What happens if I was hit by an uninsured driver?
Motor Vehicles Accidents - May 17, 2023
You’ve just been hit by a car and get out to exchange information with the other driver, but when you ask to take a picture of their insurance card, they suddenly look very uncomfortable. They don’t have insurance!
A skilled Chicago car accident attorney can help you get the coverage and compensation you need – even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
Conduct an assessment of property damage
Take pictures or a video of all the vehicle damage you see, then get an estimate from a mechanic for the total damage. Your insurance company may direct you to an approved auto body repair shop.
While you’re evaluating the car damage, it may be a good time to ask witnesses for their contact information. Explain that you or your lawyer would like to talk to them about what they saw or heard.
Who should I contact after a car accident?
You should contact the local police after an accident with an uninsured driver. If the other driver isn’t insured, they may try to talk you out of it. Don’t let them dissuade you – the Chicago officer arriving at the accident scene determines who is to blame for the accident and compiles an official police report.
You should exchange contact information with the other driver. But aside from that, keep your interaction with them minimal.
Finally, you must notify your insurance company that you were in an accident with an uninsured driver by the deadline stated in your policy.
Illinois laws about motor vehicle insurance
All Illinois drivers must carry liability insurance, per the state’s Mandatory Insurance Law (625 ILCS 5/7-601). Liability insurance covers property damage and injuries to the other driver in an accident you cause.
The minimum liability coverage for Illinois drivers is:
- $25,000 in bodily injury per person; up to $50,000 per accident
- $20,000 in property damage
Illinois also requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist insurance. However, just because state law requires licensed drivers to carry particular insurance coverage doesn’t mean that all drivers actually have insurance. In fact, nearly 12% of Illinois drivers are uninsured! Knowing your options if you’re hit by an uninsured driver is important – a skilled car accident lawyer can explain these to you.
Do I need to see a doctor after being struck by an insured driver?
Yes. After a sudden collision, your body releases adrenaline, the “flight or fight” response. Adrenaline masks pain, so you may not even realize how bad your injuries are. In addition, soft tissue injuries like sprains or strains, or hairline fractures, don’t present immediate symptoms. Doctors note these injuries right after the crash, so you will benefit from early treatment.
Your doctors’ records link your injuries to the accident and prove how badly you’re injured. If you decide to file a suit against the uninsured driver, your lawyer will need this proof. Your insurance company will also need medical records to pay for your treatment.
What are my legal options after being hit by an uninsured driver?
First, your own uninsured motorist insurance should cover your losses. However, insurance companies hate paying claims they don’t have to, so if you were not at fault for the accident, it may deny or minimize your claim. Your insurance adjustor may encourage you to file a lawsuit against the other driver to recover the cost of damages your policy paid.
Your lawyer apprises you of your options for filing a lawsuit and explains what you can recover for damages. Each case is different, though, so we suggest contacting the legal team at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates today at (800) 985-1819 for a free consultation about your case.