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Daughter was involved in a hit and run accident with an off duty police office under the influence. What should i do?

Alton, IL |

officer fled the scene of accident and got in another wreck. DUI.

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Attorney answers 7


For many reasons, I strongly recommend talking to a lawyer immediately.

Since there was a hit and run and an off-duty cop, and questions of possible uninsured motorist coverage, possible punitive counts due to the involvement of alcohol, all of which are issues that you definitely can't handle without a lawyer, I think get a consult with a lawyer before you do anything ele.

Hopefully, your daughter was not badly hurt. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

Donald Solomon Nathan

Donald Solomon Nathan


All of the answers here are good ones, but the key is to act as soon as you can to get a lawsuit on file. The claim for your daughter is not one that is going to be settled for its real value outside of a lawsuit. You need an experienced trial lawyer for this kind of matter. See my comment above. Donald Nathan 630-758-1500



Thank you everyone for your guidance and information.


Immediately consult with experienced personal injury lawyers in the area where the collision occurred. Investigation needs to be done to determine wher he was drinking in addition to other information.

Donald Solomon Nathan

Donald Solomon Nathan


It's critical you act immediately. The statute of limitations as to the bar that got that cop drunk is just one year. You need to join more than just the bar. Only an attorney experienced in Dram Shop Law can help you with this, and many good personal injury lawyers know next to nothing about this area of practice. If he was on duty at the time (and he may actually have been), special laws dealing with municipalities may apply. You need a lawyer who has worked with a municipality too. He'll know the laws that apply. Lots of good personal injury lawyers don't know the first thing about this kind of law either. You need to check out the background of any lawyer you are thinking of hiring. Go to his website and see what kind of work he has done and what amount of experience he really has. Lots of them beat on their chests, but nothing counts like hard experience. Anyone who is smart can figure out who knows what he's doing. Whatever you do, do it right away. Time moves like a rocket in cases like your daughter's matter. The sooner investigation is under way and a lawsuit is on file, the sooner she is going to get results. Donald Nathan 630-758-1500


1) Make sure that your daughter has good and immediate medical attention for any injuries that she may have suffered.

2) Make sure that you notify you own insurance company, This may end up being an uninsured motorist claim

3) Consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

The off-duty office most likely has personal insurance on his personal car. If he doesn't, your insurance will have uninsured motorist coverage. If the officer was off-duty, the law affords him no special protection.

Steven A. Sigmond
Law Office of Steven A. Sigmond
345 N. Canal #1208
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 258-8188


If your daughter was injured, she can retain a personal injury lawyer to get compensation. Doesn't matter if the person was a cop or not. Make sure she doesn't make any statements to the insurance company.

Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755


You should find an experienced injury attorney and call for a free consultation right away.

Daniel Buttafuoco

If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. NY Attorney, Daniel Buttafuoco, has been voted BEST LAWYER five years in a row and has represented clients all over the United States. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Daniel Buttafuoco strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in order to ensure proper advice is received.


I strongly recommend you contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. When we are hired in similar circumstances we investigate all possible avenues of recovery. For example, there may be key witnesses to the collision that need to be contacted and interviewed to make sure we can determine who in fact hit your daughter. We will also need to explore if there are other responsible individuals or entities. Lastly, there may be coverage with you or your daughter's insurance company. Here is a recent blog post on my child safety site that might be helpful to you -

I hope your daughter is doing well.

Ken Levinson
Child Injury Lawyer
Chicago, IL


If your daughter is over the age of 18 she must file her lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the accident. If she is under the age of 18 she has 2 years from her 18th birthday to file the lawsuit. Having said that, she may sue for all personal injury damages which includes compensation for property damage, medical treatment, lost income or wages, and pain and suffering damages. Her damages for medical treatment, lost income or wages and pain and suffering cover those damages for all past, present and future medical treatment, lost income or wages and pain and suffering that can be attributed to the accident. Since you state the off duty cop was under the influence your daughter can add a claim or cause of action for punitive damages agaist the cop which is really punishment damages over and above the above stated personal injury damages. Obtaining Punitive damages against a defendant is complicated depending on the facts of the case and the defendant's record of prior convictions, wealth and other factors. I would not try and deal with the cop's insurance adjuster without legal advice. You and your daughter should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer to fully explore her legal rights. Most experienced personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation and accept the case on a contingency fee basis. You or your daughter should not have to put up any money up front since it is customary for the lawyer to advance costs of investigation etc...

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