A female pedestrian from Zion has been killed in a Waukegan hit-and-run accident, as area police continue to search for the driver responsible.
Driver at Large in Waukegan Hit-and-Run Accident
On January 29, 2019, at approximately 5:40 p.m., officers from the Waukegan Police Department responded to the area of Sheridan Road and Greenwood Avenue, where they found a seriously injured woman lying in the street.
The woman, who was reportedly a Zion resident in her 40s, was taken to a nearby hospital, where she later died. Her name has not yet been released. Police believe that the pedestrian had been crossing Sheridan Road just south of Greenwood Avenue when a southbound vehicle struck her at or near the median.
The Waukegan Police Department’s Traffic and Criminal Investigations Divisions are investigating the incident. Even though the Waukegan hit-and-run accident took place in the early evening at a busy crossing near both a gas station and a restaurant, there does not appear to be any surveillance footage or witnesses.
Based primarily upon debris left at the scene of the Waukegan hit-and-run accident, police are looking for a black sports utility vehicle.
Hit-and-Run Victims Face Obstacles
There are significant criminal penalties in Illinois for any driver who fails to stop at the scene of a collision. A hit-and-run accident resulting in 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 someone is killed in the incident, it becomes a Class 1 Felony carrying a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
But despite the serious consequences that negligent drivers may face, the fatal Waukegan hit-and-run accident is sadly far from an isolated incident. In fact, recent research suggests that hit-and-run accidents are on the rise across the country. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:
- Eleven percent of all traffic accidents involve hit-and-run drivers.
- There is more than one hit-and-run accident every minute in the United States.
- Since 1986, there has been an average of 682,000 hit-and-run accidents annually.
- Hit-and-run incidents resulted in 2,049 fatalities in 2016; this represents a 62 percent increase from 2009, the last year that recorded a downward trend.
These statistics are even more troubling when one takes into account that victims of hit-and-run accidents have a harder time obtaining compensation for their injuries. This heightened difficulty comes from the fact that the at-fault driver fled the scene without exchanging insurance information – assuming there is even any insurance at all.
Despite these obstacles, however, financial recovery may still be possible. If the hit-and-run driver is located, a plaintiff may be able to obtain liability insurance information and pursue a claim against that policy. Even in cases in which the driver is either not found or proves to be uninsured or underinsured, an injured person might still seek compensation through uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.
Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers Who Can Help You
As you can see, even in a hit-and-run accident, there may still be multiple means of recovery. But achieving a successful outcome is still far from easy. It takes experience and skill at handling hit-and-run accidents to get an injured person fully and fairly compensated. To maximize your potential recovery, reach out to the Illinois hit-and-run accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
For more than four decades, GWC has successfully recovered over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements. Our proven record of success makes us one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. No other firm is more respected, or more feared, by its adversaries, both inside and outside of the courtroom. We can help you and your family get the justice you deserve.