Eight vehicles were struck and two drivers fled the scene in a recent hit-and-run accident in the Gage Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side.
Driver Going Wrong Way
On the evening of April 25, 2018, at approximately 11:05 p.m., a driver was traveling westbound in a Chevy Sonic in the 3000 block of West 55th Street. She then reportedly crossed the median into the eastbound lane of traffic and struck two vehicles, a Hyundai and a Chevy Trailblazer.
The drivers of the Hyundai and the Trailblazer lost control of their vehicles and struck a total of six parked vehicles. The Hyundai also rolled over in the course of the chain collision.
The driver of the Sonic fled the scene and remains unidentified at this time.
Additionally, the driver of the Hyundai fled the scene on foot and is also currently unidentified. Police believe he was speeding at the time of the hit-and-run accident.
In all, nine vehicles were involved in the incident.
A hit-and-run accident is a type of automotive crash involving one or more vehicles where the at-fault driver does not stop at the scene of the incident.
Leaving the scene of an accident when you are at fault is illegal in the state of Illinois. When there is only property damage involved, it is considered a misdemeanor.
But when the at-fault driver leaves the scene of an accident that resulted in injury or death, it is a felony that can result in serious criminal penalties if that driver is caught.
Being responsible for a hit-and-run accident leading to injury is a Class 2 Felony that carries a possible sentence of up to seven years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $25,000.00. If a person is killed in a hit-and-run accident, however, the at-fault driver faces a Class 1 Felony, which carries a maximum fine of $25,000.00 and/or a possible prison sentence of up to 15 years.
No matter how clear the law is, though, or how serious the consequences may be, hit-and-run accidents continue to occur at an alarming rate across the country.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:
- Eleven percent of all car accidents involve hit-and-run drivers.
- More than one hit-and-run accident occurs every minute on US roads.
- An average of 682,000 hit-and-run accidents have occurred each year since 2006.
- Hit-and-run deaths have increased by an average of 7.2 percent each year since 2009.
- Hit-and-run accidents resulted in 2,049 deaths in 2016 – a 60 percent increase since 2009 and the highest number on record.
These are sobering statistics, made even more troubling by the fact that a person injured in a hit-and-accident faces a greater hurdle to receiving economic compensation for his or her injuries – namely, the at-fault driver fled the scene without exchanging insurance information, if there even is any.
Nevertheless, financial recovery is not impossible. The hit-and-run driver may be located. If so, it is possible to uncover that driver’s insurance information.
However, even if there is no insurance available, or if the insurance is insufficient to cover the cost of the injuries, or if the at-fault driver is never found at all, there may still be another means of financial recovery in the form of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Illinois Hit-and-Run Accident Attorneys
As you may see, there are many potential avenues of recovery, even in the seemingly hopeless case of a hit-and-run accident. Nevertheless, identifying the correct means is no easy task, much less maximizing the amount of financial compensation even if one does. It takes skill and familiarity with these types of incidents.
For this reason, many people who have been injured in a hit-and-run accident find that they might benefit from the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, like the Illinois hit-and-run accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers.
As Illinois’ largest Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firm, GWC has successfully recovered more than $2 BILLION for our clients.
If you or your loved one has been injured, please contact GWC today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives.