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What If the Other Driver Leaves the Scene of an Accident?

You’ve been in a car accident. Your vehicle is damaged, your adrenaline is pumping, and you’re trying to assess the situation. Suddenly, the other driver speeds off. Now what? Hit-and-run accidents are complicated and bewildering events. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s your comprehensive guide on what to do when the other driver leaves the scene.

Immediate Steps

First things first. Check yourself for injuries, and then assess others if it’s safe. Call 911 right away to get medical and police help. The sooner you report the incident, the quicker they can look for the runaway driver. Capture everything on your phone — vehicle descriptions, accident scene, your injuries. Witnesses can be fleeting; grab their info ASAP.

Legal Repercussions for the Fleeing Driver

In Illinois, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense. The guilty party faces stiff penalties, ranging from fines to imprisonment or sometimes both. Hence, it is in their best interest to stay, but if they don’t, the law will likely catch up with them.

Why Contacting an Attorney is Crucial

At this point, you might be thinking, “Should I get a lawyer?” The answer is a resounding yes. A skilled personal injury attorney can guide you through the aftermath, helping you collect evidence, speak to witnesses, and deal with insurance companies. The situation’s already complex; you don’t need to navigate it alone.

Insurance Maze

Ah, insurance companies. You’d think they’d be allies, but often they are more like obstacles in your path to compensation. After a hit-and-run, your own insurance might be your only recourse for covering damages. However, you may face higher premiums and all sorts of red tape. Don’t let them lowball you; let a personal injury attorney negotiate on your behalf.

But What If the Other Driver is Found?

Ah, a twist! Sometimes the fleeing driver is located. Now, their insurance comes into play. But, their coverage might not be enough to cover your damages. In this case, your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage could fill the gaps. Again, a well-versed personal injury attorney can help you maximize your compensation from all available sources.

The Clock is Ticking

Yes, you have rights, but they’re bound by time. Illinois law sets a statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims. You usually have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Don’t dawdle; evidence can degrade, memories fade, and legal deadlines expire.

Criminal Charges and Civil Cases: Know the Difference

Now, listen up. Criminal charges against the fleeing driver and your civil personal injury case are two separate beasts. One can proceed without the other. Even if the police can’t find the driver, or if they can’t press charges for some reason, you still have the right to seek damages for your injuries.

Why BKR Law is Your Best Choice

Alright, here’s the real talk. This stuff is intricate and time-sensitive. And when it comes to navigating the maze corridors of personal injury law in Rockford, no one does it better than BKR Law. With years of experience and a proven track record, you want us in your corner. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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