Fleeing the scene of a Chicago car accident can result in very serious consequences. If you have been in an auto accident, do not leave the scene of the accident!
If you have been involved in a car wreck, do not leave the scene of the accident. The law requires that you take certain steps immediately after an accident such as stopping your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so, and exchanging information with the other parties involved in the crash. Here are some of your legal obligations and suggested steps you should take after being involved in a Chicago car accident.
What You Should Do if You’re Involved in a Car Wreck
Most states have their own set of laws when it comes what you should at the scene of an accident that you have been involved in. First and foremost, a hit and run accident is characterized as a felony or misdemeanor, which is punishable by law. Here are some steps that the driver should take immediately after a car accident:
- Stop your car immediately, or as soon as it is safe to do so.
- Find the other drivers, passengers, and other people such as pedestrians involved in the accident. Once you have located them, provide them with the important information including driver’s name, driver’s license number, vehicle registration number, address, phone number, insurance company name, insurance policy number, and if the vehicle’s registered owner is different from the driver you should provide information about him/her as well.
- Assist the injured drivers, passengers, and other people including pedestrians, who were involved in the accident. Call 911, and provide necessary information that they may require.
- Contact the police or local law enforcement agency so that they can come to the accident scene and prepare the accident report. This is particularly important if the car accident involved serious injury or death.
- In case there were no other people involved in the accident, and the accident involved only an unattended vehicle, the driver should still leave his contact information in a secure location and if necessary contact the police.
Penalties for Fleeing the Scene of an Auto Accident
State laws differ on how they classify fleeing the accident scene as a crime, and setting appropriate penalties. However, in all states, this crime is classified as felony or misdemeanor based on the seriousness of the accident.
The penalties can range from a low level misdemeanor to a high level felony, depending on the seriousness of the crash and resulting injuries and damages. For example, a driver who flees the scene of a single vehicle accident that resulted in minor property damage could be charged with a Level 3 misdemeanor, but a driver who flees the scene of a fatal crash may be charged with Level 2 felony.
Contact a Chicago Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured by a hit and run driver, you should contact a qualified Chicago Auto Accident Attorney. A hit-and-run accident is a devastating experience that can upend your entire world and drain your bank account. Medical bills, lost wages, home nursing care can add up to a financial disaster. You deserve to have a lawyer in your corner who will make sure that every avenue of finding the perpetrator has been explored, and who will fight for the full and fair compensation you need and deserve from your insurance company.