Hit-and-Runs Have Life-Altering Consequences

Hit-and-Run AccidentsJust because accidents are typically unintentional by nature doesn’t mean those responsible for causing them get to shirk accountability, especially if someone is severely injured or killed. While most of us understand this, there are still cruel people with just no regard for those around them who try to do just that. After causing an accident of any sort, we are meant to stop and exchange insurance information and — perhaps most importantly — get medical attention for whoever needs it as quickly as possible. But when those selfish few cause accidents, they simply flee the scene and leave any victims behind without a care.

One of those people hit a 17-year-old girl right here in Chicago earlier this month and while she survived, she is severely injured. She’s in a medically induced coma and in need of several serious reconstructive surgeries on her face and head. Meanwhile, the person who left her there is free, despite the fact that – this time – police have his car and license info.

This case is still developing so we cannot know what will become of it, but it still shines a stark light on just how life-threatening and debilitating hit-and-run accidents can be. We’ll be praying for her, as we do for all the hit-and-run victims in Chicago.

The true dangers of hit-and-run accidents

In 2021 and Chicago alone, there were over 37,000 hit-and-run accidents. Relatively few people were killed (36) or injured (4,807) but any number is too high, especially when those accidents happened, on average, a hundred times a day. That is a staggering amount of people risking innocent lives and running away from it. Even more disturbingly, very few arrests were actually made in relation to these accidents, meaning that thousands and thousands of reckless, selfish drivers never got caught and could still be on our roads today.

Not only are people getting away with it, but it’s getting more and more common. Every single metric of measuring these accidents has shown an increase over the years — including specifically serious injuries. One of the more unique dangers to hit and runs is that victims wait longer to receive necessary medical attention, which can be the difference between life and death in some cases. If you do survive such an accident, you could be left with catastrophic injuries like severe traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord damage, back injuries, shattered and broken bones, internal injuries, and more.

Any one of these injuries can lead to a life of physical therapy, painful treatments, surgeries, medications, and even an inability to live independently. Without taking the right steps, you and your family end could end up paying for every single thing — as if you haven’t suffered enough. Those medical bills alone could easily bankrupt the average family who should be focusing on helping their loved one rest and recover as much as possible.

What to do after a Chicago hit-and-run

Make no mistake: it is illegal to run from the scene of an accident where someone is injured or killed, even if you didn’t cause it. But, of course, not everyone does the right thing. If you’re the victim of a hit and run, do NOT try to chase the person fleeing, but DO try to take down as much information as you can (even if it’s only mentally). Try to remember what the color and make of the vehicle if you’re able, alongside any damage you noticed it took from the collision, and where the accident happened. Then, call the police so they may take their own notes and write their own reports (and, of course, ensure you get the medical attention you need). Even if they cannot (or do not) find the perpetrator, their report can help you get the compensation you need from your insurance company instead.

Because hit-and-runs are so unfortunately common, Illinois mandates that every person has uninsured motorist insurance that protects them from this very situation. It essentially allows victims to still receive monetary coverage and damages for their injuries, and it can make all the difference. However, before calling your insurance company, you want to contact a personal injury attorney to help you do it and represent you every step of the way. Even though insurance is there to help you, insurance companies tend to care more about avoiding payment than making sure you’re compensated. Your attorney can hold their feet to the proverbial fire on your behalf.

If you’re not too injured at the scene of the crime, you can also try to take as many pictures as you can, ask for witness statements, copy any surveillance footage, and gather as much information as possible for your attorney to use when building your insurance claim (this can also help the police catch the perp).

How our Chicago car accident attorneys fight for you

When you hire a skilled personal injury and car accident attorney after you’ve been hurt in a collision, you have someone to assess your damages, fact find, negotiate with the insurance company, and even file a civil claim against them if necessary. Insurance companies are aggressive and money-focused and they will absolutely take advantage of victims and their families without legal representation because they know they’re much likelier to get away with it. Attorneys make sure that doesn’t happen. They make sure you and your family focus on yourselves and your new normal instead of worrying about affording treatment or losing wages.

The Chicago personal injury attorneys at Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers have years of experience helping victims of hit-and-runs fight with insurance companies and hold perpetrators responsible when possible, and we can answer your questions with the competency and compassion your situation deserves. We know how serious this is, and we work accordingly. To get started with a free consultation, call us today or use our contact form. Don’t wait to protect yourself.