A Cook County Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Pursue Compensation After a Wreck with an Uninsured Driver
The Consumer Federation of America estimates that 14.9 percent of Illinois drivers do not have insurance. While this is higher than the national average (about 13.5 percent), it is considerably lower than the percentage of uninsured drivers in states like Mississippi (28 percent), New Mexico (25.7 percent) or Oklahoma (23.9 percent). Illinois may have relatively safe statistics regarding uninsured drivers, but that doesn’t mean much to motorists involved in accidents with uninsured drivers. Accident victims in Illinois may want to turn to a Cook County car accident lawyer when they do not receive the compensation needed to cover damaged property, injuries and lost wages.
Minimum Insurance Coverage in Illinois
Illinois requires drivers to carry liability insurance that pays:
- $20,000 for damage inflicted on another person’s property
- $25,000 for the injuries or death of one person
- $50,000 for the injuries or deaths of multiple people
Theoretically, even someone involved in an accident with an uninsured driver can receive financial compensation through his or her insurance policy. Unfortunately, medical treatments, lost wages and other factors can quickly outgrow the state’s minimum requirements. Victims are put in difficult situations when they cannot rely on other drivers’ insurance to fill those gaps.
Statutes of Limitations That May Apply to Uninsured Accident Cases
Illinois sets statutes of limitations that tell people how much time they have to file lawsuits after accidents. The statute of limitations that applies to your uninsured or underinsured accident case, however, it may depend on the accident’s specific details.
Illinois has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. If you or someone in your car is injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, then you may need to start your case with a Cook County car accident attorney within two years of the accident.
If the court decides that the uninsured motorist is responsible for a wrongful death, you still face a two-year statute of limitations. The clock for that time, however, typically begins on the day of death instead of the day of the accident.
The statute of limitations can extend to five years, however, if you only want to receive compensation for damaged property. This is potentially a useful option after accidents that do not cause injuries.
Naming Defendants in an Uninsured or Underinsured Accident Case
You may need to name several defendants when pursuing compensation after a car accident. Many accident victims seek compensation from:
- Their insurance providers
- The uninsured motorist
- An underinsured motorist’s insurance provider
While it’s important to name all parties potentially liable for paying your expenses, it is unlikely that an uninsured driver will have much money to cover those costs. If you win the case, though, the court may create a payment plan that forces the driver to pay you a small amount each week or month. An experienced lawyer will look for hidden assets that the driver can use to compensate you.
Seeking Compensation after an Accident
Given the complexities of uninsured and underinsured accident cases, victims should hire experienced lawyers who can exhaust all options. Accident victims deserve compensation that protects them from hefty medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Without a lawyer, it is unlikely that victims will get their full compensation. Defendants, after all, will hire attorneys to protect themselves. It only makes sense to do the same.
Contact Buttafuoco & Associates to learn about compensation options. The sooner you talk to a lawyer, the sooner you can file paperwork with the court. An experienced lawyer will give you advice that helps you choose effective arguments. Having a lawyer on your side could mean the difference between getting the money you need and paying expenses on your own.