It was as if Hoover Dam dumped its cargo into the night when an exhausted office manager, Oliver Pope, drove home from a long day at the office. He lost control, hit a newspaper boy and fled.
Sadly, the boy died.
A witness identified an innocent person as the perpetrator, so Pope thought he was free, but his car had other plans.
In the middle of the night, its horn honked, the engine started, the hood opened and closed and the radio broadcast the story of the boy’s death over and over.
Thinking better of driving that haunted car, Pope walked to work, but the vehicle followed him wherever he went.
Finally, Pope’s car stopped, and the back door opened. He got in, and then his vehicle drove to the police station.
That actually happened – in the Twilight Zone.
Hopefully, a hit and run driver won’t cross your path, but if he does, his haunted vehicle will likely not help you. On the other hand, the information contained here will. Read on to learn about how to handle a hit and run driver.
Exactly What is Hit and Run?
It isn’t complicated. All motor vehicle operators must stop, lend assistance and identify themselves when involved in an accident. The mishap may involve another motor vehicle, bicycle or pedestrian.
It may occur on a public road or parking lot. That means drivers must leave a note when they hit an unattended parked car.
Even accident survivors who are not at fault must comply with these rules. Those who don’t have earned the label of a hit and run driver.
Is This a Serious Problem?
According to the American Automobile Association’s Foundation for Public Safety, hit and run drivers kill about 1,500 persons each year, and pedestrians carry the greatest risk.
Eleven percent of all accidents people report to the police involve drivers who flee the scene.
Hopefully, this will never happen to you or someone you care about, but if it does, do the following:
What To Do if Someone Hits You and Then Flees
First, find the culprit and then determine if he has the funds to compensate you. If so, hire the best attorney you can find to prosecute your claim.
How to Find the Culprit
Since fleeing the scene of an accident is almost always a crime, the police will try to find the driver, but they may not succeed. In that case, if you suffered a great deal of property damage or, worse yet, a serious injury, you your attorney may decide to hire a private detective to locate the driver. McCready Law work wit the best investigators in the business. If there’s a lead to follow, they’ll be found.
Now that you’ve found the perpetrator and determined that he has sufficient assets, how much can you expect to recover?
How Much Money will you receive?
Of course, there’s no way to know for sure, but this is how the law might calculate your damages.
Normally when a person’s negligence causes harm to others, she must pay compensatory damages for such things as medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
You receive this money to compensate you for the property destruction and bodily injury you suffered due to the other driver’s negligence.
Additionally, in hit and run cases, the court may require a guilty person to pay punitive damages to punish him or her for fleeing the accident. In that instance, you would get both punitive and compensatory damages.
Finding the Best Lawyer
You need look no further than McCready Law to handle your hit and run accident. We have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for our clients as the result of hit and run accidents.
What to do if you can’t identify the vehicle
Simply because you cannot the car which hit you does not mean you are without recovery. Sometimes, the license plate you thought you could read does not match the vehicle. Other times, a car may be using stolen license plates. In these circumstances, you can pursue an uninsured motorist claim.
What is an uninsured motorist claim?
In Illinois, all insurance policies contain coverage for uninsured motorists. A hit and run driver is considered and uninsured motorist. There are strict legal requirements for pursuing a hit and run uninsured motorist claim, so be sure to contact McCready Law as soon as the accident happens.
Maintain adequate insurance limits
As we have explained before, it is important that you maintain adequate insurance limits. Your insurance limits will impact your uninsured motorist limits in a hit and run case.
McCready, Garcia and Leet handle many hit and run and uninsured motorist claims every year, so feel free to call us for a friendly, no cost or obligation consultation. You may reach us at (773) 779-9885. Let us know your experiences.