Understanding Hit and Run Crashes
A common type of car crash is what is called a hit and run accident. A hit and run crash occurs when a person hits a person, a vehicle or another object and drives off without stopping. Drivers involved in accidents are required to stop, render medical aid and exchange information. When they fail to do so, it is considered a hit and run accident, which is illegal.
Even though they are against the law, hit and run crashes are very common. In fact, they occur, on average, every minute in the United States.Why do people refuse to stop after getting into a crash? Because they want to avoid blame. Maybe they were intoxicated. They may be driving without a license or insurance. Perhaps the vehicle was stolen or they have a warrant for their arrest. Maybe they just don’t want to see their insurance rates go up. Nobody wants to get in trouble. It’s just part of human nature.
However, if they are caught leaving the scene of an accident, they can face criminal charges and get into even more trouble. If the accident resulted in injury or death, you will face felony charges. Under Illinois, it is considered a Class 4 felony. You can face a $20,000 fine and spend 15 years in prison. In addition, the victim or their family can sue you in civil court and recover punitive damages for your actions. You can also get your driver’s license revoked.
You may think that a hit and run is a perfect crime. However, you cannot guarantee that nobody saw you. Nowadays, many businesses have cameras in their parking lots, and lawyers can use these recorded video as evidence. Sometimes people in their cars or inside businesses witness accidents. Just because you didn’t see them doesn’t mean they didn’t see you.
If you hit another person or object, it is usually not considered a hit and run unless you flee the scene with no intent to return. Sometimes drivers wait to pull over for safety reasons or because they need cell phone reception to call 911 or police. However, you must quickly return to scene to avoid criminal charges.
What happens if you are hit by a hit and run driver? Since the person cannot be identified, how do you file a claim? Your own auto insurance may be the best bet for recovery. Collision insurance can help repair or replace your vehicle. If you were injured or suffered other damages, uninsured motorist can help. Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in every state. However, in Illinois, drivers are required to purchase coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Contact a Chicago Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Today
Hit and run accidents can be difficult cases because the other party involved in the crash cannot be identified. However, not all hope is lost. Many victims are still able to recover compensation.
If you were seriously injured in a hit and run accident, the Chicago personal injury lawyers at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, LTD can help. We can assess your case and assist you in obtaining the highest amount of compensation possible. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 312-800-0000 or fill out the online request form.