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Hit-and-Run Accidents on the Rise

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois car accident lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, car wrecks,A woman had to have her hand amputated after a grisly crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway and the man responsible was held in lieu of $100,000 bond after leaving the scene of the accident, according to news reports. The man was driving very fast when he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the woman’s car. Her vehicle flipped, landing on its hood. Two witnesses saw the responsible man stop and run toward the scene of the accident, but he left before officers arrived. One possible reason why the man initially approached the accident and then fled the scene is because he had been drinking or otherwise had reason not to be driving. Results of a DUI test administered to him after his arrest were not immediately available.

If you are in a motor vehicle accident, no matter who is at fault, the most important step is to stay put, providing you are not in danger by doing so. Leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime that oftentimes carries a heftier sentence than whatever caused the accident in the first place. According to DeadlyRoads.com, Illinois state law clearly states that in the event of an accident that has caused injury or death to anyone involved, drivers of both vehicles are required to stay at the scene of the accident. If a person leaves the scene, he or she has a half hour grace period in which they are required to report the accident and state his or her involvement in it. Any person who fails to comply “shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony,” according to Illinois State Law.

Regardless of the harsh penalties for hit-and-runs, statistics point to the fact that these types of accidents are on the rise. Statistics show the number of hit-and-run crashes increased from 1,274 in 2009 to 1,393 in 2010 and then again to 1,449 in 2011. Despite the fact that the number of overall traffic deaths decreased 4.5 percent from 2009 to 2011, there was a 13.7 percent increase in hit-and-run deaths.  AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety President and CEO Peter Kissinger has stated the problem is bigger than most people are aware.

A significant number of hit-and-run accidents involve alcohol or drivers who are driving without a valid license. They assume that if they stay at the scene they will face more serious charges; the truth is that leaving the scene often results in stricter punishments.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a hit-and-run crash or charged with one, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Chicago accident attorney today.

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