart from the scene of the crash. In this report, we discuss why drivers choose to flee the scene of a hit-and-run accident in Illinois and explore the legal implications and potential consequences of such actions. Below are the most common reasons why drivers who cause an accident decide to flee the scene:
Fear of Legal Consequences
One of the primary reasons drivers flee the scene of a hit-and-run accident is the fear of facing legal consequences. Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/11-401) requires drivers involved in accidents to stop and provide their name, address, vehicle registration number, and insurance information. Failure to do so can result in criminal penalties, including fines and potential license suspension. Fear of being held accountable for their actions drives some individuals to choose to flee the scene.
Lack of Insurance Coverage
In Illinois, every driver is required to carry minimum liability insurance coverage. However, not all drivers comply with this law. Some drivers neglect to maintain car accident insurance or have insufficient coverage. When these uninsured or underinsured drivers cause an accident, they may flee to avoid legal repercussions and financial responsibility.
Impaired or Intoxicated Driving
Another significant factor contributing to hit-and-run accidents is impaired or intoxicated driving. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs are more likely to make impulsive decisions and engage in reckless behavior. When involved in an accident, they may panic and flee in an attempt to avoid DUI charges, compounding the severity of their actions.
Outstanding Warrants or Criminal History
Some drivers who flee hit-and-run accidents may have existing legal issues, such as outstanding warrants or a criminal history. The prospect of being arrested or facing legal consequences for unrelated offenses can motivate them to flee to evade law enforcement.
Fear of Retaliation
In some instances, drivers may flee the scene out of fear of retaliation. They may have been involved in altercations or disputes before the accident and believe that remaining at the scene could put them in harm’s way. While fear is not a justification for fleeing, it can influence a driver’s decision.
Consequences for Hit-and-Run Drivers in Illinois
Illinois takes hit-and-run accidents seriously, and the consequences for those who flee the scene can be severe. If caught, hit-and-run drivers may face criminal charges, including leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, and DUI if applicable. Penalties may include fines, license suspension, probation, or even imprisonment, depending on the circumstances.
While the motivations behind why drivers flee the scene of a hit-and-run accident in Illinois vary, it is essential to understand that such actions have legal consequences. Victims of hit-and-run accidents may face physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. Seeking the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney is critical for hit-and-run victims, as professional legal guidance can empower them to seek justice and secure the compensation they deserve for their losses.
Call Our Rockford Car Accident Lawyer For Experienced Injury Representation
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another’s negligence, you have valuable rights to protect! At Fisk & Monteleone LTD, we are ready to provide the experience you need to handle your car accident claim. Contact our Rockford car accident attorneys at 815-962-0044 for your free injury claim assessment. Don’t delay – Illinois law imposes strict time limits on filing your claim. Contact us today to protect your legal right to compensation and remember, there is No Risk, Call Fisk!