Chicago Hit-and-Run Lawyers
Experienced representation for hit-and-run victims throughout Illinois
A hit-and-run occurs when a party to an accident flees the scene. Illinois law prohibits this behavior, but new incidents are reported daily. Sometimes the responsible party leaves the scene even when there is an injured party present. For the victim, a hit-and-run is emotionally and physically painful. You are not only left to deal with the resulting injuries on your own or whenever a kind person stops to help, but you may also find yourself wondering how someone could act in such an unconscionable manner.
At Gainsberg Law, P.C., we provide strong experienced representation for hit-and-run victims throughout Illinois. We have spent more than 25 years helping the residents of Cook County file personal injury claims and wrongful death claims due to car accidents and other types of car accidents. We’ll explain when and how you can file an uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) claim if the hit-and-run driver can’t be found. We demand complete compensation for all the harm a hit-and-run driver causes including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, property damage, and punitive damages.
How can we help?
- Our hit-and-run successes
- What are Illinois’ laws regarding stopping after a car accident?
- Why do drivers hit-and-run in Chicago?
- What steps can be taken to find a hit-and-run driver?
- Can I use my uninsured/underinsured policy to recover my damages in Illinois?
- Do you have a hit-and-run lawyer near me?
Gainsberg Law has helped countless people who have been injured in hit-and-runs in Chicago. Three hit-and-run cases where we obtained the insurance policy limits are the following:
- $250,000 for a 61-year-old man who, while riding his bicycle, was struck by a hit-and-run driver, thrown 50 feet, and dragged by the hit-and-run driver’s vehicle. Our client required multiple sutures. He suffered a comminuted fracture of the right clavicle, a nondisplaced fracture of the head of the clavicle, a mid-sternal fracture, and a left 4thrib fracture. He also experienced vertigo following the accident. We settled the man’s claim through the man’s uninsured motorist policy.
- $100,000 (the policy limits) for a 54-year-old man who was rear-ended, causing his car to strike a car in front. The hit-and-run driver backed up and tried to flee the scene where he also rear-ended a motorcycle. Fortunately, the victims and bystanders noted the hit-and-run driver’s license plate. Our client had intense neck pain. An MRI revealed that he had numerous herniated disks. We recovered $50,00 from the hit-and-run driver’s liability policy and another $50,00 from our client’s underinsured policy.
- The policy limits for a 21-year-old female pedestrian who was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the crosswalk at a high rate of speed. The victim sustained a non-displaced fracture to the neck. Her neurosurgeon was able to treat the fracture without any surgery and the client made an excellent recovery. The driver of the other vehicle was never found. We obtained the policy limits for our client’s uninsured motorist policy.
If the driver of a vehicle involved in a traffic crash where someone has sustained an injury or a fatality leaves the scene of the crash, they can be charged with hit-and-run, which Illinois law considers a felony. 625 ILCS 5/11-401 requires that the driver of a vehicle that is involved in an accident that causes injuries or death must stop at the accident scene (or as close as possible) “until the requirements of Section 11-403 have been fulfilled.”
11-403 requires that the driver provide his/her “name, address, registration number, and the identification of owner of the vehicle the driver is operating.” If requested, the driver should show their driver's license to the accident victim, driver, car occupant, or anyone attending the vehicle that was struck. The driver must also render assistance to anyone who is injured, “Including the carrying or the making of arrangements for the carrying of such person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.”
Drivers who fail to stop and comply with the 11-403 requirements must also promptly report the details of the crash at the nearest police station or sheriff’s office.
Leaving the scene of an accident without providing contact and insurance information to the other driver is a Class A misdemeanor and can result in fines, driver's license suspension, and jail time. Property damage of less than $1,500 is not required to be reported to the police.
In most situations, hit-and-runs occur because the at-fault party refuses to take responsibility for his or her actions. These incidents are more likely to happen when the following circumstances are present:
- A driver who operates a vehicle is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Under this scenario, the driver may leave for fear of facing criminal penalties for drunk driving. In addition, a highly intoxicated driver may have caused an accident without even realizing what occurred.
- A driver who operates a vehicle without legally required auto insurance. These drivers likely know that their lack of insurance will leave them without the ability to pay for resulting damages. Therefore, they choose to leave the scene instead of providing their identifying information.
- A driver without proper driving privileges. The driver’s license may be suspended or revoked. Instead of facing criminal penalties, they choose to leave the scene.
- A driver with a pending criminal case. These drivers may not stop because they fear the consequences of an open warrant, a probation violation, or a pending immigration matter.
Whatever the reasoning behind the hit-and-run, it is still an illegal act. Our skilled Chicago hit-and-run accident attorneys help you identify the at-fault party and aggressively fight for full compensation.
Our Chicago hit-and-run injury lawyers recommend that injury victims and anyone who can help:
- Observe as much as you can about the other vehicle before it disappears. Look for the color, make, and model of the vehicle along with where the vehicle might have suffered damage in the crash.
- Try to find witnesses who are willing to speak about what they saw and take as many pictures as possible of the scene, the damage to your vehicle, and the location in which the crash occurred.
- Call the police and file an accident report about the crash. If the police are unable to track down the driver who caused the crash, the traffic accident report will be useful to your insurance company when you file a claim for the accident. Don’t try to chase down the hit-and-run driver on your own.
The police and our investigators will work aggressively to track down the driver. The smallest of clues can add up. There are many surveillance cameras throughout Chicago’s streets, and we will fight to get the footage if it captures the owner/operator of the vehicle which hit you.
The state of Illinois mandates the purchase of uninsured motorist coverage to protect individuals from the financial burden of a hit-and-run accident. At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago car accident lawyers will explain when you can file a UM/UIM claim and how the claims process works. Generally, if there is confirmation through the police, our own investigation, and any investigations by other drivers that the driver cannot be found; then a UM/UIM claim is justified. Many hit-and-run accidents are rear-end crashes, which means the damage to the rear of your car helps verify your claim that a hit-and-run driver was involved.
Once we help verify that you can use your UM/UIM policy, we then work (just as we would in any personal injury case) to show what injuries you have, the full cost of your medical care, the amount of income you’re losing because you can’t work, your pain and suffering, your property damage, and any other damage.
We’ll also explain who can use a UM/UIM policy. Generally, you and anyone who lives in your household should be able to use your vehicle UM/UIM policy if the injuries or death occurred while the victim was in a vehicle covered by the UM/UIM policy. We’ll also explain if you can use your UM/UIM policy if a hit-and-run driver strikes you while you are walking or riding a bicycle. Generally, families can file a wrongful death claim through the victim’s UM/UIM policy.
Gainsberg Law meets car accident victims and families at our downtown Chicago office located at 77 W Washington Street, Suite 1215. There are two bus stops right near us if you travel by bus. Our Chicago hit-and-run lawyers make arrangements, when necessary, to speak with you by phone, video conference, or at a hospital.
We’ll help you assert your rights. Our team will guide you through the claims process.
Affordable representation after a Chicago hit-and-run car crash
If you or a family member was injured in a hit-and-run accident, trust Gainsberg Law to aggressively advocate for all the compensation your case deserves. Hit-and-run driving is unconscionable. The driver and any other responsible parties should be held accountable. When necessary, we’ll assert your right to compensation through your UM/UIM policy. Call us today or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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