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Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer

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Jonathan Rosenfeld


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A hit-and-run accident is when a driver crashes into another car, pedestrian, bicyclist, or any other road user and the driver flees the accident scene without providing their contact information.

These accidents add unique stressors to the already traumatizing experience of being in a car crash. You don’t know who caused the accident and since they didn’t leave any contact or insurance information, you won’t know where compensation for your damages will come from.

The inability to seek compensation may also impact your physical health as the lack of funds may make it difficult to get the medical attention you require to make a full recovery.

Whether you have a hit-and-run accident case depends on two essential elements. You must have been in a vehicle collision caused by another driver, and they must have fled the scene immediately after the accident.

What to Do Immediately After a Hit-and-Run Accident

From the vehicle crashing into you to speeding away, a hit-and-run accident can be over in seconds. You might need a moment to find your bearings but by then the person responsible is already long gone. What you do next can significantly impact the outcome of your case. 

  • Don’t Chase the Driver: You’ll be tempted to chase after the other driver to try and catch them. Never do that as that undermines your claim. Remain at the accident scene until law enforcement shows up.
  • Call the Police: Report the accident to the police. Let the officer know it was a hit-and-run. If you managed to get a look at the car, provide them with the relevant details so they may be able to apprehend the suspect.
  • Check for Injuries: Take a moment and check if you or others in the car have been injured. Seek medical attention immediately for any injuries, however minor they seem. It’s always best to call emergency services immediately after the accident.
  • Interview Witnesses: There may have been people around who saw the accident. Ask them if they remember specific details about the car that hit you, such as its make, model, and license plate number.

What Evidence to Collect From Your Hit-and-Run Accident

Hit-and-run accidents are challenging cases because you’re essentially operating in the dark. You don’t know who the hit-and-run driver is, what car they were driving, or whether they were in an impaired state. You hope someone somewhere has the information you need to find that person. That’s why it’s so important to collect vital evidence from the accident scene to help locate the driver.

  • Witness Statements: Approach witnesses who saw the accident happen to provide statements. They may remember details about the car, such as its color or make. Obtain their contact information in case they’re required to testify later on.
  • Physical Evidence: Take a walk around your car to see if you can find any physical evidence, such as a broken taillight, bumper, or any personal effects that may have fallen out of the other driver’s car.
  • Photos and Videos: It’s possible someone recorded the car speeding away on their phone after the accident. There may be security cameras around that captured the accident. Other vehicles may have dash cams with footage of the crash. Consider all possible sources that may offer this vital evidence.
  • Police Report: The police will have put together an accident report with details about how the accident happened based on their conversations with you and any witnesses. This can prove to be useful evidence to establish the at-fault party for the accident.
  • Medical Reports: If you need immediate medical attention after the accident, the medical report will highlight the severity of the injuries suffered, and help in accurately valuing your medical costs for damages.

Hit-and-Run Accidents Are Complex, Let Our Lawyers Guide You

Pursuing hit-and-run accidents is far more complicated than any other car accident case. Depending on the facts of your case, it may even be prosecuted as a crime. This requires advanced knowledge of the law and relevant procedures, which is why it’s always better to contact a hit-and-run accident lawyer for a detailed consultation on your case. 

There are also specific challenges unique to hit-and-run cases. Figuring out the identity of the negligent driver is one of the biggest. The scarcity of witnesses also complicates matters.

Securing vital evidence might require coordinating with different law enforcement and government departments, and approaching businesses and homes around the accident site for security footage. 

Beyond the effort, all of this requires considerable time, time you may not be able to spare after being in an accident.

Jonathan Rosenfeld Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

You don’t need to be alone in your quest for justice. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we have over two decades of experience handling hit-and-run accident cases, securing millions in compensation for victims. We recently obtained a $250,000 settlement for one of our clients struck in a hit-and-run accident while riding their bicycle, enabling them to get their life back on track.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Hit-and-Run Attorney?

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we’re committed to ensuring access to justice for all. It won’t cost you anything upfront to hire us. We’ll take your case on a contingency fee basis. This means we’ll do everything to get you a fair settlement without charging a single cent. Our fee will only be a percentage of your confirmed settlement.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Hit-and-Run Case?

The statute of limitations is a legal deadline by which a case for car accidents must be filed. Filing beyond the deadline makes you ineligible to claim compensation. The statute of limitations for a hit-and-run case is typically two years from the date of the accident in most states, but it can vary by state.

For example, it’s two years in Illinois but four years in Nebraska. North Dakota’s statute of limitations is six years whereas New York’s is three years. On average, the limitation for filing a hit-and-run car accident case is two years in the majority of the states. Working with an auto accident lawyer ensures you don’t miss these crucial deadlines.

Who Can You Sue in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?

An injured person typically sues the other driver in a personal capacity and also seeks to get compensated by their insurance company. If the negligent driver can’t be located, and there’s no information about their insurance provider, the only other option is to seek financial compensation from your own insurance company.

What Happens If the Driver Isn’t Located?

Your options to receive compensation will be limited if the driver isn’t located, but all is not lost. You can file personal injury claims against your own car insurance policy if you have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. You can get this coverage from insurance companies to help pay for the injuries you suffered as well as for the damages to your vehicle in such accidents.

Does Fault Impact Your Claim?

In at-fault states, the driver who caused the accident is liable to pay for the damages. A claim is filed with their insurance company. In a no-fault insurance state, all drivers are required to have personal injury protection coverage. This helps pay for their medical expenses after auto accidents, regardless of who was at fault, so you file the claim with your own insurance company.

This doesn’t necessarily impact your ability to file a claim. You may file a claim against the driver if the accident resulted in a death or the damages exceed a monetary threshold defined by the no-fault state. Having legal representation from a personal injury attorney will help effectively navigate these challenges.

You still have the right to recover compensation from the driver who fled if you were in a hit-and-run accident and don’t have your own insurance coverage, albeit your options will be limited. It’s best to seek legal help from a hit-and-run lawyer if you find yourself in this situation to utilize all legal options.

Work with a hit-and-run accident attorney to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, assuming they’ve been located. In addition to filing a claim with insurance companies, you may also consider suing the hit-and-run driver personally to cover your damages. 

Hit-and-Run Cases We Handle

As leading car accident attorneys, we have considerable experience handling different types of hit-and-run accidents, so regardless of how your accident happened, we’ll be able to help you get justice and recover compensation.

  • Car Collisions – The other driver crashes into you while you’re in your vehicle and leaves the scene after the accident
  • Pedestrian Collisions – You were walking and were struck by a driver who fled
  • Bicycle Collisions – You were hit by the other driver while riding a bicycle and they left the scene
  • Property Damage – Your property, such as a parked car, was hit by the other driver who didn’t leave their information

Common Injuries Sustained in Hit-and-Run Car Accidents

As with any car accident, victims can suffer a wide range of injuries in a hit-and-run collision, including severe injuries that may lead to permanent disability or even death.

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries – Blunt force trauma to the head can result in serious brain injuries leading to disability and death.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries – Damage to the spinal cord in an accident can cause paraplegia or quadriplegia to hit-and-run victims.
  • Internal Bleeding – Trauma to different areas of the body may lead to internal bleeding causing organ damage.
  • Lacerations – Cuts from metal and glass that breaks in an accident can damage the skin with deep cuts and bruises.
  • Fractures – Bones can easily fracture in an accident, particularly if the collision impact is significant.

What Causes People to Flee From the Scene of an Accident?

People often panic after causing an accident and flee out of fear. Some do it on purpose to evade responsibility. Others may have an outstanding warrant for another crime and want to avoid getting arrested. 

Perhaps they were driving without a license or the car was stolen. An intoxicated driver may flee the scene of an accident because they don’t want to be charged with a DUI. 

Alcohol or drug use does impact the likelihood of a hit-and-run accident. Intoxicated drivers aren’t able to exercise sound judgment. They’ll commonly flee in a panic knowing they would likely be arrested for driving under the influence and causing an accident. There’s historical data to back this up:

  • Studies as far back as 1990 have shown that drunk drivers leave the scene in a significant percentage of hit-and-run pedestrian accidents [1]
  • Past data also shows that a third of all hit-and-run cases are caused by drunk drivers [2] 

If you are seriously injured and are taken to the hospital immediately from the scene of an accident, that wouldn’t be held against you. 

It’s also fine after you’ve exchanged information with the other driver and all parties mutually agree to leave the scene, provided the damage and injuries are insignificant. However, it’s best to wait for law enforcement to arrive so an official accident report is prepared.

Hit-and-run drivers can face several different legal consequences for their actions, including jail time, financial penalties, and suspension of their driver’s license. Consequences may include::

The civil consequences stemming from a hit-and-run accident are largely financial, in that the at-fault driver is required to pay for the injuries and damage caused to the victim. This may include compensating them for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.

The driver may be personally sued by the victim, or their family in a wrongful death case, even if they have insurance coverage. Civil liability is entirely separate from any criminal liability resulting from the hit-and-run accident. 

Hit-and-run accidents can lead to criminal charges for the perpetrator in most jurisdictions, particularly if they have a past record of similar offenses. Based on the extent of injuries caused or if victims are killed in the accident, the fleeing driver may see imprisonment, fines, and suspension of their license. 

Criminal liability, or lack thereof, doesn’t impact civil liability. A fleeing driver may be found not guilty in a criminal trial but that wouldn’t impact the outcome of their civil case, where they still may be held financially accountable for the accident.

Whether a hit-and-run qualifies as a felony depends on the traffic laws applicable in each state. It will typically qualify as a felony if the victim was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident, killed, or if there was significant damage beyond a monetary threshold and the perpetrator fled the scene. 

Felonies come with serious jail time and past offenses only add to the harshness of the sentence. Leaving the scene of the accident is still a crime, even if it doesn’t qualify as a felony, and could be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.

What Kind of Compensation Is Typically Pursued for Hit-and-Run Accidents?

Given that hit-and-run accidents can also qualify as criminal offenses, it may influence the compensation you can receive as the victim. The following types of compensation are typically pursued in these cases:

  • Economic and Non-Economic Damages – You’re entitled to be compensated for medical expenses, property damage, physical therapy, lost wages, lost income potential, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.
  • Punitive Damages – These damages are primarily awarded to punish the hit-and-run driver for their extremely negligent actions and to prevent the responsible party from making a similar mistake in the future.
  • Wrongful Death – Family members of victims killed in a hit-and-run accident can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages for funeral expenses and loss of consortium.

Contact a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer If You Have More Questions!

Jonathan Rosenfeld, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, it’s vital that you contact an experienced hit-and-run lawyer as soon as possible, so the fleeing driver can quickly be identified, located, and brought to justice. Delaying this could mean they are never held accountable for their actions.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we’re dedicated to helping hit-and-run car accident victims recover maximum compensation. Our lawyers will evaluate all legal aspects of your case in a no-obligation consultation, develop an effective strategy to pursue a claim, and will fight for you throughout the legal process at no upfront fee. 

Give us a call at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation of your case.

Resources: [1] Pubmed, [2] TRID

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

– Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

– Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

– Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

– Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother’s death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

– Lisa

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Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers
225 W Wacker Dr #1660
Chicago, IL 60606

Phone: (847) 835-8895
Toll Free: (888) 424-5757

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