Anyone who reads our blogs knows that we have been tracking hit-and-runs in Chicago for the last several months. The numbers are pretty grim – incidents appear to be rising here and across Illinois – but for the first time in a long time, a South Shore hit-and-run didn’t result in a fatality – and we are grateful for this slimmest of silver linings.
Per ABC 7, the hit-and-run “occurred near 79th Street and Exchange. Police said the driver of a Chevy Tahoe hit a 25-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl. They were both taken to the hospital in good condition. The driver and passengers got out of the SUV and ran away, according to investigators. No additional information is available.”
That we’re this relieved over a little girl being hit by a car but still being in “good” condition is a testament to just how bad things have gotten in Chicago when it comes to hit-and-run crashes. To put it another way, 75% of the hit-and-run cases we’ve talked about this year resulted in someone’s death. A one-year-old died. Two children were left motherless. A pedestrian was left for dead. These are horrible tragedies, all made worse because hit-and-run victims so rarely get the justice they deserve. This family may not, either, we know – but at least they can go home to their loved ones.
What is a “good” injury?
There really is no such thing as a “good” injury, but there are certainly catastrophic injuries. Hit-and-run victims often suffer catastrophic injuries because they are hit at high speeds, and then they are left to fend for themselves. The delay in treatment can exacerbate the injuries, which can have life-altering effects.
Catastrophic injuries resulting from a hit-and-run car accident can include:
- Brain trauma
- Permanent brain damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Crushing injuries necessitating amputation
- Friction burn/ “road rash” injuries
In the most devastating of circumstances, the victim will die on the scene or during triage. In some cases, the death may be delayed for a few days, but that means the victim may have lingered in pain.
So when the reporters say “in good condition,” the chances are high that neither the woman nor the child suffered anything like these types of injuries.
What can we do to reduce the number of hit-and-run crashes in Chicago?
Infrastructure and legislative changes are our best chance at reducing or eliminating hit-and-run crashes. We should all contact our local and state legislators and demand that they act by putting resources into things like:
- Adding traffic cameras that can capture footage of fleeing people or cars.
- Increasing signage that indicates where crosswalks are.
- Fixing and maintaining streetlights to help make pedestrians more visible.
- Increasing the fines and penalties associated with hit-and-runs, so that victims can seek true justice when the drivers are caught.
- Building footbridges and pedestrian bridges over dangerous highways and intersections, to keep pedestrians away from drivers.
In the meantime, while we fight for these changes, we can take steps to protect ourselves when we’re out and about, especially later at night.
- Always wear reflective, bright clothing, no matter the time of day.
- Walk on the sidewalks, not in bike lanes or other parts of the street.
- Always cross at crosswalks as opposed to in the middle of the street.
- If you witness a hit-and-run, call 9-1-1 to get help, and provide your statement to the police.
- When driving, slow down before and during a turn, and use your turn signal to indicate you’re moving.
If you are a victim of a hit-and-run, Gainsberg Law is here to help. We can assist you with your UM/UIM claim, and work with you to get the assistance you need. To schedule a free consultation with a Chicago hit-and-run attorney, call Gainsberg Law at 312.600.9585, or fill out our contact form.
Neal S. Gainsberg has spent the last 20 years fighting to protect the rights of the injured in Chicago and throughout Illinois. From consumer rights and bankruptcy to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, Mr. Gainsberg stands up to large corporations, insurance companies, creditors and hospital administrators to ensure that his clients’ futures are safe and secure. Learn More