Yesterday, our Chicago car accident lawyers read an article posted by the Chicago Sun-Times regarding a hit and run accident on the West Side of Chicago. The victim was seriously injured when a car hit her and then left the scene of the accident. The car has not been found, and Chicago police are still investigating the accident. After reading this article, our Chicago pedestrian attorneys felt it necessary to remind readers on what to do if you are involved in a hit and run accident.
According to Helium.com, there are close to 700,000 hit and run accidents annually in America. A hit and run accident occurs when the driver hits another vehicle, a pedestrian, or another object, and flees the scene. If you are a victim of a hit and run accident, the first thing you should do is to make sure you are not injured, and that others in your car or with you are not injured. If there are any injuries, take the appropriate medical measures and call 911and report all relevant information and details, including the extent of any injuries, and if you can give them a description of the car and the direction the car was headed. You should also take pictures with either a camera or a cell phone if possible. If there are witnesses of the accident, ask them to stay at the scene to be interviewed, with their statements recorded. And finally after the accident, notify your insurance company and if you or a loved one is seriously injured, contact an Illinois car accident attorney to see how they may be able to help you.
Hit and run accidents are common and are often tied into other driving offenses. Drivers will often make the decision to leave the scene because they are intoxicated, driving without insurance or driving on a suspended license. However, the consequences and punishment will be far worse for you if you flee. Hit and run is a serious offense, and citations and tickets will be issued related to how severe the damage of the accident is, how the driver interacts with the police and other law enforcement, and also the driver’s past history regarding criminal activity and driving tickets or citations. Both civil and criminal penalties may be issued to the driver, including fines, a suspended or even lost license, and even jail. According to Deadly Roads, the Illinois state law regarding hit in runs is that, “The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury or death of any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident, or as close thereto as possible and shall then forthwith return to, and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident”.
Our Chicago accident attorneys encourage drivers to look out for other drivers and pedestrians on the road, to ensure everyone’s safety. Should you be in an accident, it is important to stay at the scene to avoid even more serious fines and penalties. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, or have lost a loved one to a driver in a hit and run accident, please contact our Illinois accident attorneys to see how we may be able to help you and bring more awareness about hit and run driving.