How can you protect yourself when an uninsured motorist hits you?
Dealing with the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident is difficult. Yet, the process is usually straightforward enough if the other driver carried insurance. If an uninsured motorist hit your vehicle, though, matters become more complex. Since Illinois follows at-fault insurance laws, you may worry that you will cover your expenses out of pocket. But it is unlikely you will have to do so.
Understanding Illinois’ insurance laws
After an accident, Illinois law requires motorists to file any insurance claims through the at-fault driver’s provider. But you cannot do so when they lack coverage. In this case, you will make a claim through your own provider. The state mandates that motorists buy uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage as part of their insurance policy. These will compensate expenses stemming from bodily injury that the at-fault driver’s policy – or lack thereof – does not cover. But they will not cover any damage to your vehicle. If it needs repairs, you can make a claim through your collision coverage, so long as you’ve added it to your policy.
When insurance isn’t enough
Your UM policy may have insufficiently compensated your injuries. Or, your collision policy may not have covered the complete extent of your vehicle’s damage. And you may not have received coverage for any pain and suffering the accident caused you. In these cases, you may want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Keep in mind that Illinois has a two-year statute of limitations for pursuing legal action in personal injury cases. The state has a five-year statute of limitations for doing so in property damage cases.
No matter the severity of your car accident, its impact can be serious if the other motorist drove without insurance. If they lacked proper coverage, an attorney with personal injury experience can help you work to receive the recourse you deserve.