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What Happens if the Person at Fault in an Accident Has No Insurance?

May 2, 2023

In the aftermath of a serious crash, you may face a number of physical and financial challenges, but what happens if the person at fault for the accident has no insurance? Illinois law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the law. 

If you were injured in an accident and the person who was at fault doesn’t have insurance, you will want to speak with a lawyer promptly. While there are still a handful of potential options for recovering your losses in this scenario, the options you have available will depend on the facts at hand, and filing a successful claim will require experienced legal representation.

4 Options for Recovering Your Losses After a Collision with an Uninsured Driver

So, what happens when you are injured in a car accident and the person who was at fault has no insurance? In this scenario, your options may include:

1. Find Out if the Driver is Really Uninsured 

One of the first steps you will want to take is to find out if the driver is really uninsured. Sometimes, drivers will say they don’t have insurance because they don’t want to have a claim filed against their policy. If you have the at-fault driver’s license plate information (or if your lawyer can obtain the driver’s license plate information), your lawyer will be able to confirm whether he or she has insurance coverage available.

2. File a Claim Under Your Uninsured Motorist (UM) Policy 

One of the primary options for recovering your losses after an accident caused by an uninsured driver involves filing a claim under your uninsured motorist (UM) policy. In Illinois, auto insurance policies automatically include UM coverage at the minimum policy limits for bodily injury liability coverage. This means that if you have auto insurance, you should have at least $25,000 in UM coverage that you can use in this scenario. 

When you file a UM claim, your insurance company “stands in the shoes” of the at-fault driver’s insurer. This means that even though you are dealing with your own insurance company, you still need to be able to prove that the other driver was at fault in the collision. It also means that your insurance company is going to fight to avoid paying the compensation you deserve. When you hire a lawyer, your lawyer can deal with your insurance company for you, and your lawyer can use the available evidence to prove your right to coverage. 

3. File a Claim Against the Driver’s Employer or Rideshare Company 

If the driver who hit you was working at the time of the accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation from his or her employer. In Illinois, employers are responsible for their employees’ negligence within the scope of their employment. 

While the driver who hit you may be uninsured, his or her employer almost certainly has coverage. If so, your lawyer can deal with the employer’s insurance company to seek the financial compensation you deserve. 

Rideshare companies carry insurance that covers their drivers’ accidents as well. While there are limits on when this insurance applies, it provides coverage in many cases. 

4. File Another Third-Party Claim

Claims against drivers’ employers and rideshare companies are referred to as “third-party” claims because they involve seeking coverage from a party that was not directly involved in the collision. In addition to these types of third-party claims, there are other types of third-party claims your lawyer may be able to file on your behalf as well. Two common examples of these claims include:

  • Vehicle Defect Claims – If a vehicle defect (i.e., a brake or airbag failure) played a role in your accident or is partially to blame for the severity of your injuries, you may have a claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer. 
  • Road Defect Claims – If a road defect (i.e., a pothole or low shoulder) contributed to causing the collision, your lawyer may be able to file a claim against the government agency that is responsible for building and maintaining the road. 

Discuss Your Options with a Car Accident Lawyer in Chicago or Oak Park

If you need to know more about your options after a car accident involving an uninsured driver in Illinois, we encourage you to contact us for a FREE consultation. 

Call (708) 358-8080 for a FREE case review. We welcome clients from across Illinois, including Chicago, Oak Park, Rockford, and other areas.