Learning to drive is a rite of passage for young adults. In Illinois, new drivers must complete a required driver’s education class and accumulate a certain number of hours behind the wheel before they are issued a valid driver’s license, regardless if they are 16 years old or not. During the learning or practice phase, the student motorists carry a learner’s permit and are subject to restrictions such as who can be in the vehicle with them, curfew hours, etc. As with learning how to do any activity that is new, student drivers often make mistakes that can lead to car accidents. Even seasoned drivers can be involved in car accidents due to inclement weather or other reckless motorists, but what are the consequences if someone is injured in an auto collision that involves another driver who is on a learner’s permit?
Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Crash
It is normal to feel shocked or panic when you are in a car accident. You may also be in a significant amount of pain. Try to remain calm so you can think clearly. Taking a few simple steps can increase the chances of a favorable settlement from a potential personal injury lawsuit. These steps include:
- Pull over to the side of the road.
- Call 911 if your injuries are severe and require immediate medical attention.
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver.
- Write down the other motorist’s license plate number.
- Take pictures with your phone of the damage to your vehicle.
- Obtain any eyewitness testimonies if applicable.
- File an official accident report with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
Illinois Driving and Insurance Laws
Under Illinois law, every driver is required to have auto insurance coverage up to a specific amount. This applies to those motorists driving with a learner’s permit as well as those who have been driving for many years. Generally, student drivers are covered through their parents’ auto insurance policy. A driver with a learner’s permit is not required to carry his or her own insurance policy as long as he or she is a minor. This is usually because the student driver is typically accompanied by his or her parent or another adult who is an insured driver.
If an accident occurs with a learning driver at the wheel, the injured party can seek damages from the parent’s (or the adult who is supervising) insurance policy, especially he or she owns the vehicle. Typically, the insurance policy is “follows” the car instead of the driver.
Illinois is a “modified comparative negligence” state, which means an injured party can obtain damages from a defendant if the plaintiff’s fault is 50 percent or less. If a plaintiff is determined to have been 50 percent at fault or more for the accident, then he or she cannot seek compensation from the defendant for personal injury. That is why it is important to speak to a lawyer before contacting any insurance companies.
Contact a DuPage County Car Accident Attorney
An auto accident can be an unexpected and unwelcome part of driving. Even if you follow the rules of the road, collisions occur due to other drivers’ actions. If you are injured in a car crash that involves a motorist who is driving on a permit, you may be worried about receiving compensation. The legal firm of David W. Clark, Attorney at Law will determine the extent of damages you have suffered to establish liability for the accident. Our skilled Wheaton personal injury lawyers will ensure the negligent party is held responsible. Call 630-665-5678 today to schedule a free consultation.