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What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Hit-and-Run in Chicago

Hit-and-run auto accidents are nerve-wracking. The entire situation can be overwhelming, from the physical pain of being in an accident to the emotional toll it takes not knowing who committed this crime.

But, in those moments of stress or emotional anguish, it’s important to step back and remember how to protect yourself and your family after a hit-and-run accident in Chicago.

While not entirely different from what to do after a traditional car accident, there are a couple of additional items that you need to account for in hit-and-runs. Don’t let an unidentified driver hurt you or your loved ones.

What Constitutes a Hit-and-Run Accident in Chicago?

In a hit-and-run accident, one party involved in the collision leaves the scene without stopping to exchange information or offer assistance as required by law. 

In a typical accident involving another vehicle or pedestrian(s), the parties involved are expected to stop to exchange information and, if a person is involved, reach out to the police and assist them if they are injured.

Chicago Hit-and-Run Stats

In 2021, there were 37,226 hit-and-run crashes in Chicago, with 36 deaths and 4,807 people injured. According to the same year’s data from the Chicago police department, there were less than 500 arrests made for charges related to these hit and run accidents.

Nationwide, similarly disturbing statistics show that hit-and-run accidents are deadlier and more common than ever before. 

According to an analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System and ValuePenguin, fatal hit-and-runs rose 89.4% from 2012 to 2021.

Illinois ranked in the top 5 with 7% of all fatal hit-and-run accidents in the United States.

Hit-and-run accidents continue to be among Illinois’s most common, dangerous, and under-concluded types of accidents.

Illinois Hit-and-Run Laws and Penalties

The laws for hit-and-run accidents in Illinois are relatively straightforward. Under 625 ILCS 5/11-401 and 625 ILCS 5/11-402, there are clear legal penalties for leaving the scene of a car accident.

625 ILCS 5/11-401: Hit-and-Run Accidents Involving Another Person

Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/11-401 statutes say: “The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury to 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 until the requirements of Section 11-403 have been fulfilled.”

You have 30 minutes to report any accident involving another person. If you are found to have left the scene of a hit-and-run accident, you will be charged with a Class 4 felony. You are also required to take a drug/alcohol test.

A guilty verdict can result in prison time, suspended driving licenses, and fines up to $25,000.

625 ILCS 5/11-402: Hit-and-Run Accidents with Another Vehicle

The 625 ILCS 5/11-402 law states: “The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such motor vehicle accident or as close thereto as possible, but shall forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such motor vehicle accident until the requirements of Section 11-403 have been fulfilled.”

If you are found to have left the crime scene, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The punishment includes possible suspension of your license, fines in excess of $2,500, and jail time.

What Should I Do if I am Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident in Chicago?

Your mind is probably racing in the moments immediately following a hit-and-run accident. It’s important to take a deep breath, stay calm, and follow these steps to make sure your health and well-being are taken care of.

1. Stay Calm and Ensure Safety

If involved in a hit-and-run, check everyone in your vehicle for injuries and call 911 immediately.

When it is safe, move your vehicle to the side of the road to prevent blockages and further accidents.

2. Gather Information

Remember as much as possible about the fleeing vehicle, such as the make, model, color, license plate number (even a partial number can be helpful), and any distinguishing features.

Note the time and location of the accident.

3. Contact Law Enforcement

Call the local police or appropriate law enforcement agency to report the hit and run. Provide them with all the details you have about the fleeing vehicle.

4. Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your own insurance company to report the accident and provide them with the details.

Ask about your uninsured motorist coverage, which may help cover your expenses if the hit-and-run driver is not found or is uninsured.

5. Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel seriously injured, seeking medical evaluation is advisable. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

Record all medical treatments, doctor visits, and expenses related to the accident.

6. Document the Scene

Take photos or videos of the accident scene, your vehicle’s damage, and any visible injuries you or your passengers have sustained.

Collect contact information from any witnesses who may have seen the accident.

7. File a Police Report

Cooperate fully with the police investigation, providing all your information about the accident.

8. Consult with an Attorney

Consider consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in hit-and-run cases. They can advise you on legal options and help you navigate the process.

Are You a Victim of a Hit-And-Run Accident? Call FLT Law Today.

The auto accident lawyers at FLT Law have decades of experience winning cases for clients and helping them overcome the emotional and physical trauma they’ve been through. 

Hit-and-run accidents in Chicago are some of the most challenging cases as so many are never tried, which is why it’s even more critical to seek representation as soon as possible to ensure you and your family aren’t stuck with expensive bills that aren’t your fault.

Contact FLT Law today for a free consultation with one of our auto accident specialists.

author avatar
William Turner
William J. Turner

William Turner has represented hundreds of working men and women who have been victims of the negligence of others – gaining equitable compensation for the medical expenses and pain and suffering for his clients. He concentrates his practice in the trial of complex personal injury cases, including car and truck accidents, construction mishaps, medical malpractice, dog and animal attacks, nursing home abuse, and slip-and-falls. Additionally, he offers niche counsel and advocacy for workers who are injured on a job.

William has obtained judgements from juries in approximately 150 cases and has secured fair and comprehensive settlements in even more over his career. William Turner has dedicated his professional life to fighting for the rights of those who are injured as a result of the negligent acts of others.

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