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Can I Seek Compensation for Injuries Caused by an Uninsured Driver?

Posted on in Car Accident

Rolling Meadows automobile accident lawyer

Nearly everyone has known someone who has taken the risk of driving a vehicle with no insurance at one time or another, and it is no secret that this choice can have many dangerous ramifications. Every day, car accidents of all kinds occur on Illinois roadways, and all too often, the drivers in these collisions lack active vehicle insurance policies to back them up. Not only will the uninsured driver face penalties, but the unfortunate victim who suffers injuries may end up with expensive medical bills and/or lost wages if he or she cannot return to work. That is why it is important to seek professional legal counsel to determine how to recover compensation in these types of personal injury cases. 

Consequences for the Uninsured Driver and the Victim

Drivers are usually caught without insurance in the event of a collision or due to a traffic violation, but the state works to crack down on uninsured motorists in other ways. Law enforcement randomly selects vehicles via a computer program and sends drivers a questionnaire asking them to verify proof of insurance. If drivers fail to provide the requested information, their license plates are suspended, and they are subject to a host of other consequences. Despite these enforcement efforts, however, accidents still happen, and victims injured by uninsured drivers are left with a mess. If you have been involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, keep the following tips in mind as you face the collision aftermath:

  1. The driver who hit you will be penalized. Driving with no insurance is an expensive gamble, and uninsured drivers will pay the price financially. First, they will be served a hefty fine, and the offense can actually end up costing them more than a policy that would have been in compliance with state law. Illinois drivers are charged a minimum of $500 for operating an uninsured vehicle, and offenders who have already had their registration suspended for driving with no insurance and are still found to be driving are charged a minimum of $1,000. Additionally, offenders must pay a registration reinstatement fee and furnish proof of car insurance before they can drive their vehicle again, and may be required to serve a four-month suspension.

  2. Injuries can surface over time. Although the driver who hit you will face fines for lacking auto coverage, this is often a fraction of what you, the victim, must pay for medical bills and the pain and suffering you endure from your injuries. Injuries are not always immediately noticed after a collision; symptoms of whiplash, nerve damage, and other more serious injuries can surface over time, usually within the first few days or weeks following the accident. You may experience muscle stiffness and pains, headaches, or blurry vision in the days following the accident. Keep a record of your symptoms when they occur, and be sure to discuss these details with your doctor.

  3. A personal injury attorney can help protect your rights. If the uninsured driver who hit you is convicted in court, that conviction is then sent to the Secretary of State, which results in the loss of his or her license plates and a three-month-long license suspension. But what about your injuries? How will you cover medical expenses and other costs that accumulate due to the accident, such as missing work or additional auto repairs? Consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights and determine your options for recovering compensation, including uninsured motorist coverage under your own insurance policy. Advocating for your health and well being after an auto accident begins with speaking to a knowledgeable legal professional.

Contact an Arlington Heights Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have had the unfortunate experience of being involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, do not panic. You may still be able to seek compensation for your injuries if another driver acted negligently. The law firm of Newland & Newland, LLP has more than 60 years of combined experience in the practice area of personal injury law. Take a proactive step to inform yourself of your rights by scheduling a free initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable Rolling Meadows car accident attorneys. Call our office today at 847-797-8000.

 

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/vehicles/mandatory_insurance.html

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/vsd361.pdf

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/whiplash/symptoms-causes/syc-20378921

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