Illinois is a fault state, so motorists can pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against the party that was responsible for the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Illinois, an attorney with our firm could guide you on your legal options. While you have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, it is also possible to resolve your case through a negotiated settlement. Your legal counsel could help even if the at-fault party doesn’t have car insurance.
What Is Fault Insurance?
Under a fault insurance system, you have the right to pursue a case against the individual that caused your motor vehicle crash. This process could involve filing a claim with their liability insurance or even suing them in civil court. The system is designed to place the financial burden of an accident on the shoulders of the responsible party as opposed to your own insurance carrier.
When it comes to fault insurance states, recovering compensation for your injuries requires you to prove the other party in the accident was at fault. Typically, this task is done by showing that the other driver was negligent.
How to Prove the Other Party’s Negligence in a Car Accident
Negligence can take many forms in a car accident. In total, there are four elements a plaintiff must prove to establish negligence, including:
- Duty of care: They must establish the other driver owed them a duty of care. This aspect is rarely an issue, as all drivers owe one another a duty to drive safely.
- Breach of duty: Breaching this duty can involve violations like speeding or failing to yield.
- Causation: There must be a link between a plaintiff’s damages and the acts of the other driver.
- Damages: The injured party must show that they suffered damage in the accident.
These four elements are necessary to make the case for negligence during a trial. However, building a winning insurance claim requires the same evidence. Without proving the other driver is at fault, it is difficult to secure a fair settlement offer from their insurance company.
How are No-Fault States Different From Fault States?
The differences between no-fault and fault states are significant. While drivers in fault states have the right to file a lawsuit following an accident, that is not always the case in no-fault states. Under no-fault insurance rules, most drivers must pursue a claim for their damages with their own insurance company.
The primary benefit of a no-fault system is that it ensures motorists have access to the financial resources they need to cover their medical care. Since this insurance pays out benefits no matter who is at fault, the theory is that it will help ensure drivers do not have to delay necessary medical treatment until they can afford it.
The downside of this system is that many people are prohibited from filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party as a condition of their no-fault insurance. There are typically exceptions in no-fault states that will allow a driver to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Usually, this is an option for drivers that suffer severe injuries or have financial damages that exceed the coverage provided by their no-fault insurance.
There Are Minimum Insurance Requirements in Illinois
Because motorists are expected to face responsibility for any accidents they cause, state law requires that they carry a minimum level of liability insurance. Liability insurance is not designed to cover the damages of the insured driver. Instead, this insurance helps protect a motorist from third-party claims in situations where they cause an accident.
According to the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI), the minimum level of liability insurance coverage is:
- $25,000 for injury or death per person
- $50,000 for injury or death per accident
- $20,000 for property damage per accident
It is helpful to remember that these are only the minimum levels required by state law. Medical treatment and auto repairs are expensive, and many people choose to carry additional coverage to ensure they never pay for these claims out of their own pocket.
Talk to an Attorney at the Kryder Law Group, LLC About Your Car Accident Case
Illinois is a fault state, meaning you could seek awards from a negligent party following a car accident. If your case is successful, you could be entitled to recover damages that pay for your past and future medical bills, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering.
The Kryder Law Group, LLC is here to help you seek fair compensation for your car accident injuries. Our personal injury attorneys understand the fault insurance system and can advise you of your options following a vehicle accident. Connect with our firm at (312) 598-0982 for a free consultation today. We take no fees unless your lawyer secures a financial award for you.