What Should I do After a Hit-and-Run?
Being involved in a car accident is never easy. There can be serious injuries sustained, insurance claims to handle, medical bills to pay, and car damages to repair. One thing that makes this situation worse is if the other car does not stop after the accident. Under Illinois statute, leaving the scene of an accident when that accident results in personal injury or death is a Class 4 Felony. There are serious consequences related to this, including hefty fines, a prison sentence, and the possibility of a civil lawsuit by the injured party to recover damages, including punitive damages.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, there are a few things that you must do.
- Treat Injuries: If you have been in a car accident, the first priority is to make sure that you are safe and that any injuries are being attended to. Seek medical attention for anyone who is injured right away.
- File a Police Report: Even if the other car involved in the accident flees the scene, contact local law enforcement immediately to report the accident. The police will come to the scene of the accident and make a record of the accident that can be used in future legal battles.
- Document Damages: While at the scene of the accident, you should take photographs of the damage that was done to your car. Also, you should take photos of the surroundings and any other circumstances that may have caused the accident, like hidden signs, large potholes, or any other environmental factor. In addition to photographs, keep track of any documents relating to the crash. Keep a record of the police report, expenses for repairing your car, doctor’s notes, and medical bills. These photographs and documents will be used in future litigation or insurance claims to prove your damages.
- Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company: In addition to making a police report, you also need to call your insurance company and inform them of the accident and damages. Under most insurance policies, you cannot collect insurance proceeds when the responsible driver cannot be found, but there could be the potential to recover under uninsured motorist coverage.
- Consult an Attorney: Contacting an experienced attorney is essential to make sure that the hit-and-run is handled in the appropriate way. If you have sustained injuries in a hit-and-run accident, there is the possibility of recovery. If the responsible driver is found, you may be able to file a personal injury suit to recover damages. There is the possibility of recovery for medical bills, lost wages, future pain and suffering, and even punitive damages.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a hit-and-run, contact Hamilton & Antonsen, Ltd. The Joliet personal injury attorneys will make sure that you receive the just compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today and we will help you through this difficult time.