When any kind of motor vehicle accident occurs in Illinois, state traffic laws require the drivers involved to follow certain procedures immediately afterward. Generally, those involved in an accident must stay at the scene immediately after it occurs, get medical help for anyone in need, and wait for police to arrive. If any party doesn’t comply, the could face serious charges for leaving the scene of an accident.
Also known as a “hit and run,” Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-402(a) states:
The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such motor vehicle accident or as close thereto as possible, but shall forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such motor vehicle accident until the requirements of Section 11-403 have been fulfilled.
The penalty for this charge of leaving the scene of an accident is a Class A Misdemeanor. The range of penalties are up to 364 days in jail, probation/conditional discharge/court supervision up to 24 months and fines up to $2,500.
In the case of a driver striking an unattended vehicle or some other stationary property (such as a mailbox or fence), the drive is required by law to make a reasonable effort to identify the property owner and alert them as to what happened by. This might include:
- Taking down the vehicle’s license number if a parked car is damaged, or
- Leaving a written notice at the scene (with the driver’s identifying information) if other property is damaged
In all cases where a driver is faced with charges of leaving the scene of an accident , it is important to contact a skilled traffic lawyer as early in the process as possible. For quality legal representation in Rockford, Machesney Park, Loves Park, Winnebago County or in the surrounding Illinois communities, contact the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett for a free consultation. Call us at (815) 391-0089, contact us securely through the form on this page, or email our office.