What Happens if You Have No Insurance but the Other Driver Was at Fault in Illinois?

Monday, May 20, 2024

What Happens if You Have No Insurance but the Other Driver Was at Fault in Illinois?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

You Have No Insurance but the Other Driver Was at Fault in Illinois?

Illinois is an at-fault or tort state regarding car accidents and insurance. This means the driver responsible for a car crash is responsible for paying accident-related losses. Therefore, a driver must carry minimum liability insurance to cover bodily injury and physical damage sustained by third parties when they cause a crash

Usually, if the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage, the other driver can rely on underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage to cover accident-related damages. In some scenarios, you could be the one who is both injured and driving without insurance.

While these situations are complicated, it doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. A trusted Illinois car accident attorney can provide legal advice and support in your pursuit of compensation.

Minimum Insurance Required in Illinois

A driver must carry minimum insurance coverage limits in Illinois. The minimum coverage provides financial protection to the driver and other road users.

Illinois law requires all drivers to have proof of insurance that they carry the required amounts of auto insurance coverage. If drivers can’t provide such evidence, they could face steep penalties.

Here’s the breakdown of minimum required insurance coverage:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage per person

Despite state regulations, some drivers operate without minimum insurance coverage, either intentionally or without knowledge. Therefore, Illinois also requires drivers to carry coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists to cover bodily injury if they sustain harm involving an at-fault uninsured driver.

The minimum uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage has the following limits:

  • $ 25,000 per person
  • $ 50,000 per accident

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

If you drive without insurance, you could get caught by the police during a routine check.

Penalties for failure to display insurance in Illinois are as follows:

  • The penalties for driving without insurance are between $500-$1000 for first-time offenders, with possible higher fines for repeat offenders.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles could suspend your license—Uninsured drivers can lose their license for up to four years.
  • License reinstatement fee of $100
  • An additional $1000 fine, which risks the suspension of your license
  • Requirement of the SR-22 for up to 3 years or more

Since 2020, it has become easier to tell whether you have insurance. Police use the Automatic License Plate Recognition camera (ALPR), a modern technology, to verify if a motorist has insurance.

With the APLR camera, the police officer doesn’t have to approach your car to determine whether you have insurance. The camera captures the image of the license plate, and the data is processed against the state’s database of uninsured drivers.

Vehicle Impound

If the police find you driving without insurance, they can impound your vehicle. The amended state law 625 ILCS 5/4-203 provides that whenever a law enforcement officer issues a citation to a driver for operating an uninsured vehicle, they may authorize the removal and impoundment of the vehicle by a towing service. The fees to store your vehicle at the impounding site could rise quickly, so it is important to ensure you have proper insurance quickly. Failure to act could result in costly penalties.

SR-22 Requirement

SR-22 insurance is a specialized type of insurance certificate required for individuals with a history of high-risk driving habits such as accidents, driving without insurance, and DUI convictions.

It is not an actual insurance policy but a document filed by your insurer to prove that you hold minimum insurance requirements. In Illinois, drivers can be required to have SR-22 for three continuous years.

If you do not renew your insurance policy on time, your license and registration may be immediately suspended, and you will begin the driver’s reinstatement process. The process involves requesting a new Illinois Drivers License Reinstatement Hearing.

After passing the required three years, you may cancel the SR-22 and acquire regular car insurance. You can deposit $70,000 in cash instead of filing SR-22 or get a surety or real-estate bond.

Options for Recovering Your Losses After a Collision with an Uninsured Driver

There are a few options available when involved in a collision with an uninsured driver:

  • Filing uninsured motorist claim: If you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you could file a claim with your insurance company. Most importantly, notify your insurer on time since you have a limited opportunity to make a claim.
  • Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver: If you have no insurance coverage or damage exceeds your policy limit, consider filing a lawsuit against the underinsured or uninsured motorist.

Before you make any move against the at-fault driver, consider speaking to an experienced car accident attorney. Working with a car accident attorney brings many benefits to your case, including:

  • Compiling critical sources of evidence
  • Establishing liability
  • Demonstrating the extent of your injury
  • Negotiating with the insurer for a fair settlement value
  • Communicating with the insurer on your behalf
  • Litigating the matter in a court

Get in Touch With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney to Discover Your Options

Suppose you sustained a severe neck injury after a side-impact car crash involving a speeding driver. In that case, you may endure a worsening quality of life due to medical expenses, reduced income, and pain and suffering.

You, therefore, deserve compensation for your injury-related losses.

Malman Law is a team of personal injury lawyers with decades of experience. Contact us online or at (312) 629-0099 for a free case review. Free Case Evaluation.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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