What If the Other Driver Who Hit Me Doesn’t Have Insurance?

Both Illinois and Missouri require drivers to have car insurance. Unfortunately, there are a significant number of drivers on our roads who either ignore this law, or allow their insurance policies to lapse. Therefore, many people find themselves involved in car accidents with uninsured drivers – and have no clue what to do or where to turn to get the help that they need.

Your car insurance policy offers uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, as it is a requirement in Illinois. However, because you can legally waive this coverage, not everyone has it. If you kept this part of your policy, though, then you can use this coverage in most situations where you are hit by an uninsured driver.

What car accidents can you file under your own uninsured motorist policy?

If an uninsured motorist swerves in front of you and you end up panicking, jerking the steering wheel, and running into a pole, this will not be covered under your insurance. The reason for this is because the vehicle never crashed directly into your car. Instead, your uninsured motorist policy likely only cover scenarios similar to the following:

  • A hit-and-run driver crashed into you and left the scene.
  • An uninsured driver hit your car and was found at fault for your accident.
  • You were a passenger in a vehicle with another driver (a friend or family member), and an uninsured driver slammed into the rear-end of their vehicle.
  • You were walking in a crosswalk, on a sidewalk, or anywhere else when an uninsured driver struck you.
  • You were riding a bicycle and an uninsured driver collided with your bike.

Why you should buy as much insurance as you can

Many people choose to reduce the amount of coverage that they get on their uninsured motorist policy. They typically do this to save money, thinking that they will never be a victim of a car accident involving an uninsured driver. The current amount for uninsured motorist coverage in Illinois is $50,000 per every accident and $25,000 per each person. While this may sound like plenty of coverage, we recommend that you increase this amount to ensure that you are taken care of if you are ever involved in an accident with a motorist who lacks car insurance. You should think about how quickly $25,000 tends to go to medical bills and expenses.

Will my insurance company pay the whole claim?

Insurance companies want to save as much money as possible when their clients are involved in car accidents. But if the driver who hit you is uninsured, then your insurer should pay your entire claim up to YOUR policy limits. They may attempt to recoup some of their losses from the driver, but it should not affect your claim.

Punishment for driving without car insurance

According to Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5, individuals who are caught driving without car insurance in the state of Illinois will be required to pay a fine of at least $500 and up to $1,000, depending on how many times they have been caught driving without insurance. A driver who has been caught driving without car insurance at least three or more times will receive a fine of $1,000, which they will be required to pay within a certain amount of time. In addition, the uninsured driver may also be charged with a misdemeanor if they cause a collision and injure another person.

Other possible punishments include:

  • Having your driver’s license suspended
  • Having your car impounded
  • Paying higher car insurance costs when you do get insurance, as you are now considered high risk

Can I file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver?

If you have already filed a claim under your uninsured motorist policy and it was denied or there is not enough compensation to cover your losses, your other option is to file a personal injury lawsuit. This lawsuit can possibly be filed against the driver responsible for the accident, their employer, or another third party, such as the vehicle manufacturer or the owner of the road, that played a role in the accident. An example of when you may be able to file a lawsuit against the driver’s employer is if they are a rideshare driver or truck driver who is on the clock when the collision occurs.

However, you should keep in mind that filing a lawsuit against an uninsured driver or another third party can be one of the most challenging legal cases that you may face. Therefore, you should contact one of our car accident attorneys in Alton to determine if you have a viable case that could result in compensation.

MedPay may be another option for you

If you are struggling to pay your medical bills after a car crash, you may want to check with your insurance company and see if you have MedPay. MedPay, also called medical payment coverage, is a valuable option to those who reside and have car insurance in Illinois. This is an optional part of your insurance policy, but it is worth paying for because it can help cover some of the medical bills and expenses that belong to you, your passengers, or anyone else on your insurance policy when involved in a car accident.

Have you been struck and injured by an uninsured driver? If so, the car accident lawyers at Glisson Law are committed to legally assisting you and guiding you through this process. We have over 30 years of experience with these types of accidents and will handle the obstacles and challenges that arise from your case while you focus on healing and recovering from your injuries. Call the office of Glisson Law or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys are based in Alton, and we take pride in serving clients who need us in Belleville, Edwardsville, St. Clair and Madison Counties, all of Southwestern Illinois, and Missouri.