The Cook County Sheriff’s office has charged a 36 year old EMT with failing to stop and render aid in a fatal hit-and-run accident. The accident happened in the Chicago suburb of Skokie on November 5, 2012.
Detectives charged Kristian Hernandez, 36, with a Class 1 felony for leaving the scene and failing to report a fatal accident. He was held on a $100,000 bond, after being charged on November 9, 2012.
A cyclist reported the accident to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. He told officers that he was riding his bicycle down Touhy Avenue near Axehead Lake Forest Preserve, when he saw a body near the roadway in the Maine Township. Officers responding to the information found the body of Ronald Bougan, 53, of Park Ridge. Bulletins were sent out containing information about the accident and possible information identifying the vehicle involved. Detectives also started canvassing body shops for a vehicle matching some damaged parts left at the scene.
Subsequent investigation revealed that a black Dodge Challenger had been taken to a Skokie body shop for an estimate to repair damages consistent with the hit-and-run being investigated. It was discovered that the driver of the car was an EMT for a Skokie ambulance service and detectives began surveillance. Kristian Hernandez was arrested Wednesday and he admitted involvement in the fatal accident.
Being arrested is not new to Hernandez. He has been arrested seven times before for various offenses, including domestic battery, violating a protective order and being in possession of a stolen vehicle. His court date is set for December 4, 2012.
Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians usually result in serious injuries or death. The unprotected human body is simply no match for being struck by any type of vehicle. For cyclists and pedestrians to recover damages for their medical expenses and lost wages, it is incumbent upon them to prove that the driver who struck them was negligent. They also must prove that the driver’s negligence caused the resulting injuries.
It is not unusual in a pedestrian or a cyclist accident for the cost of medical care and other losses to exceed the liability limits of the person who caused the accident. The Illinois Financial Responsibility Law requires that individuals carry minimum liability limits of 20/40/15. This means that the maximum limit of liability per person is $20,000, the maximum limit of liability per accident is $40,000 and the maximum liability limit for property damage is $15,000.
If the injuries and damages exceed the liability limits of the person who caused them, it is possible to make a claim under the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) of your own automobile insurance policy. It will provide coverage if you are a pedestrian or a cyclist and injured by an uninsured motorist, a hit-and-run driver or someone with inadequate coverage to compensate you. Your under insured/uninsured motorist coverage provides for coverage up to the limits of your policy and in excess of the limits of the negligent driver’s insurance, provided your UM/UIM limits exceed his.
If you or someone you know has suffered catastrophic injuries or suffered the loss of a loved because of a hit-and-run driver, you need to seek the advice of a Chicago attorney experience in handling pedestrian and cyclist accidents.