What happens after a hit-and-run accident?

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C.

January 19, 2021

Suffering injuries in a car accident in Illinois could be devastating. The injuries might require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, which often come with enormous costs. A car accident victim’s common strategy often involves filing a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance. Filing a lawsuit could be another plan. However, things could become complicated when the at-fault driver leaves the scene.

Accidents and drivers who leave the scene

Anyone leaving the scene of an accident could face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the specifics. Regardless of the penalties, some drivers choose to flee. When the vehicle struck has a dashcam, the footage could identify the other driver. Not every vehicle has a dashcam, however, and some hit-and-run accidents involve pedestrians or bicyclists. Additional steps may become necessary to identify the driver.

Getting the license plate, even partially, could assist with identifying the vehicle. Writing down the make, model and color of the vehicle might help, too. If there were witnesses to the incident, they might have a photo of the escaping vehicle and its license plate.

Reporting the accident to the police

With a hit-and-run accident, reporting the event to the police could help the situation immensely. The police might be able to track down the driver based on the provided statements. If a patrol car comes across a vehicle matching the description showing apparent signs of a recent accident, the police may investigate further. In doing so, they might end up arresting the hit-and-run driver. Once a hit-and-run driver gets identified, the victim could take the next steps of filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit.

Hit-and-run car accidents create problems for victims who need to identify the responsible driver. The victim may want to work with an attorney as they seek compensation.