car accident

Hit and run accidents are becoming more common across Illinois. The reasons for hit and runs are plentiful: driving while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license, or panic all cause drivers to flee the scene after being involved in an accident. However, committing a hit and run is illegal in Illinois, carrying harsh penalties. 

Illinois Hit and Run Laws

Although many people are unsure about what to do after being involved in an accident, fleeing the scene is never an option. Illinois law carries harsh penalties for hit and runs, ranging from fees all the way up to a felony conviction. It’s always a good idea to call the police after an accident to file a report; in fact, state law states that all accidents must be reported if they meet certain criteria:

  • $1,500 or more of property damage ($500 if uninsured)
  • One or more people involved suffers a bodily injury or death

If an officer doesn’t respond at the scene and file a report, each driver is required to report the accident to Illinois State Police within 10 days. You are also required to stay at the scene and exchange contact information with others involved after moving your vehicle to a safe location that doesn’t obstruct traffic, such as the shoulder or a nearby exit ramp. 

Leaving the scene of the accident is a crime in Illinois. Penalties for hit and runs can range in severity depending on the circumstances of an accident. For example, fleeing the scene after an accident that only results in damage to a vehicle is considered a Class A misdemeanor; hit and runs that involve a fatality are far more severe and can be classified as a Class 4 felony. Penalties for hit and runs can include fines, jail time, felony convictions with prison time, and suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. 

Hit and Run Damages

Victims of hit-and-runs are sometimes left to bear the burden of the aftermath of the crash. 

Medical costs, car repair bills, and missed work puts additional stress on the victim. As a tort state, Illinois allows hit and run victims to pursue compensation for their damages.

If the police are able to find the driver who committed the hit and run, you can seek compensation damages such as:

  • Medical Bills
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Lost Wages

Depending on your insurance coverage, you can also seek compensation for your injuries or losses from your own insurance company. 

What to Do if You’re a Victim of an Illinois Hit and Run

What do you do if you’re involved in an accident in which the other driver flees the scene? After ensuring that you’re pulled over in a safe location, you should call 911. If you think you might be injured, your top priority should be your medical wellbeing. Additionally, a police officer can assist you by filing a report for the hit and run and getting your description of the offending vehicle, if possible. You should seek the advice of an Illinois car accident lawyer to help you navigate your legal options as you heal from any injuries or trauma caused by the accident. Hit and runs can be distressing, and the Saperstein Law Group, P.C. is ready to fight for you. Contact us today to schedule case evaluation and learn more about your options.