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How to get a persons name who hit and ran from a car accident?

Chicago, IL |

I was involved in a hit and run, a witness got the plate number and another witness confirmed it. Can I, without a lawyer get this persons name so I can sue him as I only have liability insurance. If so how do I go about it? I do have a police report and the witness is willing to testify on my behalf.

Thanks in advance.

Attorney Answers 6

  1. Likely, you will be unable to do this.

    The best option is to either work with the local police in asking for their help or with a lawyer, who has resources not availble to the average citizen making it easier to either identify or pressure a hit and run driver into paying.

    In addition to a lawsuit, lawyers can retain investigators, and there are ways to have the offender's drivers' license suspended. But this is a tricky area and I strongly suggest retaining an attorney if you were injured.

    This is yet another reason to make sure you maintain the maximum amount of insurance for your vehicle; you may be left on your own if this person cannot be located or is not insured.

    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.

  2. You should talk to the police--they should find them and charge them. As for insurance, if your vehicle was covered and the other guy was not (or if you can't find him/her), you should have coverage through your own policy for property damage and personal injuries caused by uninsured drivers, which includes hit-and-run cases; but be careful to demand arbitration in writing and name an arbitrator according to the policy's requirements--talk to an attorney ASAP.

    Please note that any answers provided on by Christopher M. Kennedy are for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship. Before agreeing to any client engagement, we must run a conflicts check and agree in writing to serve as your attorney. Please do not publish or email any information that discloses personal information or details about your case; if you wish to email us, please simply send your contact information and a general statement about the type of matter you would like us to review. Note that you will not be a client of our firm or Mr. Kennedy unless and until you sign a client representation agreement or you receive a written statement from us confirming that we represent you (an "engagement letter"). Thank you for your interest in the Law Office of Christopher M. Kennedy, P.C.

  3. If you were injured, you really need an attorney. If you were not injured, no attorney would take the case. The completed police report should have all necessary information. You probably just have the "motorist report" (usually pink). Most municipalities and State police have the reports available online or you can always go to the police department to purchase one. Get multiple estimates for the repair to your car. Enter those as exhibits in your Small Claims action.

    Recognize that the most common reason for someone to leave the scene is that they do not have insurance. If that is the case, you may still recover but it may take a very long time.

    Maintaining full coverage on your cars would save you a very big headache.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate by clicking the up icon. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. 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. Links:

  4. In and of itself, you can likely find out the name and address of the owner of the offending vehicle by contacting the Illinois Dept of Motor Vehicle. Assuming that your State holds the owner of a vehicle vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver, you can bring a suit agains the owner for your damages claim. As part of any litigation, you can demand that the owner disclose the identity of the driver.

  5. Either the police or DMV.

  6. A local car accident attorney will use there private investigator to run the plate information on the car that was at fault for the accident.

    24 Hour Attorney Call Center (314) 361-4242 or visit us on the Web at

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