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Who pays when an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A serious motor vehicle collision could cause injury to the people in the vehicles involved and huge amounts of property damage. When a driver runs a red light or makes a left turn into your vehicle, you expect that their insurance will properly reimburse you for your losses. Under Illinois’ fault-based insurance system, the other driver’s policy should help cover everything from the repair costs for your vehicle to wages that you missed because of a crash-related injury.

Unfortunately, what compensation you receive largely depends on the coverage carried by the other driver. What happens if they don’t have enough insurance?

You still have rights when insurance falls short

Illinois state law mandates that every driver carry liability coverage to pay for other people’s losses after a crash. However, many people only carry the bare minimum amount of insurance in order to keep their insurance costs as low as possible.

The other driver might have just $20,000 worth of property damage coverage. For injuries and lost wages, coverage can be as low as $25,000 for a crash with one hurt person and $50,000 for a crash where multiple people get hurt.

If your costs exceed those coverage amounts, you may need to file a claim against your own policy if you have underinsured driver coverage. However, that could mean that your insurance rate goes up, even though you weren’t at fault for the crash. Inadequate insurance also opens someone up to personal liability and a potential civil lawsuit.

Learning more about insurance coverage and your other options for seeking compensation can help you deal with a large claim after a car crash.