Options after a Hit and Run Accident
Many people find themselves stressed, disoriented and confused following a traffic accident. This is especially true in cases where one of the drivers leaves the scene of the accident. Illinois law charges drivers with a “duty to give information and render aid,” meaning that people have a legal obligation to remain at the scene of an accident to exchange insurance information and provide help if necessary. Of course, just because the law provides people with this duty does not mean that drivers always live up to it.
Victims of hit and run accidents should be aware of their different options for seeking recovery for their injuries. First, you may be able to track down the driver who fled, either on your own or with the help of an attorney. Second, there may be options for recovering even if the driver cannot be found.
Finding the Driver
The best way for someone injured in a hit and run accident to recover is to find the driver who left the scene of the accident. This can be done in a variety of ways. First, some people may be able to get a good look at the fleeing car. Details like make, model, color, and license plate number can all be helpful, as can a description of the driver. Even in cases where the victim of the accident did not get a clear look at the other car, there may be witnesses to the accident who can help. Drivers, after making sure they are not seriously injured, should talk to anyone else who may have seen the accident to learn if they have any of the above information. In some cases bystanders may have captured a picture or video of the fleeing car. Injured drivers may also be able to access other sources of photos or video. For instance, traffic cameras may have captured the fleeing driver, and be able to provide an identification.
Unfortunately, there are some situations where the driver at fault cannot be found. However, drivers who suffered harm in the accident have other options available to recover for their injuries. First, all drivers involved in a hit and run accident should file a report of the accident with the police. In a surprising number of cases, hit and run drivers later feel guilty about what they did and make a confession to the police, especially if they had been intoxicated during the initial hit and run. The existence of a police report makes it much easier for the police to match the confessor with their victim.
Absent a confession, people may be able to make a claim against their own insurance policy. Many car insurance policies have clauses that cover accidents with uninsured motorists. Hit and run accidents are often covered by these policies.
Dealing with a hit and run accident can be particularly stressful and uncertain, but there are options. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, contact an Aurora personal injury attorney at Woodruff Johnson & Evans today.