It is not always clear who is responsible for a hit and run car accident, making the claims process complicated.
Car accidents can be extremely traumatic, causing serious injury and property damage. The law gives the victim the right to claim compensation for all losses suffered in an accident caused by another person’s fault. However, in hit and run car accidents, it is not always clear as to who is responsible for the accident; the claims process can become complicated.
Should You Leave the Scene of an Accident?A hit and run accident is a type of motor vehicle collision that involves one or more vehicles and the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident. In Illinois, there are laws that forbid a driver involved in an accident to flee the scene, irrespective of whether or not he or she was at fault. Under the law, the driver involved in an accident must remain at the scene of the accident, especially if there are injuries. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, such as when the person is seriously injured and requires immediate medical attention.
A driver must not leave the accident scene before providing all relevant information to the police, law enforcement agencies, or the other people involved in the car accident. If a driver flees the scene of an accident without doing this, he or she may be charged with a felony and the driver’s license revoked. If the accident causes the death of another person, the crime may be a Class 2 felony and the driver at fault may have to serve imprisonment for up to 14 years.
How Often Do Hit and Run Accidents Occur?Even though the laws are stringent and carry strict penalties, hit and run cases are a common occurrence. According to the latest statistics available, almost 11 percent of all motor vehicle accidents reported to the police involve a hit and run. Approximately 18 percent of pedestrian fatalities are a result of hit and run accidents. Every year, almost 2,600 people are killed at the hands of a hit and run driver.
Causes of Hit and Run AccidentsThere are several causes of hit and run accidents in Chicago. In many cases, it is an act of recklessness. The most common reasons behind hit and run accidents are:
• Drunk driving or driving under the influence.
• The at-fault driver does not possess a valid driver’s license, and fearing trouble, they flee the accident scene.
• The at-fault driver is either uninsured or underinsured.
• The at-fault driver knows that he or she has caused the accident because of distracted driving or overspeeding.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a hit and run accident, consult an experienced Chicago car accident attorney from The Willens Law Offices to understand your legal rights. Call us at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.