Any time a car accident occurs in Chicago, drivers must exchange insurance information and remain at the scene of the crash (without obstructing traffic) until the police arrive.
The State of Illinois takes a harsh stance on hit-and-run accidents. Any person who leaves the scene of a crash that caused an injury or fatality to another person can be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of one year. Even so, such serious consequences don’t stop some drivers from leaving the scene of a crash.
When this happens, it's important that crash victims understand the implications of a hit-and-run accident and how they can be compensated for their losses from Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UM).
Hit-and-run Accidents Can Happen To Anyone, Anytime On Chicago Roads
Every day, nearly six people are killed in hit-and-run accidents in the United States, according to The Mercury News. Moreover, in 2015, hit-and-run accidents occurred more than 2,000 times daily across the U.S. This raises the question: why do so many drivers leave the scene of an accident?
One of the leading factors in hit-and-run accidents, according to psychologist Emanuel Robinson, is the intense emotions felt after a crash. Some drivers become angry or scared and could make decisions that they later regret. Other drivers see absolutely nothing wrong with leaving the scene of a crash, and may justify it by claiming that it wasn’t a big deal. Additional factors can include drunk or drug-impaired driving, unawareness that an accident occurred, criminal activity, and drivers fleeing from police.
Anytime you take to the roads in Chicago, a hit-and-run accident can come unexpectedly. If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you may be able to collect compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, this only applies if you’re able to capture the driver’s license plate number.
Luckily, all drivers in Illinois are required to carry UM, which covers your losses after an accident with an uninsured driver, however, it also applies to hit-and-run accidents. In the event of a hit-and-run accident where the at-fault driver can't be identified, UM coverage will help compensate you for medical expense associated with the crash, as well as lost wages, pain, and suffering. The compensation would come from your insurance company rather than that of the other driver. For bodily injury, drivers are required to carry a minimum limit of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per crash.