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Is Illinois a No-Fault State?

Posted on February 22, 2021 in

In the United States, insurance laws typically fall into one of two categories: fault and no-fault. 12 states follow a no-fault system, which requires each individual injured in a car accident to pay for their damages with their own insurance coverage. However, most states follow a fault-based system, which requires the driver responsible for the collision to pay for the damages of his or her victims. Like most states, Illinois follows a fault insurance system.

What Is a No-Fault State?

Only 12 states follow a no-fault insurance system: Florida, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Utah, Michigan, New Jersey, and Hawaii. In no-fault states, individual drivers must carry some form of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If a driver gets into an accident, he or she will need to file a claim with their own insurance coverage first.

If their injuries meet certain criteria, the victims may be eligible to file claims against the at-fault driver directly. Typically, car accident victims with catastrophic injuries, such as the loss of a limb or traumatic brain damage, can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s policy. They can also choose to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.

Illinois Car Insurance Requirements

At-fault drivers have a responsibility to pay for injuries, vehicle damage, and other losses related to accidents they are responsible for. All Illinois drivers must carry a certain amount of liability insurance to uphold this financial responsibility.

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

Drivers can choose to purchase higher amounts of coverage if they wish. Injured victims can only claim compensation up to the at-fault driver’s policy limits; if their damages exceed these limits, the company may not offer a sufficient settlement. The victims can choose to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the compensation they need. They can also file an insurance claim under their own policies, if they have the appropriate coverage.

What to Do After an Illinois Car Accident

Since Illinois follows a fault-based system for car accidents, the moments immediately after the collision are crucial. The victims will need evidence proving the driver’s liability, which is freshest immediately after the crash. If you are in a car accident, you can prepare for your future claim by taking the following steps.

  • First, call 911 to bring police and emergency medical services to the scene. Speak to the responding officer and ask for his or her name. The officer will produce an accident report that you can use as evidence in your future claim. Be careful not to make any statements that implicate your fault in the accident, and do not make any assumptions about your injuries before going to the hospital.
  • Next, receive medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Failure to receive medical treatment can harm your future claim; the insurance claim may use this as evidence against you. Save all of your medical records, bills, and prescriptions.
  • If you can move around the accident without further injury, preserve evidence. Take as many photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and your vehicle damage as possible. Exchange contact information with the at-fault driver, as well as any witnesses in the area.

After you receive medical attention, contact an Chicago car accident attorney. Do not speak with any insurance adjusters until you talk to your lawyer. Your attorney will evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and take the first steps to secure the compensation you deserve.