Chicago Hit & Run Accident Lawyer | Staver
Car Accidents

Chicago Hit & Run Accident Lawyer

Hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver flees the scene after a crash. Car crashes are already frustrating enough—a hit and run can be downright infuriating.

Abandonment after a wreck is scary and victims often worry about its impact on their recovery. Are you still entitled to compensation after a Chicago accident if the at-fault driver disappears?

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., our experienced legal team handles hit-and-run cases along with many other Chicago car accident cases across Chicago. We know how you might feel when a negligent driver refuses to take accountability, leaving you to handle the aftermath of your crash alone.

But know that you are not alone. Staver is here to help answer your questions and guide you towards the closure you deserve. Call (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form for a free hit-and-run accident consultation.

Illinois Hit-and-Run Laws

It’s illegal to flee the scene of an accident in Illinois even if you are not at-fault for the crash.

All drivers must remain at the site and provide their name, address, vehicle registration, and license number (unless they need immediate medical attention).

If you do not stay and provide your information after an accident, you could face either a misdemeanor or felony charge based on circumstances. If no one is injured, you will likely face a misdemeanor.

However, if the crash results in injury or death, you could face a Class 4 felony for fleeing the scene. This involves 1-3 years in prison, up to $25,000 in fines, and a revoked license.

The penalties increase if you commit a hit-and-run and do not report the accident to police within 10 days. If the accident resulted in injuries, failure to report is a Class 2 felony, carrying 3-7 years in prison, fines up to $25,000, and a revoked license.

For hit-and-runs that resulted in death, failure to report is a Class 1 felony, with a prison sentence of 4-15 years, a revoked license, and maximum fines of $25,000.

The Dangers of a Hit and Run Accident

A hit-and-run accident leaves injured victims vulnerable. If someone is in critical condition after a wreck and the other driver flees the scene, the hurt individual may be unable to call for help themselves.

Say the other driver had stayed. They could’ve contacted emergency services. Instead, the victim is left to suffer alone in the hopes a good Samaritan steps in.

An injured party might not receive medical attention soon enough after a hit and run. Longer time without emergency care increases the likelihood of their injuries worsening or turning fatal.

Studies show more than 17,000 people were killed in a hit-and-run accident over the span of a decade. It is likely some of these deaths could’ve been prevented with faster medical intervention.

Common Injuries after a Car Crash

Injuries after any car accident in Chicago can be devastating. After a hit and run, you could face injuries such as:

In rare cases, injuries may be fatal. If you’ve lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident in Chicago, you may be entitled to compensation. You shouldn’t have to cope with a preventable death by yourself. A compassionate wrongful death attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you navigate the legal aftermath of a fatal hit-and-run accident.

Chicago Pedestrian Hit and Runs

Hit-and-run accidents don’t only affect drivers. Many cases in Chicago involve pedestrian accidents. A car striking a pedestrian and fleeing the scene is dangerous, as pedestrian accident injuries are often severe and require prompt medical attention.

A recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 23% of pedestrians killed in a car accident in 2020 were hit by a driver who fled the scene. Any percentage above zero is unacceptable. Pedestrians deserve to be safe on our roads. If a negligent driver violates that safety, the least they can do is take accountability.

If you or a loved one is injured after a Chicago pedestrian accident, our attorneys can help fight for justice.

Compensation After a Chicago Hit-and-Run Accident

It is possible to obtain compensation after a hit and run accident in Chicago. However, the process can be difficult—especially without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney.

A lawyer will likely your best bet for successfully navigating the aftermath of a hit-and-run. They can handle the challenging elements of your case, including:

Collecting Evidence

Our car accident attorneys have decades of experience helping personal injury victims collect evidence to form a solid and compelling case. Because of how hastily most hit-and-run perpetrators flee, there is likely evidence left behind. You and your attorney must act quickly to secure this evidence before it disappears.

Evidence that can be helpful to identify the at-fault driver include:

  • Witness testimony
  • Photo evidence of the scene, including tire tracks or skid marks
  • Descriptions of the driver / their vehicle
  • Surveillance footage from nearby traffic cams, buildings, or Police Observation Devices (PODs)
  • Police reports
  • Accident reconstructionist data

Contacting Insurance

It can be a hassle to handle insurance after a hit-and-run accident. They’ll likely tell you there’s nothing they can do, and the responsibility to pay for your damages is yours and yours alone. Our lawyers can help you communicate with insurance while we work on identifying the at-fault driver.

If the at-fault driver is found, our attorneys will help establish negligence. It’s possible the evidence that identified the driver, such as traffic camera footage, will show their negligent and reckless behavior as well. However, we can collect testimony from witnesses and experts, medical bills, and other evidence to prop up your case as necessary.

The negligent party will then be liable for your damages. Your attorney at Staver can help you file a claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance or pursue a lawsuit to recover the maximum compensation you deserve.

Calculating Damages

If you’re able to pursue compensation after a Chicago hit-and-run accident, our attorneys can calculate your damages. Damages that the liable party owes you may include:

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can thoroughly examine evidence of your damages, including photos of injuries, hospital and treatment bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and other related losses in your accident. We’ll use our calculations to advocate for the total amount you deserve, and you won’t owe us anything unless we help you win. That way, you can fully recover without financial stress.

Hit-and-Run Accident FAQs

Why would a driver leave the scene after a crash?

A driver might flee the scene after an accident for various reasons. Oftentimes, it’s to avoid punishment, accountability, or reality. Common reasons a driver might commit a hit-and-run include:

  • They panic in the heat of the moment
  • They’re intoxicated and fear a DUI charge
  • They worry about the financial consequences of a crash
  • They don’t want to be caught driving with a suspended license
  • They’re uninsured or underinsured
  • They have a warrant out for their arrest
  • They have drugs or drug paraphernalia in their vehicle

None of these are valid excuses to abandon an injured party after a crash. Regardless of their rationale, a hit-and-run perpetrator deserves to be held accountable for their actions. Let our attorneys help.

How many hit and run cases go unsolved?

Unfortunately, most hit and run cases in Chicago remain unsolved. While this data might seem discouraging, having solid evidence and outside help from a legal professional can make the difference.

There is still hope for your hit-and-run accident case. Advances in technology, such as camera surveillance and improved accident reconstruction software, could identify a hit-and-run perpetrator more easily.

Chicago has 462 red light and speed enforcement cameras city-wide. The driver in your case may have sped away quickly to avoid getting caught, potentially triggering one of the city’s cameras. Their reckless escape may have also left behind skid marks, vehicle parts, and other crucial evidence. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible may increase your chances at gathering any evidence before it’s lost forever.

What should I do if I’m in an accident and the driver flees?

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, it is imperative to seek medical attention and contact the police immediately. Take photos of the scene if you are able: tire tracks, skid marks, damage to property, or other physical evidence you find can be essential later. If possible, talk to witnesses to get a fuller picture.

Provide as much information as you can to law enforcement so they can file a thorough report. Include the location, time, physical description of the driver, make and model of the car, license plate, and other identifying details you and any witnesses can recall.

Visit a hospital or other medical care provider—even if you feel fine. Some conditions like traumatic brain injury can be fatal but may not show symptoms until hours or even days after an incident.

Afterwards, contact an attorney and your insurance company to inform them of the accident.

Is it a crime if you hit a parked car without leaving a note?

Yes. In Illinois, it counts as a hit and run if you damage someone’s parked vehicle and drive off without providing information, even if the vehicle was unoccupied and no one was hurt.

You have a duty to remain at the scene until you can exchange information with the owner. If you must leave before they return, you’re required to place a note on their vehicle with your information.

Otherwise, it could technically be considered a Class A misdemeanor hit-and-run. You could face imprisonment of up to one year and fines of up to $2,500. If the damage you caused to the other vehicle is worth more than $1,000, you could also face a license suspension of one year (625 ILCS 5/6-206).

Our Chicago Accident Attorneys Can Help

A hit and run accident can leave you facing the financial repercussions of someone else’s actions. Although it’s important to be realistic about the outcome, you owe it to yourself to consider your options for seeking justice. An experienced personal injury lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can evaluate your Chicago hit-and-run case and help you determine the next steps in your recovery.

Call a dedicated Chicago hit-and-run accident attorney today at (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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