When you drive a vehicle in Chicago, you agree to follow all the laws that apply to driving in the area. This means that you must stop at stop signs, obey the speed limit, and yield the right-of-way when appropriate. It also means that if you happen to be involved in a collision, you must remain at the scene of the crash to exchange information with the other drivers or with the police officers who respond. Failing to do so can be considered a hit-and-run car accident and may be a traffic offense or even a crime based on the facts of the collision.
But what happens when you are involved in a collision, you remain at the scene, and the other driver flees without stopping?
If your accident happens in Illinois, you are protected under the laws of the state in the event that you become the victim of a hit-and-run crash. The first thing you should do is to make sure the police are informed of the collision so that they can begin to search for the at-fault driver. If possible, note any identifiable information about the other vehicle and that vehicle’s occupants, like the make and model of the car, license plate number, description of the driver, and the number of individuals inside the car, so that you can present the information to the police. Inform the police about what happened in the collision and what the other driver did after the crash. It is likely that you will need to provide the police officer with some basic information including your driver’s license and your insurance information so that the officer can complete a police report.
If you are injured, make sure you seek medical treatment as soon as possible by taking an ambulance if you need one or by going to a hospital on your own if you deem that safe. If you initially feel fine at the scene but realize you are hurt as soon as the adrenaline from the crash leaves your system, go to see a doctor or a physician immediately. Your health should be your primary concern and delays in treatment can lead to a worsening of injuries. If doctors instruct you to seek follow up treatment, make sure you comply with those directions as stopping treatment before it is medically advised may lead to permanent harm that cannot be resolved later regardless of the type of treatment or therapy you try.
Finally, know that you do not have to go through a hit-and-run claim on your own. If you are injured, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages and you have the right to use a personal injury attorney that you choose. Working with a lawyer can help you get the full value of your claim while making sure all civil laws and local rules are complied with, protecting your rights and leading you to the relief you deserve.
If you were the victim of a Chicago car accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a no-cost, no-obligation confidential consultation toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. If we represent you, we will fight for the best possible outcome in your case and we will never charge a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
Prior Blog Entry:
Faulty Tires Can Cause Accidents in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published January 6, 2016.