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.
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
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Personal Injury Lawyer
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.
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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.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
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.
Either the police or DMV.
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
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.
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