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Hit-and-Run: what is it and what to do

What is a hit-and run?

By definition, a hit-and-run occurs when you hit someone and leave the scene of the accident that caused property damage or an injury (or both). This charge can be applied in even the most minor of incidents. Imagine, for example, that you scrape another person’s rear end of the car in a parking lot. You may not have even noticed the accident, but damage may have been done to the other person’s vehicle. In this case, failing to stop, render assistance, and exchange information could possibly lead to hit-and-run charges.

Charges you may face on a hit-and-run case

In Illinois, any time you are involved in an accident resulting in property damage or personal injury, you are required to stop and lend assistance. Even for a scrape in a parking lot where you didn’t realize that you hit anyone, you could face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident.

There are three classifications of hit-and-run charges:

  1. Failure to stop and render aid after an accident involving property damage only, which is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,500 fine.
  2. Failure to stop and render aid after an accident involving personal injury is a class four felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
  3. Failure to stop and render aid after an accident involving death is a class three felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

What happens when you get injured by a hit-and-run driver?

Fortunately, the law in Illinois requires motorists to buy both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is specifically intended to pay crash victims’ bills if they are hurt by a motorist who doesn’t have insurance to provide payment for damages. If you get into a hit-and-run and can’t collect from the driver who hurt you, your uninsured motorist coverage will kick in. Your insurer will stand in for the driver who should pay, and your insurer will provide you with the money for losses that should have been covered by the at-fault driver.

What should I do if I get injured by a hit-and-run driver?

You should contact your insurance company to report the accident, and alert the insurer your collision was a hit-and-run. The insurance company will investigate the accident and should offer you a reasonable amount of compensation for medical bills, wage loss, property damage, and non-financial losses you are entitled to receive after the crash. Call The Romaker Law Firm at (312) 377-7000 for a free consultation. Our lawyers have successfully helped thousands of clients to get the maximum recovery: physical, emotional and economical.