Recently, PhillyBurbs reported on a settlement for the family of a girl who was killed in a hit and run accident in 2004 while crossing the street. Although the driver was driving intoxicated and on a suspended license, he was not criminally charged with a driving under the influence or hit and run because it was decided that the road were responsible for the crash. The driver pleaded guilty and received a prison sentence for up to six years.
This accident brings up two issues our Illinois accident attorneys see over and over again: hit and runs and drunk driving. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a very serious crime, as serious as causing the accident itself. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, hit and run accidents make up 15.8% of all pedestrian accidents, and alcohol and drugs play a role in 6%. If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you should first call the police if you are able to, then use a camera of any type (even the one on most cell phones) to capture pictures of any damage that may be done in the accident. Next, you should go to the hospital and get examined by a doctor or nurse, not only to avoid possible insurance problems in the future, but also to make sure that you are not seriously injured.
A group dedicated to hit and run awareness, DeadlyRoads, reviews state laws, and serious injuries related to hit and run accidents. Like other states, leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois is illegal, and that prosecutors have the authority to go after hit and run drivers. If you cause an accident, the best thing you can do is stay at the scene and help the victims by calling for medical assistance. Investigators have the ability to track down most hit and run drivers, and the punishment will be much worse for you if you flee. In addition to criminal charges, you can also be held accountable in a civil suit.
We were happy to see that this victim’s family was compensated for the careless acts the driver who took her life much too early. Lawsuits such as this help to ensure that justice is served and wrongdoers are held responsible. If you have been a victim in this type of accident, or have lost a loved one due to a negligent driver, please contact us to see how we may be able to help you.