Being involved in a hit-and-run in Illinois can be a frightening experience for any driver. Illinois state law considers any accident a hit-and-run if a driver leaves the scene without exchanging information with the other party involved. It is also a hit-and-run if a driver hits an object—such as a parked car or fence—and leaves without finding the owner and informing them of the accident. Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal in Illinois and comes with penalties that you will face if you are found, including civic penalties as well as increased insurance costs. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team took a close look at Illinois hit-and-run to help you know what you should do if you are involved in one.

Hit-and-runs in Illinois

There is some indication that hit-and-runs are increasing nationally. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), deaths from hit-and-run accidents increased 26 percent between 2019 and 2020. In Illinois, laws have been put into place to deter individuals from leaving an accident prematurely.

Illinois hit-and-run laws

Illinois law regarding hit-and-run accidents requires that a driver who is involved in an accident causing bodily injury or property damage do the following:

  • Stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to it as possible.
  • Exchange their name, address, VIN and driver’s license information with any other drivers involved in the accident.
  • Exchange insurance policy information, including company name, policy number and telephone number of the company.
  • Provide assistance to any persons injured in the accident.

The penalties for a hit and run in Illinois vary depending upon the severity of injuries and circumstances of the accident.

  • Accidents with an unattended vehicle: If you don’t stop and leave your information on an unattended vehicle you hit, this is a Class A misdemeanor with penalties that could include up to a year in jail and a potential fine of up to $2,500 plus court assessments.
  • Accidents causing only property damage: If you leave the scene in this case it is also a Class A misdemeanor with the same potential penalties. If damage exceeds $1,000, your driver’s license could be suspended for one year.
  • Accidents causing injury: Fleeing the scene in this case is a Class 4 felony. The penalties include imprisonment between one to three years and fines up to $25,000. Your license may also be revoked. If you fail to report the accident to the police within 30 minutes, you graduate to a Class 2 felony. Penalties include imprisonment of 3-7 years, a fine up to $25,000 and revocation of your license.
  • Accidents causing death: If you fail to stop for an accident that results in a death, you are also guilty of a Class 4 felony. The penalties are the same as accidents causing injury but, in addition, if you do not report the accident to law enforcement, you can be found guilty of a Class 1 felony and the penalties include imprisonment from four to fifteen years, a fine up to $25,000 and the revocation of your driver’s license.

Compare auto insurance rates

Answer a few questions to see personalized rates from top carriers.
Your information is kept secure

Powered by (NPN: 19966249)

Advertising disclosure
This advertisement is powered by, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions., LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). services are only available in states where it is licensed. may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Illinois

If you are found guilty of a hit-and-run in Illinois, you are likely to pay more than the average car insurance premium. A driver with a clean record in the state pays an average of $679 for minimum coverage and $2,303 for a full coverage policy. Your rate increases by an average of 45 percent after an accident to $3,345. Keep in mind that your own rate is likely to differ from the average and could even be higher.

You may also be required to obtain an SR-22 certificate if you are in a hit-and-run accident in Illinois. This is a form that is sent by your insurer to the Illinois secretary of state indicating that you do have a car insurance policy that meets illinois’ minimum insurance requirements.

5 things to do after a hit-and-run in Illinois

If you are the innocent party in a hit-and-run accident, it can be helpful to review the steps you should take. Something you should not do is try to chase down the guilty driver. This is a job for the police, and you could risk endangering yourself if you attempt to follow them. Instead, move away from traffic, stay calm and consider the following steps:

  1. Assess injuries and call for help: determine as quickly as possible if either you or your passengers sustained any injuries. If so, contact 911. It’s best to err on the side of caution if you’re not sure—a person might experience an injury such as whiplash and not be immediately aware of it. Getting medical help as soon as possible can help make for a speedier recovery.
  2. Move out of traffic: If you are impeding the flow of traffic, and your car is drivable, move it off the road onto a verge or side road to avoid causing another accident and for your own safety. If your car is not drivable, contact roadside assistance for help moving it.
  3. Call the police: it’s a good idea to call the police even if damage seems minor. Having a written police report will help back up your insurance claim if you decide to submit one.
  4. Take photos: if you can do so without endangering yourself, take photos of your car and the location where the accident happened. If there are witnesses, ask them for their contact info. This can be helpful for your insurance company when they are determining the severity of the claim and any injuries or property damage.
  5. Contact your insurer: If you decide to file a claim, contact your insurance company. Often you can file a claim via its website, but it can be helpful to talk to an agent who can answer your questions and help you understand what your policy will cover.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Unfortunately, you may never be able to locate the driver who fled the scene even with the assistance of law enforcement. But your insurance policy may provide coverage for a hit-and-run accident in several ways in Illinois:

  • Collision: Collision coverage is an important component of your policy because it may pay your costs to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in the accident. You will need to pay the amount of any deductible out of your own pocket.
  • Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage: A UM policy will provide coverage for bodily injury and property damage sustained by you and the passengers in your vehicle in the event that you never locate the other driver or he or she is uninsured.
  • Medical payments: A medical payments policy in Illinois may pay the medical expenses for you and your passengers up to the policy limits. This is helpful if you cannot access the other driver’s insurance policy.

Frequently asked questions

    • There is no insurance that is specifically for hit-and-run accidents, although some common coverage types, such as collision and uninsured motorist insurance, may pay for damages from a hit-and-run accident. To find the best policy for your needs, ask for quotes from several companies to see which one gives you the lowest price. Consider starting your search with Bankrate’s picks for the best car insurance. These companies consistently excel at price, coverage options and more.
    • The average cost of car insurance in Illinois is $679 for minimum coverage and $2,303 for full coverage, which includes the state-mandated liability insurance plus collision and comprehensive coverage. Your own rate is likely to differ from the average, however, since it is based on multiple characteristics that are unique to you and your vehicle, such as your credit rating, driving history and your car’s make and model.
    • That depends on the severity of the accident. If the only damage is to property, such as a vehicle or stationary object, it is a Class A misdemeanor. If you leave the scene of an accident that led to injuries or death, it is considered a Class 4 felony with correspondingly higher potential penalties. In addition, in an accident that causes death, if you do not report the accident to law enforcement after the fact, you may be found guilty of a Class 1 felony, which may lead to penalties that include a four to fifteen-year prison sentence, fines of up to $25,000 and the loss of your driver’s license.
    • It depends, again, on the severity of the accident. A hit-and-run that does minor damage may remain on your record for four to five years. A more serious accident, however, is likely to stay on your record for up to seven years, especially if the accident resulted in the suspension or revocation of your license. Your insurance company will have access to this information when it determines your premium rate.