Hit & Run Accident Attorney Helping Victims in Chicago
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident in Chicago, you may be frightened and not know where to turn. That’s the time to contact the car accident attorneys at Stein & Shulman. When you consult us, we will take the time to explain all your rights and explore all your options for obtaining just compensation.
Why In The World Would Someone Leave The Scene Of An Accident?
When you are involved in a car accident in the Chicagoland area you know the first thing you need to do is call the police. The dispatcher can send an officer your way, and determine if an ambulance or hazmat team is needed as well. When the police arrive, they will secure the scene, gather relevant evidence, facilitate the exchange of information between all the parties involved, and issue any tickets they deem necessary.
Sometimes, however, the other car speeds off before you can do more than slam on the breaks. As a law-abiding citizen and reasonable person, it can be hard to imagine why someone would drive away from the scene of an accident without even checking to see that you are okay. The reality is not every driver out there should be behind the wheel.
The top causes of hit and run accidents in the Chicago area include:
- Intoxication: Drunk drivers may fear going to jail and instead decide to flee the scene in an attempt to avoid criminal prosecution. At times, drivers may be so intoxicated or drugged that they do not even realize they got into an accident.
- Illegal drivers: Drivers who do not have automobile insurance or lack a valid driver’s license may flee the scene of an accident to avoid prosecution. Drivers with a warrant out for their arrest will not want to spend time talking to a cop.
- Panic: At times, a driver may simply become so panicked, particularly if they have injured someone, that their response is to drive away.
- Oblivious: There are some drivers that simply do not realize an accident occurred. Older drivers, inexperienced drivers, and people in SUVs that are built like tanks may not realize they have caused a fender bender.
Regardless of why the other driver flees the scene of an accident, you should not hesitate to seek compensation for any injuries you have suffered because of them.
Who Pays When The Other Driver Flees?
If the other driver flees the scene of an accident in which you have been injured, you may wonder how you can ever expect to seek compensation. The reality is, you have a couple of paths you can take if you have been injured by a hit and run driver.
Even though the other driver has fled the scene, an accident has still occurred, and a police report will document that fact. There is still evidence to gather and maybe tickets to write, even if the other driver is nowhere in sight. It is also possible the police will be able to track down the other driver.
Once the police have cleared you to move on, and you and your passengers have sought necessary medical attention, what then? If you hope to recover the full amount of money it takes to repair your vehicle and heal your bodily injuries, your next call should be to an experienced personal injury attorney. At Stein & Shulman, we have helped many clients involved in hit and run accidents seek compensation from their own insurance companies.
Under Illinois state law, all drivers are required to insure their vehicles. This insurance protects both you and other parties that may be injured in an accident.
In a typical accident, where both you and the other driver stick around and exchange insurance information, you and the other driver will both end up making a third-party claim against the other party’s insurance, and a first-party claim against your own insurance. Because Illinois is a comparative negligence state, the insurance companies will offer to pay each of you what they think is fair based on which one of you caused the accident, and how much each of you suffered.
In a hit and run scenario, you are only able to file a first-party claim against your own insurance since the other driver is unknown. State law requires you to buy special insurance called uninsured motorist (UM) coverage for this exact reason.
Making a claim against your UM policy is fairly straightforward, but we still recommend working with an experienced personal injury to do so. The last thing you are going to feel like doing if you have been seriously injured in a hit and run car accident is mediating a dispute between your health insurance provider and your car insurance company over who is going to pay for what. That’s where we come in. We negotiate with our clients’ insurance company or companies on their behalf so they can focus on getting well.
There is a false belief, fostered by the PR firms hired by insurance companies, that all you need to do when you are injured is call up your insurance company and they will take care of the rest. The reality is your insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible, no matter how severely you have been injured. They aren’t looking out for you, they are looking out for their bottom line. It is only when you stand up for yourself or hire an attorney to advocate on your behalf that someone with your best interests at heart is truly in control.
We Fight For Your Full Monetary Compensation
At Stein & Shulman, we provide aggressive representation to Chicago area residents who have suffered a serious personal injury. If you live anywhere in the Chicagoland area, we are here to help if you have been involved in a hit and run car accident.
We know that no matter what type of injury you have suffered, from a “simple” fracture to a spinal cord injury, the pain you have gone through and continue to endure is almost always accompanied by financial stress. We can help relieve that stress, by taking the lead when it comes time to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company or companies.
Contact Our Hit & Run Accident Attorneys Today
Whether you are ready to take legal action and seek compensation right away, or are just curious about what options are available to you, we are ready to take your call. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.