Where Does Compensation Come from in Illinois Car Wrecks?

Auto accidents can cause tremendous, painful injuries that last for a lifetime. The economic damages alone, such as medical bills, future medical costs, lost salary, and being deprived of a chance to make a better living can total millions of dollars, and that is before tacking on pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages. Few people in Illinois have that kind of money to pay you for causing an accident. Fortunately, Illinois law requires all motorists to have auto insurance. 

Auto insurers are the primary source of payment for injuries and damages an accident victim suffers in Illinois. Illinois insurers handle two types of accident claims. One is a third-party claim, and the other is a first-party claim.

The injured party will make a third-party claim against the insurance of the driver who caused the accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company must provide the victim with coverage up to the policy limits of the auto policy. The company is not obligated to cover anymore. Thus, the responsible party could be on the hook to pay damages for excess coverage if the damage award exceeds the amount of liability coverage the driver purchased.

The other type of insurance claim in Illinois is a first-party claim. A first-party claim is often called a no-fault insurance claim because in some instances your auto insurer will cover you no matter who is at fault. An injured victim can also file a first-party claim when the other driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the damages. That type of claim is called an under-insurance claim. The other common first-party claim is an uninsured claim. In other words, the at-fault driver possessed no insurance to cover the damages resulting from a car accident.

Knowledgeable Illinois auto accident attorneys will always investigate the accident case thoroughly to discover the existence of other insurance policies. For example, the company of an employee involved in an accident might have an umbrella policy available. Also, the at-fault driver could have consumed too much liquor at a bar or restaurant before causing an accident. The bar could be liable under the Illinois’ Dram Shop Act for losses as well as the driver who caused the crash.


Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at 312.422.0500.

Stein & Shulman, LLC
134 N LaSalle St, #820
Chicago, IL 60602
Website | Directions