How do I get a hit and run driver to pay for the damage they caused?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I get a hit and run driver to pay for the damage they caused?

I was facing west. I was waiting in the
left turn lane behind two vehicles. East
bound traffic had cleared. The two
vehicles in front of me and myself
started to turn south. I was hit in the
rear passenger side by a vehicle who
was in the lane to continue going west.
I was just at the crosswalk when I was
hit so I put my vehicle in park to assess
the situation. As I exited my vehicle the
driver of the vehicle that hit me sped
around my vehicle and proceeded to
turn south on a red light. This occurred
at 420pm, rush hour traffic, because of
this I was able to catch up to the
vehicle that hit me and I took a picture
of their license plate. I went
immediately to the police station to ask
for a police report. The officer filled out
an Illinois Motorist Report and marked
it as a hit and run. The damage is less
than 1500, I would assume. They
were able to run the plate that I gave
them. The registered owner fit the
description that I gave the officer
originally. I have their information. How
do I get them to pay for the damage
they caused?

Asked on April 5, 2017 under Accident Law, Illinois


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you can obtain insurance information from the at-fault party or have your insurance company obtain that information, you can then file a property damage claim with the at-fault party's insurance carrier.
If the at-fault party does not have insurance and you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file an uninsured motorist claim with  your insurance carrier to have your car repaired.  Your insurance carrier will then sue the at-fault party for the amount it expended on the claim.
If the at-fault party does not have auto insurance and you don't have uninsured motorist coverage, your only recourse is to sue the at-fault party for negligence in small claims court.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the cost of repairs (property damage) to your car.  Upon prevailing in the case, you can recover court costs which include the court filing fee and process server fee.
You can enforce the judgment against the defendant with a wage garnishment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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