Car accident claims are typically resolved through insurance since all drivers are legally required to be insured. However, negligent drivers sometimes fail to carry insurance, and suing them might be a good way to get compensation.
If the negligent driver who hit you is uninsured, you can sue them for damages instead of taking the usual route through insurance. Depending on your insurance situation, you might have insurance policies you can rely on for help while your case against the driver is pending. Since the negligent driver cannot rely on their insurance to cover your damages, they might have to pay out of their own pockets. Damages might be very high, and if the defendant cannot afford to pay, we can take other legal actions to make sure you get the compensation owed to you. In some cases, depending on the defendant’s ability to pay and your needs, a settlement might be preferable to a lawsuit. However, a lawsuit is more likely to get you fuller compensation.
Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 and arrange an evaluation of your claims free of charge with our Chicago car accident lawyers.
Suing a Driver Who Has No Insurance in Chicago After an Accident
After most car accidents, injured drivers file lawsuits with the other driver’s insurance company in the hopes of getting compensation for their damages. Generally, injured drivers have always had the option of filing a lawsuit against negligent drivers after accidents. If the other driver was uninsured at the time of the crash, a lawsuit might be your only realistic option for getting compensation.
To start your lawsuit, our Evanston, IL car accident lawyers will help you assess your damages and gather evidence. When you file your lawsuit, you need to explain the injuries you suffered in detail and provide at least some evidence backing up your claims. You cannot submit a complaint containing baseless allegations.
If you still need to do so, call a lawyer for help. Your attorney can help you identify all possible damages in your case so that damages in your lawsuit are maximized. They should also know how and where to find evidence, including in places the average person might not think to look.
Can I Use My Own Insurance After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver in Chicago?
When you are suing an uninsured driver after a car accident, you still have various expenses from the accident to deal with. Since it might be a while before you get compensation from your lawsuit, you might need to turn to your own insurance for help. Depending on what kind of insurance policies you have, you might be able to cover some of your costs while your lawsuit is pending.
Part of the minimum insurance requirements for Illinois is uninsured motorist coverage. Under this policy, injured drivers can file for compensation if they were in an accident with an uninsured driver or a driver with insufficient coverage for their damages. While uninsured motorist coverage is great for paying for damages for bodily injuries, it might not cover much else, depending on the terms of your policy.
You might also have an optional insurance policy specifically for medical benefits. This insurance policy, sometimes referred to as MedPay, may be used to cover your medical expenses immediately after an accident. It can be very useful for injured divers having trouble getting compensation because the other driver is uninsured.
While you can rely on your own insurance coverage to get by while your case against the other driver is pending, you should be aware that you cannot recover damages for the same injuries twice. For example, if you use MedPay to cover your medical bills, and you also get compensation for medical bills from your lawsuit, you cannot keep the excess compensation for yourself. Instead, your insurance provider may have a claim to the compensation they previously paid to you.
How Do I Get Compensation from an Uninsured Driver After a Chicago Car Accident?
In most car accident lawsuits, compensation is paid by the defendant’s insurance company. If the defendant does not have insurance – which is illegal – they might have to pay out of their own pocket. On the one hand, this is not a problem for plaintiffs as long as they get compensated at the end of the day. On the other hand, damages in car accident cases can be very high, and the defendant might be unable to pay.
Insolvency is not unusual, and there are ways in which we can work with the courts to make sure you get the compensation owed to you. For example, we can help you seize assets or garnish the defendant’s wages to get your compensation.
We can also work with defendants so that they can pay in a way that is more feasible. For example, payment plans might be a viable option for defendants who cannot afford to pay all at once.
Is it Better to Settle or Sue an Uninsured Driver After a Car Accident in Chicago?
While you can certainly sue an uninsured driver for the harm they have caused you, you should talk to your attorney about whether this is the best course of action. As mentioned above, many defendants have a hard time paying for compensation after a trial. If you instead reach a settlement agreement with the defendant, we can structure the settlement so they can pay in a way that works for them.
As mentioned above, the defendant may agree to a payment plan or schedule as part of the settlement. So, instead of paying everything up front, they would make monthly payments until the settlement is paid off. Alternatively, we can negotiate for a lump sum settlement, meaning you would get a large chunk of your compensation up front but probably not the entire amount.
Call Our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Case
Call the Rhatigan Law Offices at (312) 578-8502 and schedule an assessment of your claims at no cost to you with our Illinois personal injury attorneys.