Car accidents are scary and confusing, and afterward, much of the focus is placed on the drivers involved. As a passenger, though, you have likely also suffered serious injuries, and you may have even had property damaged during the crash. Fortunately, passengers have options in these situations to claim damages for their medical expenses, lost income, and more. An Illinois car accident lawyer can further advise on what those options are, and help you through the aftermath of a crash.
Illinois is a tort state, which means that when a negligent driver caused your crash, you can file a claim with their insurance company to recover damages. As a passenger, you also have a legal right to file this type of claim. You may face a few obstacles when using this option.
The first is that the negligent driver may not have enough coverage for your injuries. Under the auto insurance requirements of the state, motorists must only carry $25,000 in bodily injury per person, or $50,000 in bodily injury for the entire accident. This means that if several people were hurt and your injuries exceed $50,000, you will only receive a fraction of what is needed to cover the full cost of injury.
The second obstacle these claims present is the fact that you must prove someone else was at fault for the crash. This is often very difficult, particularly if multiple parties were involved in the crash.
You may be able to file a medical payments coverage (MedPay) with the insurance company of the driver you were riding with at the time of the accident. No one is required to purchase MedPay insurance though, so your driver may not have it available through their policy.
If the driver that was in the same vehicle as you was negligent and caused the crash, you may also be able to file a liability claim with their insurance company. However, it is important to understand that if you live with the driver, you likely cannot sue them.
If you exhaust the above options and still need compensation to cover the cost of your injuries, you may be able to file a claim with your own auto insurance company, if applicable. Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) are required in Illinois, and can provide the damages you need after being involved in a car accident as a passenger.
If you have been hurt in a crash as a passenger, our car accident lawyers in Illinois can advise you of your options. At Brassfield, Krueger & Ramlow, Ltd., our skilled attorneys have the necessary experience negotiating with insurance companies and will use that experience to help you recover a fair settlement. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.
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