You are driving along in a lawful manner when suddenly, you get hit by a driver who was most likely doing something unlawful, like looking at their phone. After checking whether anyone needs an ambulance, one of the first things you do is ask the at-fault driver for their insurance information. Instead of reaching into their wallet, the responsible driver stares at you like a deer in headlights. You are hit with a horrible realization – they do not have an insurance company to pay for your damages. It may be an even worse feeling if your injuries are severe and you find out about their lack of insurance in the hospital, from the police. You are likely wondering how on earth you are going to recover compensation after a crash with an uninsured motorist. Our attorneys can help you identify any other party who could be liable or seek compensation in another way.
Identifying Those Who May Have to Pay
The most common way that people who have been hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver is through their own insurance company. In Illinois, all drivers are required to carry uninsured driver insurance. By law, uninsured motorist coverage must cover you up to $25,000 at minimum, although your particular policy may offer more.
The problem here is that you may have far more than $25,000 worth of expenses. Your car alone may be worth more than that. Add in your medical bills and lost wages, and that may not be nearly enough. Your attorney may attempt to find other parties who could potentially be liable, such as:
- The driver – If the driver has enough assets and income to realistically pay off a settlement, you can sue them directly.
- “Dram shop” – If the driver who hit you was drunk, and had been overserved at a bar, restaurant, or club, then you may be able to go after the business under Illinois’ Dram Shop Act.
- Automaker or part manufacturer – If the cause of the accident was not the other driver’s carelessness, but a defective vehicle or auto part, the company that manufactured the defective product could be liable.
- Mechanic – If the other driver crashed because a vehicle part failed, then the problem could also be that a mechanic tasked with performing maintenance negligently sent the driver home with an unsafe vehicle.
- Third driver – Your accident may have involved more than two drivers, even if only two vehicles ultimately crashed. A third driver could potentially have forced the other driver into the accident. For example, another driver could have carelessly merged and almost hit the other driver, forcing them to swerve into you.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could have more than one option for pursuing compensation.
Ask a Cook County Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident, Barrington Injury Attorneys can fight for you to recover compensation. Our skilled Barrington car accident attorneys will conduct a full investigation to identify any potentially liable parties. Call 224-900-HURT for a free consultation.