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Who is at Fault in a Hit and Run Accident?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury


There are many different types of car accidents, and hit and runs are among the most frustrating. You may be parked outside a store, your place of employment, or even your own home and come back to a damaged or even undrivable vehicle. Or you could be sideswiped or rear-ended while in traffic by a driver who never stops. Keep reading to learn more about hit and runs, and if you’ve been injured in an accident, contact an experienced Chicago car crash attorney today to discuss your case.

Generally, after a car accident, all of the motorists involved stop to trade contact and insurance information and call a police officer to come and officially document the scene. All of this makes it possible to make a claim against an at-fault driver’s liability insurance depending on the insurance laws of the state you’re in. Hit and runs don’t afford this opportunity, so the protocol is a little different.

Importance of Your Liability Coverage

Generally, when you don’t know the identity of a hit and run driver, you must make a claim with your own insurance provider. According to car insurance experts, “you must not be at fault for an accident to qualify as a hit and run.” This means, among other things, that someone else actually has to hit you. For example, if a car unexpectedly enters your lane or cuts you off, forcing you to swerve and collide with another car or object, this is not a hit and run. You may be at fault in an accident like this for not maintaining control of your own car.

Further, “you can never file a hit and run claim for damage that you cause.” If you hit another car or object, do not try to collect hit and run damages from your insurance provider. Insurance adjusters are experts at determining the cause of an accident. Your claim will be denied, your coverage dropped, and you will be committing insurance fraud.

If you have been the victim of a hit and run, your opportunities for compensation depend on several factors. How you collect and the amount will depend on the accident, the availability of witnesses, whether or not you can identify the driver, the insurance laws of your state, and the type of insurance that you carry. For example, if you only pay for liability insurance, your provider will not compensate you in the event of a hit and run.

How a Attorney Can Help You

If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver, don’t wait to contact an experienced attorney. Personal injury claims have a short statute of limitations, and time may be running out to file yours. The dedicated professionals of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. are ready to fight for you. Please call us at (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900