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Getting hit by a car is a scary situation. Hit and run pedestrian accidents are even worse because the driver – most often the liable party – leaves the scene, making it difficult for the victim to recover compensation for medical bills and other damages.
A hit and run is defined as any situation in which your car hits another car or a pedestrian and you leave the scene immediately – before offering assistance to the victims. Even if a person isn’t at fault for the accident, the act of leaving the scene makes it a hit and run. A hit and run can occur anywhere – highway, public road, and even a parking lot.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a hit and run pedestrian accident, you need a Chicago pedestrian accident lawyer on your side. Don’t try to handle this complex situation on your own. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.
A hit and run accident is no minor incident. If no injuries are involved, it is charged as a misdemeanor, which sounds minor, but is punishable by a $5,000 fine and as long as one year in jail.
If injuries are involved, then the charge increases to a felony. Those charged with a felony hit and run could face up to 15 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines.
On top of that, there are other penalties such as license suspension for several years or even a lifetime. Insurance companies also tend to drop policies for those convicted of such a crime.
Pedestrians tend to have the right of way most of the time and therefore are not typically liable for hit and run pedestrian accidents. Drivers have a duty to obey traffic signals and watch for pedestrians at all times, even when no crosswalk is present.
However, there are times when a pedestrian is acting in a reckless manner. For example, jumping out just feet from a car in motion is a behavior that would make the pedestrian liable. In addition, walking across a freeway at night – an area where pedestrians are not common – is a type of reckless action that would not make the driver liable for any injuries.
In some cases, both parties can be at fault. If both the pedestrian and driver were negligent – for example, a pedestrian entered a crosswalk even though the signal said DON’T WALK – then both parties can be assigned a percentage of the blame.
However, Illinois operates under a law called modified comparative negligence. This means that you cannot file a claim for damages if you are considered to be more than 50 percent at fault for your injuries.
In the case of a hit and run, however, you might not receive any compensation until the driver is identified. You will have to use your own medical insurance and file a claim with your insurance company.
If you’ve been injured in a hit and run pedestrian accident, you have a tough road ahead of you. Without knowing who hit you, recovering compensation for your injuries will be challenging.
In addition, without witnesses or other parties to share their side of the story, it’s possible that you could be considered at fault. This means you could receive nothing for the pain and suffering you have endured.
Fortunately, the Chicago pedestrian accident lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you. We have experience working with hit and run accidents. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. We can help with police reports and communicate with your insurance company to help you receive some money for your troubles. Give us a call as soon as possible at (312) 236-2900.