While our wrongful death attorneys commonly learn of accidents in which an innocent motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian is injured due to a negligent driver, it is especially saddening to learn of hit-and-run accidents. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are common throughout Illinois and often result in serious injuries or fatality. This was the case last Thursday when a tractor-trailer driver killed two people as they changed a tire on the side of the highway and then fled the scene.
CBS Chicago reports the accident took place shortly before 8pm when the couple, 24 and 19-years old, was properly off of the roadway and onto the road’s shoulder. The northbound tractor-trailer flatbed then veered off of the main roadway for unknown reasons and struck them. The report states the couple was dead at the scene and the tractor-trailer driver immediately drove away. Authorities are still searching for the driver and the trailer itself, which a Highway Patrol spokesman believes has damage to its front bumper and headlights. Investigators spoke to representatives from the company that supposedly owns the truck, but they were still unable to locate the driver.
The American Automobile Association found that Illinois hit-and-run accidents have increased by 15% since 2000. From 1994 to 2003, a total of 14,914 people were killed in hit-and-run crashes in the United States, about 60% of these victims having been pedestrians. Chicago Tribune reports that there have been three serious hit-and-run accidents downtown already this month. Surviving victims of these accidents report that they feel especially violated because they were not only struck by a vehicle, but the driver of the vehicle showed no remorse and failed to stop to see if the victims were okay.
Our law firm believes it is important for all drivers to know what to do if involved in a hit-and-run accident. Illinois laws state that after any type of collision with an individual or another vehicle, the driver is legally required to stop, make a reasonable effort to contact the other party, and remain at the scene until authorities have been notified. If the driver fails to take these steps after the accident and flees the scene, prison time and fines may be issued as a result. Victims should make every attempt to identify the vehicle and/or driver if he does leave the scene in the case that a witness is needed to prove the driver was responsible for the accident.
In this accident, the victims were stopped on the side of the road when the tractor-trailer hit them. Our lawyers want to remind all motorists remember to pull all the way onto the shoulder of highways or interstates if you need to make a call, address a mechanical failure, etc. Always remain aware of your surroundings and be cautious for trucks and cars driving past you.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents have the right to seek legal action to cover personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of the crash. Our law firm has handled numerous cases and represents individuals who were wrongfully killed or injured because of driver negligence and may be able to help you find justice for the harms caused to you.