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Il accident lawyerWhen you have just been hit by a careless driver, you expect them to at least stop and exchange insurance information. When they instead take off and vanish, it can be very frustrating. You are stuck on the side of the road, injured, and the responsible party just keeps driving as if nothing happened. Hit-and-run accidents are very common, particularly in cities like Chicago. There are a number of reasons that drivers may flee the scene after causing a crash, ranging from not wanting to get a DUI to having an active arrest warrant. The good news is that you may have more options for recovering compensation than you think. An attorney with experience in hit-and-run accident cases can likely help you recover compensation, with or without catching the responsible driver.

Locating the Hit-and-Run Driver Who Fled

Even twenty years ago, hit-and-runs were much more difficult to solve. Cameras were less ubiquitous. Now, they are nearly everywhere. Some techniques your attorney might use in an effort to find the driver who injured you include:

  • Using cameras - There are traffic cameras at most major intersections, which may have captured the responsible driver fleeing in a damaged vehicle, or even the crash itself. Even if your accident happened on a residential side street, a resident may have a security camera outside their home that could contain helpful footage.
  • Working with police - Fleeing the scene of an accident - especially if you caused the accident and injured someone - is a crime in Illinois. The police may be interested in solving the crime. In that case, it may be best to cooperate with them in order to help identify the liable driver.
  • Identifying witnesses - Unless your crash happened in the middle of nowhere, odds are that someone saw something. Locating a witness can provide missing details that can be used to identify the driver who hit you.

If the at-fault driver can be identified, you can then pursue compensation from them as you normally would.

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IL accident lawyerBeing involved in a car accident is a distressing experience regardless of the circumstances. However, hit and run accidents are often especially traumatic. Illinois law requires motorists to stop and exchange contact and car insurance information whenever they are in an accident causing property damage or personal injury. Unfortunately, some drivers attempt to evade responsibility for an accident by speeding away from the accident scene. If you or a loved one were hurt in a hit and run accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and pursue the compensation you need to cover accident-related costs.

Can I File a Claim Even if the At-Fault Driver Cannot Be Located?

In the moments after a traumatic car accident, most people are in a state of shock. They may be disoriented or even knocked unconscious by the force of the impact. Taking note of the at-fault driver’s vehicle or license plate number may simply not be possible. Without this information, it can be difficult for law enforcement to catch the driver and for you to recover compensation through the driver’s insurance company. Footage from dash cameras or nearby security cameras and other types of evidence may help to locate a hit and run driver, but there are many cases in which hit and run drivers are never brought to justice. Fortunately, you may still be able to recover compensation after a hit and run accident even if the driver cannot be located.

Bringing a Claim Against Your Own Insurance Company

The at-fault driver’s car insurance company is typically on the hook for costs resulting from a car accident. In a hit and run accident, obtaining compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer may not be possible. However, you may be able to recover financial compensation through your own insurance company. If you have liability insurance in Illinois, you also have uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is intended to cover costs caused by someone without insurance or someone who has too little insurance. Unfortunately, insurance companies often offer settlements that do not fully compensate injured victims for their damages. A personal injury attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company and seek compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost income, property damage, and more.

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IL accident lawyerMost drivers know that stopping and exchanging contact information after a car accident is the right thing to do. Leaving the scene of an accident is not only unethical, it is also against the law. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a hit and run accident, you may feel confused and frustrated. You may also be completely unsure of what to do next. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take after a hit and run that will improve your chances of recovering compensation for your damages.

Get Medical Help Immediately

Many people do not realize the extent of their injures after being in a car accident because they are in a state of shock. Your injuries may be much worse than you realize. Injuries to the brain and spinal cord are often especially insidious. Your injuries may result in only subtle symptoms at first but then get much worse over time. Without documentation of the injuries after the accident, it may be hard to prove that your symptoms are in fact the result of the accident. Getting evaluated by a medical professional is the best way to ensure that your injuries are properly treated and that you have records of your injuries immediately after the accident.

Call the Police and Collect Evidence

Even if you think that the driver who hit you is long gone, it is imperative that you call the police. A police report is almost always needed for a personal injury claim. Furthermore, the information you provide to police may enable them to catch the person who committed the hit and run. If you are able to, write down every detail you can remember about the accident. Note the make, model, and color of the vehicle that hit you as well as any license plate information you can remember. Even a partial license plate number can help police catch the responsible party. Take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and the location of the accident. If your injuries enable you to do so, collect contact information from any witnesses to the accident. These individuals may be able to provide valuable information to police.

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Waukegan injury attorneyIt is the law in Illinois that a driver involved in an accident must remain at the scene, except if he or she needs immediate medical attention. It is also the law that the driver must provide specific information to law enforcement and to the other drivers and/or passengers involved in the accident.

A driver who leaves the scene without meeting these requirements may be found guilty of a felony and have his or her driver’s license revoked. The consequences are more severe if the accident results in death.

Reasons Why Drivers Leave Scene of Accident

One reason drivers flee an accident scene that they have caused is intoxication—they may fear being charged with a DUI. Another reason is already being in violation of other laws such as driving without a license, registration or insurance. It may also be the case the vehicle is stolen, and the driver takes off before the cops come. A driver may also flee because he or has arrest warrants for other, unrelated alleged crimes.

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What to do After a Hit and Run Accident

Posted on in Hit-and-Run Accidents

Lake County Car Accident Lawyer

On Saturday, January 5, two Chicago police officers were injured when their vehicle was struck by a vehicle believed to have been stolen. After the collision, the driver fled the scene, leaving the officers with severe but non-life threatening injuries. For Illinois drivers, the hit and run collision served as a reminder that some drivers will attempt to flee the scene of an accident even when it involves law enforcement.  

After a hit and run accident, one must act quickly and calmly to help ensure law enforcement officials are equipped with the requisite information to find the perpetrator. 

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