There are millions of cars on the road in Illinois, and most of the drivers in those vehicles carry an insurance policy. However, about one in eight drivers doesn’t have an active policy on their vehicle.
If you get into a crash caused by one of those irresponsible, uninsured drivers, you will be in a difficult position. Typically, liability insurance in Illinois dictates that the policy of the person who caused the wreck is the policy that pays.
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, does that mean you have to pay for your own medical bills and buy yourself a replacement vehicle because yours got totaled?
You may have protection on your own insurance policy
Many drivers in Illinois carry uninsured or underinsured driver protection in addition to standard liability protection. This additional coverage is crucial for someone hurt by an uninsured driver or a driver without enough coverage, although it is an option.
If you have such coverage, you can claim the same kind of losses you would have expected the other driver’s insurance to cover, but your insurance policy will pay instead of theirs. You can also make a claim for costs that exceed the coverage held by the other driver.
A claim against your own insurance can be a quick and easy way to make sure that you can pay for your bills and vehicle repairs. Unfortunately, making a claim might mean that your insurance rates will go up in the future even though you weren’t technically at fault for the crash.
You may be able to take the other driver to court
Illinois law provides the right of individuals to file a personal injury claim against someone else who causes them verifiable financial losses.
If it is clear that the other driver caused the crash, the courts could help you recover the money spent to fix or replace your vehicle and treat any injuries you suffered. The courts may even award you compensation for lost wages or reduced earning potential. Generally, you will need to have evidence both of the fault of the other driver in the crash and the consequences of the crash for you.
Knowing your options can help you respond appropriately when an uninsured driver causes a crash that hurts you or wrecks your vehicle.