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Hit-and-Run Accidents on the Rise

Posted on in Lake County Injury Attorney

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,In late July, a 54-year-old Tinley Park woman was struck and killed in hit-and-run accident just after midnight. The woman, a pedestrian, was not immediately killed, but later succumbed to injuries in a nearby hospital. Her story is not uncommon. While several other types of common contributing factors to motor vehicle accidents have continued to decline—such as drinking and driving—the instances of hit-and-runs have actually continued to increase in recent years.

Data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration  shows that the number of fatal hit-and-run accidents has increased from 1,274 in 2009 to 1,393 in 2010, to 1,449 in 2011. In the same period, there was an almost 14 percent increase in the number of fatalities which occurred in these accidents, meaning that not only are hit-and-runs becoming more common, they are becoming more severe as well.

Most hit-and-run perpetrators are especially difficult for police to track down, and they often are never apprehended. This is because surveillance cameras are rarely high-quality enough to capture license plates or facial images of the driver, and a lot of the time, bystanders or would-be witnesses do not want to get involved. Primary evidence for officials to recover information about the crime disappears immediately following the crime itself.

Perhaps another contributing factor as to why hit-and-run accidents continue to increase even as other types of traffic accidents decline is because of the oftentimes light punishments that accompanies this type of crime. When a hit-and-run driver flees the scene and later turns herself in, she is sometimes given only a very short probation sentence and community service.

Under Illinois law, leaving the scene of an accident is only a Class A misdemeanor, and a driver has up to 10 days to submit a written report of the accident to the case administrator.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a hit-and-run accident, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Do not go through it alone. Contact an experienced Lake County accident attorney today.

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