What if the person who hit me doesn’t have insurance?
The Illinois Secretary of State has declared that Illinois has a mandatory insurance law that requires vehicle liability insurance in the following minimum amounts:
- $25,000 — Injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 — Injury or death of more than one person in one accident
- $20,000 — Property damage
A person must always carry their insurance card in their vehicle and show it upon request by any law enforcement officer. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), an estimated 13.7 percent of drivers in Illinois are uninsured, and neighboring Indiana had the eighth-highest rate in the country, with 16.7 percent of drivers there being uninsured.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Insurance Company Responsibility
When you were involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, that driver is still personally liable for all damages connected to the crash. The driver may not have the personal wealth or assets to satisfy payment of any judgment against them, so legal actions could end up being something of a waste.
The good news is that many automobile insurance companies also provide uninsured motorist coverage. A person can usually file an uninsured motorist claim with their insurer to seek compensation for all harm stemming from an accident. Still, you must not assume that an insurance company is going to be looking out for you just because you are a paying customer.
On the contrary, all insurance companies are motivated only to protect their bottom lines, often at the expense of people who are relying on compensation for numerous kinds of damages. You can probably expect to deal with significant delays in the mere investigation by an insurer into your accident and what the insurance company ultimately offers you could be well short of what you had been hoping for.
Individual attempts to recover compensation from insurance companies can lead to people having to file lawsuits against their insurers. Litigation may become necessary when an insurance company is refusing to provide a satisfactory settlement for an uninsured accident victim.
Some people also have underinsured motorist coverage, which is different from uninsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist claims involve drivers who were insured, but whose limits will not be high enough to cover all damages involved in an accident.
Your uninsured motorist coverage should afford you coverage for numerous kinds of damages. You are usually entitled to have all of your past and future medical bills covered as well as any lost wages, but there can also be noneconomic damage awards such as pain and suffering.
Other Potentially Liable Parties
You also should not assume that an uninsured driver is necessarily the only liable party in your accident case. When that uninsured driver was operating a company vehicle, you could have a possible claim against an employer.
Similarly, the dram shop in Illinois also allows a person to bring a claim for damages against a vendor who supplied alcohol to an intoxicated motorist when an uninsured driver was driving under the influence (DUI). You will want to work with an experienced attorney so you can explore all possible third party claims that could apply to your case when the negligent driver was uninsured.
Hurt in an Accident with an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist? We Can Help
If a motorist who did not have insurance hit you, there is a chance that you could still recover compensation from your UI/UM coverage in your policy or a third party could potentially be liable for the injuries you suffered and damage to your property. To find out more about your legal options, contact an experienced Danville car accident lawyer at Spiros Law, P.C. for help.