What If My Car Accident Was A Hit And Run?

hit and run

Experiencing a car accident can be a traumatic event, but when the at-fault driver leaves the scene, it adds complexity and uncertainty to an already challenging situation. In Illinois, as in many other jurisdictions, laws and procedures are in place to address hit-and-run accidents and protect victims’ rights. Understanding your rights and the appropriate steps to take are essential when facing such circumstances.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Your health should always be your top priority after any accident, including a hit-and-run. Even if your injuries seem minor at first, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Some injuries may not exhibit symptoms immediately, and prompt medical care ensures that your injuries are properly assessed and documented. This documentation can be invaluable for any potential legal claims that may arise from the accident.

Call 911 and Report the Accident to the Police

Following a hit-and-run accident, it’s imperative to contact the police immediately. Law enforcement officers will respond to the scene, conduct an investigation, gather evidence, and create an official accident report. Provide as much information as you can about the fleeing vehicle, such as its make, model, color, and, if possible, its license plate number. Any additional identifying details about the vehicle or driver can aid law enforcement in identifying the hit-and-run driver.

Identify Witnesses

If there were witnesses to the accident, try to obtain their contact information. Eyewitness testimonies can be invaluable in locating the at-fault driver and strengthening your case.

Document the Accident Scene

If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the accident scene. Capture images of the damage to your vehicle, any skid marks on the road, debris scattered around, and any other pertinent details. These visual records can serve as crucial evidence for insurance claims and potential legal actions.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your own auto insurance company to report the hit-and-run accident promptly. Be prepared to provide them with all the available details about the incident. Many auto insurance policies in Illinois include uninsured motorist coverage, which can provide compensation for injuries and damages sustained in hit-and-run accidents. Review your insurance policy to understand your coverage’s specific terms and conditions.

Understanding Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured motorist coverage is a vital component of many auto insurance policies. This coverage is designed to protect you when the at-fault driver is either uninsured or cannot be identified, as is often the case in hit-and-run accidents. It can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages caused by the accident. To make the most of this coverage, it’s crucial to consult your insurance policy and understand the details of your uninsured motorist coverage.

Explore Your Legal Options

If the hit-and-run driver is eventually identified and apprehended, you may have legal recourse to pursue a personal injury claim against them. An attorney from our law firm can guide you through the process of initiating a legal claim to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.

Navigating the legal complexities of hit-and-run accidents in Illinois can be daunting. Consulting with one of our experienced car accident attorneys is essential to ensure you understand your rights and take the appropriate steps. Our legal professionals can help you navigate the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent your interests in court. Their expertise can prove invaluable in securing the compensation and support you need to move forward.

Call Our Cook County Car Accident Lawyer For Your Free Consultation!

If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Illinois, you don’t have to face it alone. Contact our Cook County car accident lawyers at Robert Edens, P.C. at 847-395-2200 for your free accident injury consultation. Our experienced legal professionals are here to protect your valuable legal rights and help you pursue the compensation your case deserves.

What To Do After A Fatal Car Accident In Illinois

car accident

Fatal car accidents are a tragic reality on the roads of Illinois. Each year, the state of Illinois witnesses a significant number of vehicular accidents that tragically result in the loss of life. The impact of these accidents extends beyond the immediate loss, affecting families, friends, and communities. In the face of such tragedies, individuals must be well-informed about the appropriate steps to take in the aftermath of a fatal car accident.

This knowledge not only helps in dealing with the immediate consequences but also plays a vital role in the legal and emotional processes that follow. We will provide the information you need after a fatal car accident in Illinois. From the immediate actions at the accident scene to navigating legal obligations and coping with the aftermath, we cover essential aspects to equip you with the necessary knowledge and resources.

Understanding these steps ensures that you can handle these challenging situations with composure and awareness, ultimately aiding in a more structured and effective response during such critical times.

Immediate Steps at the Accident Scene

The moments following a car accident can be chaotic and overwhelming, especially when it’s fatal. The first and foremost priority is ensuring the safety of all individuals involved. If you can move and are not seriously injured, check on the condition of other passengers and individuals involved in the accident. If it’s safe, move to a secure location away from traffic to avoid any additional hazards. In cases of serious injuries, it’s crucial not to move the injured unless there is an immediate danger, such as a fire, as improper movement can exacerbate injuries.

Once you are in a safe location, immediately call 911. This step is vital in ensuring that medical assistance and law enforcement are dispatched to the scene as quickly as possible. When speaking to the emergency operator, provide a clear and concise description of the location, the number of people involved, and the extent of the injuries as best as you can ascertain. Be prepared to answer any questions the operator might have. Once first responders arrive, it is essential to cooperate fully with them. They are trained to handle such situations and can provide essential assistance and guidance.

While waiting for emergency services, if your condition allows, start gathering information from the accident scene. This includes taking photographs of the vehicles involved, the surrounding area, and any skid marks or debris that may be relevant. These images can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings.

Additionally, politely ask for their contact information if there are any witnesses. They could provide valuable statements later on. It’s also important to note the positions of the vehicles involved in the accident, as this can help in reconstructing the events leading up to the crash. Remember to do this safely and without interfering with the scene, as preserving the integrity of the accident site is crucial for the investigation.

Legal Obligations and Reporting the Accident

In Illinois, the law mandates prompt reporting of fatal car accidents. This legal requirement is not just a formality; it is a crucial step in properly documenting and investigating the incident. If you are involved in or witness a fatal car accident, you are required to notify law enforcement immediately. Typically, this is achieved through the initial 911 call. However, it’s crucial to ensure that a formal report is filed. The report, usually completed by the responding officers, should include detailed information about the accident, including the time, location, parties involved, and any known circumstances that led to the incident.

Understand that this documentation plays a vital role in any subsequent legal proceedings or insurance claims. The timeline for reporting can vary depending on the specific circumstances, but it’s generally advised to do so as soon as possible. In cases where you might be incapacitated or unable to file the report yourself, it is often handled by law enforcement officers at the scene. Keeping a copy of this report is crucial for future reference, especially when dealing with insurance claims or legal matters.

After a fatal car accident, one of the essential steps is contacting your insurance company. It’s advisable to do this soon after the accident, once the immediate safety concerns are addressed. When you call, be prepared to provide a concise but comprehensive account of the incident. However, it’s important to be mindful of the information you share. Stick to the facts and avoid speculating about the cause or fault of the accident.

Insurance companies have their own process for handling claims, especially in the case of fatal accidents. Be sure to ask about the specific steps and documentation required. This may include a copy of the police report, photographs of the accident scene, and any relevant medical reports.

Understanding your policy coverage is also crucial, as it determines the extent of support you can expect. Keep a record of all communications with your insurance company, and feel free to ask for clarifications on any aspects you need help understanding. If you feel overwhelmed or unsure about the process, consider seeking the assistance of a legal professional.

Navigating the Aftermath of a Fatal Accident

In the wake of a fatal car accident, various legal considerations come into play, particularly if you’re directly involved. One critical aspect is the potential for wrongful death claims. These claims are civil lawsuits typically filed by the family of the deceased against the party deemed responsible for the accident. Understanding liability issues is crucial, as they determine who is legally at fault.

Navigating these legal waters can be complex and emotionally taxing. It’s highly recommended to consult with a legal professional who practices in personal injury or wrongful death cases. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on your rights and responsibilities, help you understand the legal process, and represent you in any proceedings. They can also assist in dealing with insurance companies and ensuring that any settlements or claims are fairly negotiated.

The emotional impact of a fatal car accident cannot be understated. Whether you have lost a loved one, were involved in the accident, or witnessed it, the trauma can be profound and long-lasting. Acknowledging the need for emotional support is a vital step in coping with such a loss.

Seeking counseling or therapy can provide a safe space to process your emotions and work through the grief. Many communities in Illinois offer support groups specifically for those affected by fatal car accidents. These groups can be a source of comfort and understanding as they connect you with individuals who have gone through similar experiences. Additionally, there are various resources available, including mental health professionals and crisis helplines, which can offer immediate support and guidance.

Navigating the aftermath of a fatal car accident in Illinois involves a series of important steps. From fulfilling legal obligations and reporting the accident to dealing with insurance companies and addressing the emotional fallout, each aspect requires careful consideration and action. Understanding these steps and being prepared can significantly aid in managing the complex and challenging journey that follows a fatal car accident.

Engaging an Attorney After a Fatal Car Accident in Illinois

In the wake of a fatal car accident in Illinois, one of the most critical decisions you may face is determining when to engage an attorney. This decision is pivotal because the aftermath of such an accident often involves complex legal and financial considerations that can have long-term implications. Understanding the right time to seek legal counsel can significantly influence the outcome of any subsequent claims or legal actions.

Assessing the Need for Legal Representation

The immediate aftermath of a fatal car accident is usually marked by confusion and emotional turmoil. Amidst dealing with grief and shock, it’s essential to recognize situations where legal assistance is necessary. If the accident results in a fatality, the complexity of legal issues typically escalates, making it advisable to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A wrongful death attorney can provide crucial guidance on various matters, including the investigation of the accident, the interpretation of laws relevant to your case, and the intricacies of insurance claims.

Understanding Legal Implications and Rights

In Illinois, fatal car accidents can lead to potential wrongful death claims and civil lawsuits initiated by the family of the deceased against the party responsible for the accident. These claims seek compensation for losses such as funeral expenses, lost income, and emotional distress. Engaging an attorney early in the process ensures that you understand your legal rights and the potential liabilities you might face. It’s important to note that in wrongful death cases, Illinois law imposes specific time limits for filing claims, known as statutes of limitations. An experienced attorney can ensure that all necessary actions are taken within these legal timeframes.

Navigating Insurance and Financial Matters

Dealing with insurance companies after a fatal accident can be a daunting task. Insurers often have extensive legal resources and may push for quick settlements that may not be in your best interest. An attorney can represent you in these discussions, ensuring that any settlement offer is fair and adequately compensates for the losses incurred. They can also assist in uncovering additional sources of compensation, such as uninsured motorist coverage or third-party liability, which you might not have considered.

The Role of Legal Counsel in Investigations

Another critical role of an attorney in the aftermath of a fatal car accident is assisting in the investigation. They can help gather and preserve crucial evidence, interview witnesses, and consult with accident reconstruction experts. This comprehensive approach to evidence collection is vital for building a strong case, whether it’s for negotiating with insurance companies or preparing for a potential lawsuit.

Emotional Support and Decision-Making

Finally, an often-overlooked aspect of engaging an attorney is the emotional support and clarity they can provide during a challenging time. Making informed decisions while grieving can be extremely difficult. An attorney can take on the burden of managing the legal aspects of your case, allowing you to focus on healing and coping with the loss. They can offer objective advice and help you make decisions that are in your best interest, both in the short and long term.

Engaging an attorney following a fatal car accident in Illinois is a step that should be considered promptly. Legal representation can significantly affect the management of legal, financial, and insurance-related matters following such a tragedy. An attorney’s experience not only helps in navigating the complex legal landscape but also provides a source of support and guidance during a time of overwhelming emotional and personal challenges. By understanding your rights, ensuring timely legal actions, and having an advocate on your side, you can navigate this difficult period with a sense of security and confidence in the pursuit of justice and fair compensation.

Talk To Our Cook County Car Accident Lawyers Now

According to experienced auto accident lawyers, quite a significant number of people due to their lack of awareness don’t exercise their legal rights by filing a claim for the injuries and losses they suffered.

If you file a claim as soon as possible and establish liability, you could get compensated for your medical expenses and the other damages you may have incurred due to the accident. But in order to establish liability, you would require the services of an experienced auto accident lawyer.

Were you injured in an accident? Contact our Cook County car accident lawyers today at The Law Office of Robert T. Edens for your free case evaluation. For immediate assistance, call us at (847) 395-2200.

Steps To Take After An Illinois Car Accident

car accident

Imagine being in a serious auto accident in Chicago on I-90 or I-94. Suddenly, your car is wrecked, and you have severe pain in your back and neck. What will you do to cover your medical bills? How will you provide for your family? When another driver causes the accident, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party.

First, however, you must take several steps after your auto accident outlined below. If you have legal questions or want to file a lawsuit, speak to our Illinois car accident lawyers immediately. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. have fought for the rights of Illinois personal injury victims for two decades.

Call 911

The first thing to do after any auto accident is to call 911 for anyone who is hurt. The police also will usually come to the accident scene. If someone is unconscious from the accident or someone has pain in the back or neck, they should not be moved. Wait for medical professionals to arrive before moving them.

When the ambulance and police arrive, write down the badge numbers and names of all EMTs and police officers. This information will be vital if you file a car accident lawsuit later.

Stay At The Accident Scene

No matter how important your destination is, stay at the accident scene until the police tell you to leave. If you leave the crash scene, you could be charged with hit and run, especially if another party was injured.

Collect Contact Information

Next, write or record the names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information for all drivers in the accident. State law also requires you to give your name, address, and insurance details to other parties in the accident. If other passengers were hurt, also collect their contact details. Furthermore, obtain any witnesses’ contact information and their statements.

Take Photos And Videos

Cell phones are critical tools after a car accident. Use yours to take clear, detailed photos of the accident scene. For example, take pictures of the surroundings, intersection, traffic signs and lights, and skid marks. Next, take images of vehicles involved, damages, and personal injuries.

Your insurance adjuster and your attorney will need these details to determine who was at fault and who will need to pay what. While your lawyer can obtain most accident evidence during the investigation, your personal photos and videos right after the incident can be critical to your case.

Document Your Medical Treatment

If you were hurt, go to the ER immediately so your injuries are documented. Carefully document all treatments you receive and give this information to your insurance provider and attorney. Obtaining damages in a lawsuit requires you to prove you had injuries and other losses and that they were linked to the accident.

Speak To Our Illinois Car Accident Lawyers Today

Were you in a car accident recently in Chicago, Waukegan, Woodstock, or Antioch? Most likely, you have medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that prevent you from living a normal life. With the help of our Illinois car accident lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, you could be on the road to physical and financial recovery. Contact one of our attorneys for a confidential consultation about your car accident case by calling (847) 395-2200.

Why You Should Always Go To The ER After A Serious Car Accident

emergency room

A severe car accident can instantly turn your world upside down with head trauma or broken bones, and you might be unsure what to do next. If you have been injured in a severe car accident, the first step is to go to the ER. Learn in this article why getting prompt medical attention is so important.

Second, contact a Lake County car accident lawyer at The Law Offices Of Robert T. Edens. Our experienced Illinois personal injury attorneys will review your case, answer your questions, and determine if you could receive compensation for your losses. Our law firm has been recognized as one of the top 100 in the state, and we have successfully fought for the rights of auto accident victims for two decades.

Car Accident Injuries Can Be Severe And Often Fatal

Imagine driving at 30 MPH in Lake County through an intersection and suddenly, a truck hits you head-on. The massive crash forces can cause severe sudden stop injuries that could endanger your life. For instance, you could suffer the following injuries in a severe accident:

  • Whiplash and related neck injuries
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Internal bleeding
  • Head injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Concussion

Some crash injuries are apparent after the accident, but others might not be noticeable initially. You might think you are ok, and discover that you can hardly walk the next day, and the delay in care worsened your injuries. To be safe, you should always be looked over in the ER by a medical professional.

Accident Injuries Must Be Medically Documented For A Successful Lawsuit

After a car accident, your health and well-being are paramount, but it also is essential to ensure that your injuries are documented in your medical record. Winning a car accident lawsuit means proving that another party caused the accident and your injuries.

The first step to winning your case is having a licensed medical professional document and connecting your accident injuries to the auto accident. With this vital medical proof, collecting compensation for your injuries will be easier.

Get Medical Attention Even If You Do Not Have Health Insurance

Imagine being in a severe car accident and suddenly remembering you do not have health insurance. You might fear going to the ER or doctor because you think you cannot pay or will be turned away. However, the Illinois Emergency Medical Treatment Act states that ‘no hospital, physician, dentist, or other healthcare provider may refuse to provide needed emergency treatment to any whose life would be threatened.’

Furthermore, if the other party caused the accident, their auto insurance may be required to pay for your medical care and other damages. Not having health insurance should never stop you from seeking treatment after a car accident.

Our Lake County Car Accident Lawyers Will Fight For You

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by another party, you could be entitled to compensation for your economic and non-economic losses. Legal compensation could be for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. Call our Lake County car accident lawyers immediately at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens at (847) 395-2200 for more information.

How Does Daylight Savings Time Increase Car Accidents?

Daylight Savings Time

Many people strongly believe we should have Daylight Saving Time (DST). Some prefer having more light in the evening. Daylight Saving Time begins mid-March. Is it a good idea?

Some evidence suggests that DST leads to a spike in auto-related accidents. More information on this vital topic is below. If you were in a car accident recently, our Lake County car accident lawyers at The Law Office of Robert Edens, P.C. can help.

What Is Daylight Saving Time?

DST is when we move our clocks forward an hour in the spring, as the practice of moving clocks forward an hour in many countries as warmer weather occurs in the spring. Then, the time is turned back to Standard Time in the fall. DST is intended to offer better use of available daylight hours by raising the number of evening hours.

Are There More Car Crashes After DST Begins?

Opinions differ about whether DST is a good idea. However, science suggests that moving clocks ahead one hour in the spring could cause more car crashes. For example, the University of Colorado at Boulder reported in January 2020 that its study of 732,000 crashes over 20 years showed a 6% rise in fatal auto accidents that week. That increase led to approximately 28 more crash deaths every year.

The study was reported in the January 2020 edition of Current Biology. It also noted that the farther west people live in their time zones, the greater the risk of fatal car accidents.

These findings were reported at a time when many states are thinking about doing away with DST. Evidence suggests that DST may increase workplace injuries, strokes, and heart attacks.

Why Does DST Cause More Car Crashes?

Some scientists believe that the loss of an hour in the evening every spring causes Americans to have ‘jetlag’ that is stronger in the first few days after the time change. The symptoms can linger for up to two weeks. Statistics also suggest that drivers lose 40 minutes of sleep on the night of DST in addition to the one-hour change.

Interrupted sleep may tire us, leading to poor decisions and driver fatigue. Also, less light in the morning can have a negative effect on driving safely.

How To Adapt To DST

Reduce your risk of a car accident after DST takes effect with these tips:

  • Reduce cell phone and TV light exposure before bed.
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol, and heavy meals before bed. Eat dinner a few minutes earlier per night.
  • Go to bed 20 minutes earlier each night before the time change.
  • Set your clocks ahead the afternoon before the time change and go to bed at your regular time.

Speak To Our Lake County Car Accident Lawyers Now

Were you in a car accident recently in Lake County near Six Flags Great America, the Chicago Botanic Garden, or another location? Evidence suggests more auto accidents after Daylight Saving Time begins each spring. If you were in an accident caused by someone’s negligence and have injuries, you need a personal injury lawyer. Contact our Lake County car accident lawyers at The Law Office of Robert Edens, P.C. now at (847) 395-2200.

Am I at Fault for a Car Accident on a Slippery Road?

car accident car accident lawyersWhen driving in snowy weather, you may love the outside view and feel cozy inside the vehicle, but the piling up snow or water can on your path prove outright dangerous for you and your family. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, bad weather and wet, slippery road conditions are responsible for half a million crashes and 2000 fatalities in the US every winter.

So what happens when you face a car accident on a slippery road? Are you at fault if your vehicle collides with another? Let’s find out:

Are You Liable in a Bad-Weather Accident?

It’s important to understand here that as a driver, it’s your responsibility to stay aware of the weather conditions and adapt your driving behavior to it. When driving in bad weather, you should anticipate challenges like flooded sections on a roadway, reduced visibility, and slick pavement. Hence, you should not just drive slower than usual but also maintain a greater distance between the vehicle and other cars. Apart from maintaining control, you must take all reasonable measures to avoid collisions.

In case your road accident occurred near your home, you must have been aware of the poor weather conditions, and thus, sections of the roads should be prone to standing water. Ignoring everything, you chose to drive fast and tailgate a vehicle in front of you. You’re certainly at fault for the collision, as it clearly indicates that you were negligent in adapting your driving to the weather.

If, however, you did everything in your power to avoid an accident, you have all the rights to argue that you were not at fault or even that the other driver was negligible. This can be true if that car’s taillights had burned out, its driver switched the lane without prior indication or another type of negligence on their part.

However, proving your point in weather-related accidents is not as easy as it sounds. Investigators will not just take your word into account, but they will also consider the stance of the opposing party as well as interview other people, evaluate the traffic congestion at the time, closely assess the road conditions and the vehicles involved in a collision, and even the black box data from cars before reaching a verdict.

Personal Injury Attorney

Hence, you need strong legal representation to succeed in a car accident case associated with bad weather. While there are many car accident lawyers out there, no one beats Robert T. Edens. Whether you faced the collision in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock, or Antioch, IL, Robert Edens is ready to help you out.