A recent WGN TV news feature reported the death of a woman who was tragically killed when a speeding Mustang hit her Honda Civic head on near the intersection of Cermak Road and South Loomis Street in the midnight hours of a Sunday night. The report indicates that after the collision the driver of the Mustang drove off, striking two cars, before fleeing the scene. If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, contact an aggressive and experienced Rockford personal injury attorney today.
Commonly referred to as a “hit-and-run”, this scenario happens when a car accident occurs and one of the parties flees the scene of the accident. Illinois law – just as the laws of many other states – deems it is unlawful for a driver to flee the scene of an accident after a hit-and-run happens. State laws across the nation require that any party that is involved in an auto accident must remain at the scene. This is especially true if anyone is injured as a result, and this rule applies to all parties, whether or not the driver is at fault. Public policy dictates the reasoning behind this law – it allows all parties to provide specific information regarding the accident to law enforcement and other parties such as name, contact information, insurance information among other relevant details. It is important to know that there is a particular exception to the prohibition of leaving the scene of an accident: if the driver or another party is in need of immediate emergency medical care, the law does not prohibit leaving the accident scene for this reason.
Under state law, if a driver is found guilty of fleeing the scene of an accident and failing to provide the required information he or she will be charged with, and may be convicted of, a felony. Illinois also has the authority to revoke the person’s driver’s license. The American Automobile Association Foundation (“AAA”) estimates about 11 percent of all police-reported crashes are hit-and-run accidents. Estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) are even higher, finding that almost 1 in every 5 pedestrian deaths is the result of a hit-and-run accident. According to research, hit-and-run drivers cause over 2,500 fatal traffic accidents each year.
It is not uncommon for many hit-and-run drivers to inadvertently leave valuable evidence behind as a result of the auto accident. Some evidence that can support a victim’s case for damages may include: car parts, paint scrapings, or tracks; eyewitness accounts; and reports to law enforcement by neighbors or others who have seen the damaged car. Sometimes the driver may have a change of heart and turn him or herself into the police. There are time limits for filing a civil claim against a hit-and-run driver.
It is possible to seek and recover damages as a victim of a hit-and-run accident. If you or someone you love has been injured, or someone you know or love has been tragically killed, as a result of a hit-and-run accident you should contact an experienced and aggressive Rockford auto accident attorney at Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. right away. Click here to schedule an initial case evaluation.
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