Does Uninsured Motorist Cover Hit & Run in Illinois?
Automobile Accidents - January 5, 2021
Nobody wants to be involved in a vehicle accident when they get on the roadway each day, but the reality is that these incidents are not uncommon. Data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows us that there were more than 319,000 total vehicle crashes during the latest reporting year across this state.
While most of these incidents involved only property damage or minor injuries, there were still more than 94,000 total accident injuries during that same reporting year. Unfortunately, many of these accidents involved hit and run drivers. These incidents present significant challenges when it comes to recovering compensation. Here, we want to discuss whether or not Illinois uninsured motorist coverage will cover hit and run accidents.
Is uninsured motorist coverage required in Illinois?
Each state is responsible for setting limits on the amount of insurance coverage required to be carried by drivers to remain legal on the roadway. In Illinois, the minimum requirements include the following:
- Bodily injury liability: Minimum $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: Minimum $20,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Minimum $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
One thing you will see on this required list is uninsured motorist coverage. Not all states require that motorists purchase uninsured motorist coverage, but Illinois does. Take note, though, that Illinois only requires motorists to carry uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and not uninsured motorist property damage coverage. This could have implications for any crash you were involved in.
Uninsured motorist coverage and hit and run accidents
The purpose of uninsured motorist coverage is to help compensate a person for their medical or property damage expenses, or both, if they are injured in an accident that was not their fault and the other party does not have insurance. In general, these incidents occur when the other driver remains at the scene but could include hit and run accidents as well.
Exactly how much compensation a person will receive from their uninsured motorist coverage after a hit and run accident in Illinois will depend on their specific policy. Since Illinois requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, you know that you will receive at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident to cover medical bills.
However, most drivers choose not to purchase additional uninsured motorist property damage coverage. If you are struck by a hit and run driver and do not have property damage coverage as part of your uninsured motorist requirements, you will be left paying out-of-pocket for vehicle repair or replacement.
Can you file a lawsuit against the hit and run driver?
Often, law enforcement agencies never find hit and run drivers in these situations. This can make it challenging to hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions. If the hit and run driver is caught and they have insurance, you will likely be able to recover compensation from their insurance carrier for your injury and property damage expenses.
Hit and run drivers often do not have insurance. In these cases, you may be able to hire a car accident lawyer to file a lawsuit against the driver if they are apprehended by law enforcement. However, if a driver could not afford insurance for their vehicle, it is unlikely that they will have the income or assets to be able to pay any judgment in your favor.