What to Do When You’ve Been Injured in a Hit and Run Accident
There are two types of hit and run incidents in the state of Illinois. One type is when a driver collides with another vehicle, a pedestrian or a bicyclist, and flees the scene without identifying themselves or providing any aid or information to the victim, witnesses or law enforcement.
A second type of a hit and run accident occurs when a vehicle part or tire tread, flies off the vehicle and causes an accident. The driver does not know the incident happened so keeps on driving. This makes him or her a hit and run driver. If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, there are some steps you can take to recover compensation for your injuries.
How You May Be Compensated for Your Injuries Caused by A Hit and Run Driver
Your auto insurance policy has Uninsured Motorist Coverage to pay for injuries caused by a hit and run driver. In Illinois, every auto insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage in the same amount as the driver’s liability insurance. So, if you have $100,000 in liability coverage, you have uninsured motorist coverage in the same amount for injuries to yourself or your passengers or family members who have been injured by a hit and run vehicle.
When you have been injured by a hit and run driver, whether as a pedestrian or when a driver collided with your vehicle or by debris flying off another vehicle, since the driver cannot be located, he or she is considered uninsured. Therefore, you can submit a claim for compensation to your own auto insurer under your uninsured motorist coverage.
What to do When You’ve Been Injured in a Hit and Run Accident
The first and most important thing for you to do is get medical attention for your injuries. Whether you need to be transported to an emergency room, or go on your own to an urgent care or to see your private physician, it is imperative to seek treatment. If you do not get prompt treatment, any later claim you make that you were injured will be challenged by your insurer when you submit your claim. Your insurer will argue that if you were really hurt, you would have gotten immediate treatment.
If it is possible, and you could think fast enough, and see the vehicle involved, write down the license plate number. Write down any identifying features of the vehicle. Was it a truck or a car? Was it a sedan or an SUV. Was it newer or older model? Try to get any witness identification information and statements. If you can take photographs, great. In any event – call the police and get a report! This is critical.
Notify your insurer that you were the victim of a hit and run accident. There is a fine line between “notification” and “giving a statement.” It is not advisable to provide a detailed statement to your insurer without consulting a qualified injury attorney. Anything you say may come back to haunt you later.
For example, you will likely be asked to explain the nature and extent of your injuries. You will not have that information. Unless you are a medical professional, you do not know the nature and extent of your injuries. Some tissue injuries, like whiplash, do not show up for several days after an accident. You may think you have a small bruise or sprain only to discover later you suffered a broken bone. Whatever you say, your insurer will try to hold you to it even if you later discover you underestimated the seriousness or extent of your injuries. The insurance adjuster will almost always be nice and friendly and encouraging. However, the adjuster’s job is to delay, deny or minimize your claim! That is what they do. Get a Free Consultation from an excellent, experienced uninsured motorist claim attorney, Before, you talk with the insurance company.
What an Attorney Can Do for You
An attorney with experience handling uninsured motorist claims can be a tremendous help during this time. While you are recovering from your injuries, you are likely losing wages. You may be taking pain medication and not be able to engage in any of your normal activities. The stress of not knowing how you are going to pay your bills can take a toll and even increase your recovery time. An attorney can greatly relieve your concerns.
An attorney will investigate the case, get the police report, interview witnesses, photograph the scene and discover any other evidence that supports your claim.
At the Blumenshine Law Group, our attorneys have decades of experience pursuing uninsured motorist claims for those injured by hit and run drivers. Scott A. Blumenshine literally wrote the book on “Uninsured, Hit- and-Run and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Illinois.” Although there are no guarantees as to a specific outcome, we can promise that we will keep you well-informed about the progress of your case. We will make every effort to obtain for you all the compensation to which you are legally entitled in the most expeditious and economical way.
There is a time limit for filing your claim and pursuing your case in court. Do not risk losing your right to compensation. Contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation. If you are unable to come to us, we will arrange to come to you.