The American Automobile Association (AAA) reported an estimated 737,100 hit and run crashes in 2015. Of these crashes, more than 1,800 people died. Of these deaths, non-vehicle occupants made up more than half of the victims.
Conditions for hit-and-run accidents are preventable, and perpetrators should be held liable for the damage caused to other drivers and pedestrians alike.
If you or a loved one were involved in a hit and run accident, discussing your legal options with the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can get you back on a swift road to recovery. Work with a Chicago hit and run accident lawyer when you call our offices today at (800) 794-0444.
Characteristics of Hit and Run Accidents
AAA reports that there is “limited” research on hit and run crashes, in comparison with the breadth of hit and run accident reports around the country. However, researchers can identify some similarities between most hit and run accidents that make them more discernible from other types of car crashes.
Reports of hit and run accidents were more likely to include the following factors, compared with other types of car accidents:
- No driver’s license, or outstanding warrant: One common reason people flee accident scenes is the potential to be charged with higher crimes. For example, they might be carrying contraband or an expired license, do not have a license, or have a warrant out for their arrest.
- Driving under the influence: Driving under the influence of any perception-altering substance, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol, and illegal narcotics, can all influence someone’s decision to stay or leave after an accident happens.
- Accident seemingly benign: AAA reports that nearly 30 percent of people who left the scene of an accident did not perceive it as seriously harmful.
- Pedestrians at risk: While the amount of damage a car and pedestrian can do to each other is very different, some researchers believe that pedestrians under the influence or not walking with caution around roadways may be putting themselves at risk for an accident.
There may be many different factors that cause a hit and run accident, and the list of factors above is not exhaustive.
Illinois Insurance Coverage
We know that most car accidents can be prevented, but the possibility of prevention does not stop them from happening. Once the damage is done, it is important for you to seek appropriate financial compensation to recover. This is part of why Illinois, like many states, requires a minimum dollar amount of insurance coverage. In Illinois, you must carry the following amount of car insurance, as a minimum:
- $20,000 in property damage liability coverage
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of multiple people
You might also benefit from holding uninsured or underinsured driver insurance coverage, though this is not required.
Illinois has an estimated 13.7 percent of drivers who are uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute. After car accidents where the other party stays at the scene, it can be fairly easy to exchange insurance information. However, when you are in an accident with someone who drives away, you usually do not have the opportunity to exchange insurance information with that person, let alone identify who they are.
This is where carrying a minimum amount of required insurance can help you recover from an accident. However, these limits may not cover all of the costs you incur from accident damages.
Additionally, Illinois does not require drivers to carry additional liability for property damage in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. Whether you were in an accident with someone who left the scene, was uninsured or underinsured, you have the right to hold liable parties and your insurance company accountable for your recovery.
Working with a Chicago hit and run accident lawyer might help you navigate the burdensome litigation process from the start. Begin working with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm when you call us now at (800) 794-0444
Legal Options for a Hit and Run Accident
After a hit and run accident, you will want to file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. Filing a claim with your insurance company does not prevent you from filing any additional legal claim, especially if the company denies your claim, or you find out the identity of other liable parties. According to the Illinois Compiled Statutes §735 ILCS 5/13-202, you must take action for a personal injury case within two years from the date of the accident.
You may also potentially pursue a case of wrongful death on behalf of a loved one who died unnecessarily from a hit and run accident, according to the Illinois Compiled Statutes §735 ILCS 5/13-209.
The list of claim types mentioned above may not be your only choices for a lawsuit after a hit and run accident. A Chicago hit and run accident lawyer can help you determine which legal claim best suits your needs.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run accidents lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Hit and Run Accident Legal Help
After you experience a hit and run accident, you might feel like you do not have any viable options for recovery. This will not be the case when you work with the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We want to represent your rights and interests, so you can get the settlement you are entitled to in order to make a full recovery from the accident.
Working with a lawyer can bring you clarity on which direction to turn after you are the victim of a hit and run accident. You do not need to suffer from another person’s senseless negligence. Call our offices today to begin working on your case with a free consultation at (800) 794-0444.