Early last Friday morning in Chicago, a local man was hit by a vehicle that fled the scene. As the Chicago Tribune reported, the pedestrian was found dead shortly after the accidents. On Sunday a man who had been caught fleeing the scene after hitting an eight-year-old girl in his car was charged with a hit-and-run and held on $75,000 bail. Thankfully, the girl survived the accident but not before suffering a serious brain injury. Another eight year old girl was not so lucky last Wednesday, and died after being hit by an SUV that fled the scene after striking her while biking in front of her house. And yesterday a bicyclist who had been struck in a hit-and-run accident Monday evening died from his serious head injuries.
Hit-and-run car accidents in our nation are rampant. The Better Business Bureau reported the nearly one in eight accidents is a hit-and-run accident, many involving injuries to the head. (BBB)
Compensation & Consequences
Victims of hit-and-run accidents should know that if the authorities can identify the transgressor, they will be compensated and the marauder will be brought to justice. And what drivers need to understand is that fleeing the scene of an accident is never a good idea. Beyond the massively immoral implications of leaving an injured person behind, hit-and-run accidents can be even more dangerous than normal accidents for a number of reasons. For one, if there are no other witnesses, the victim may not get help until it is too late. For another, a hit-and-run driver often flees the scene in a rush, driving dangerously.
Aside from the potential for tragedy stemming from hit-and-run accidents, and likely because of it, there are serious legal ramifications for any driver caught fleeing the scene after an accident in Illinois. If there is an accident involving a personal injury, according to Illinois law, a driver must stop immediately. Failure to do so means the driver can be found guilty of a Class 4 felony. This felony carries jail time for between one and three years. And this does not even take into account how severe the injury is; it is a penalty just for driving away. Any driver who is not able to or does not stop immediately after an accident is bound by law to report the accident within thirty minutes of it occurring. Failure to do this means the driver can be found guilty of a Class 2 felony. In Illinois this level of felony carries jail time from three to seven years. If a driver is involved in a hit-and-run accident, and fails to stop or report the accident, and one of the victims dies, the driver becomes liable for a Class 1 felony. In Illinois this means the driver can be locked up from between four and fifteen years. And these terms do not take into account other potential charges likely to stem from a hit-and-run accident such as criminal negligence on the part of the driver.
Accidents happen, but hit-and-run accidents never should. If you are driving and involved in an accident, don’t flee the scene. Do your best to make sure all involved are safe, and if necessary call for help. You will be doing yourself and everyone around a favor. And if you or someone you know is the victim of a hit-and-run incident, contact our brain injury attorneys. Highly experienced and technically capable, we will do everything we can to bring you justice.
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