Carrying valid auto insurance is part of driving a vehicle and using roadways. In fact, Illinois requires all drivers to carry at least the minimum amount of liability coverage. Unfortunately, not all drivers adhere to this rule and instead run the risk of being involved in an accident without the safety net that insurance can provide.
When you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it can feel as though you are being punished for following the rules of the road. The process that follows can be lengthy and frustrating, especially if you are also nursing serious injuries. Fortunately, there are steps you can still take to pursue damages for what you have suffered.
Steps to take following an accident
The immediate aftermath of an accident can be a blur. When you are able, take the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Car accidents can cause anything from broken bones to severe injuries to your spinal cord, head, neck and more. Your health should take precedence over other actions to identify serious injuries and determine paths to recovery.
- Keep detailed documentation of the accident. Write down and maintain detailed records of what happened to strengthen your case. An attorney can assist in obtaining a copy of the police report, while you should record all medical expenses and contact information of the other driver and witnesses.
- Check with your own insurance policy. Notify your insurance company of the accident and inquire about your own uninsured liability coverage, which is a requirement for most drivers in Illinois. This protection can provide coverage for such situations where an uninsured driver hit you.
Seeking compensation through your own coverage
You may not realize that by pursuing compensation through your uninsured or underinsured liability coverage, your insurance company bears the responsibility of paying. This can put you at odds with your insurer, who may try to undermine your claim or pay less than you deserve.
Even if the at-fault driver is without auto insurance, you still deserve to receive damages for the medical expenses, property damage, potentially lost wages and pain and suffering that you have endured. Working with an attorney can encourage you to not accept compensation that is less than you deserve and to pursue damages from all avenues available to you.