Following a Chicago car accident, most people know that they are legally obligated to exchange insurance and contact information before heading their separate ways. Sometimes, however, car accidents take place where the at-fault party collides with another vehicle and flees the scene. If the at-fault party is unable to be located, it could leave the driver who was hit with little recourse against that hit-and-run driver for any physical injuries or property damage resulting from the accident.
In this situation, an injury lawyer will look to pursue an uninsured motorist claim against the accident victim’s own auto insurance policy. The carrier will essentially step into the shoes of the driver that fled the scene and pay on the claim.
According to a recent news report, a local hit-and-run accident left a local man dead and a woman severely injured. The crash took place when a Jeep traveling southbound ran a red light at an intersection and T-boned another vehicle heading east. That vehicle then crashed into another car heading north. The driver of the first vehicle hit by the Jeep died on the scene, and the vehicle’s passenger was sent to the hospital for treatment of critical injuries. The driver and passenger of the second car struck were not hurt. Local authorities suspect that the at-fault driver fled the scene on foot after the accident but were confident they would be able to locate the individual in question.
In Illinois, like most states across the country, leaving the scene of an accident is against the law. Illinois laws require drivers to stop, offer aid if necessary to anyone injured from the accident, and exchange personal information and insurance details so that the other party can file a claim with their insurance company for compensation.
If the at-fault party flees the scene of an accident, Illinois law outlines several potential charges that the driver could face. Depending on the severity of the accident, the charges vary in severity also.
In an accident where there was only property damage but no one was hurt or killed, leaving the scene of the accident would result in a Class A misdemeanor and a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail in Illinois. If the accident resulted in more than $1,000 of property damage, however, the at-fault party could also lose their license. Hit-and-run accidents that result in personal injury are subject to much more stringent penalties. Leaving the scene of an accident where someone was hurt or killed without offering aid or assistance is considered a Class 4 felony that could result in prison time of one to three years and a $25,000 fine in Illinois. If the accident resulted in the death of an individual, Illinois law considers this to be a Class 3 felony. At-fault drivers could face five years of prison and a $25,000 fine.
While a criminal case may result in the hit-and-run driver being convicted of a crime, it will do little to help accident victims recover for their injuries. To do so, an accident victim may work with an accident attorney and file a personal injury lawsuit or a claim with their insurance company.
Do You Need an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you or someone you know was recently injured or killed in an Illinois hit-and-run car accident, contact the attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today. Our lawyers have collected millions for our clients and will provide you and your loved ones with the experience, guidance, and advocacy you need to pursue your legal claim. To schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team today, contact us at 855-529-2442.