The aftermath of a car accident is never easy to deal with, but when the accident was caused by an uninsured motorist, the aftermath goes from “not easy” to “downright difficult.” Car accidents often result in far more damages than what the standard insurance policy actually covers, especially if one sustains severe or permanent injuries. In addition to having to pay for property damage and medical expenses, victims are forced to compensate for lost wages, overdue bills, and other expenses that pile up in post-accident. To help them cover the cost of expenses, many accident victims want to know if it is worth it to sue an underinsured driver.
While there is nothing stopping you from suing an uninsured motorist, doing so might be a big waste of your time. Most drivers who are uninsured are uninsured by necessity, not choice, meaning that they cannot afford auto insurance. Even if you could prove liability, suing an individual who cannot afford insurance would yield little to no settlement, as the person likely has little to no assets to his or her name. Moreover, if the defendant cannot afford to cover the cost of legal fees and expenses, you are stuck with them—including attorney fees. In the end, you may end up losing more than you gain by suing an uninsured driver.
Of course, an experienced attorney can help you with asset discovery if you are intent on suing the uninsured party. If your attorney does discover hidden assets, he or she may place a lien on those assets, guaranteeing that they go to you in the event that you win your case. However, if your lawyer does not uncover any assets, or if the assets are minimal, he or she may recommend filing a claim with your own insurance policy instead.
You are not out of options if it does turn out that suing the other driver is not a viable option. You can always file an insurance claim with your own auto insurance company. You may have an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy that you forgot you paid for, or you may have collision coverage that can cover the cost of property damage, thereby leaving the remainder of your policy for other damages.
If you do not have any additional policies, you may be able to turn to your health insurance provider for help. Your health insurance company may foot the bill for all medical expenses associated with the accident and only expect repayment upon your receipt of a settlement—if there is ever one.
In a no-fault state, the question of whether or not to sue an uninsured driver would not be an issue. As a fault-state, however, Illinois provides for that option—but that does not mean drivers should take advantage of it. If you want to know whether or not you should sue an uninsured driver for damages, the best thing to do would be to consult with a knowledgeable Chicago car accident lawyer. To discuss your case with a skilled attorney today, call at Michael T. Friedman & Associates to schedule your free and private consultation.
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