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Who Pays Medical Bills for Car Accident Injuries in Illinois?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

When a car crash in Illinois causes serious injury, you may wonder, “Who will pay these medical bills?” The short answer is, “You.” When you seek medical treatment, you are personally responsible for making sure the bills get paid. However, the longer answer is, “A combination of your own pocket, your health insurance coverage, your auto insurance coverage, the insurance of the at-fault driver, and the at-fault driver personally.”

In general, your own health insurance is going to be your first and best option to get medical bills paid as quickly as possible. At the same time, you must report the accident to your auto insurance company and the auto insurance company of any other drivers involved in the collision.

The next step is to determine who was at fault in causing the accident. In a simple situation, the police report on the accident may answer this question. For example, if another driver ran a red light and caused the collision, and you did nothing wrong, then the other driver was at fault.

In more complicated cases, investigations will take place to determine who was at fault. Sometimes, multiple drivers are assigned a percentage of the fault.

Ultimately, the at-fault driver’s insurance will be liable for compensating victims for their injuries, subject to the policy limits. If the accident was your fault, or if the at-fault driver was uninsured, then you must turn to your own policy.

Illinois Minimum Auto Insurance for Bodily Injury and Death

Illinois law (625 ILCS 5/7-203) requires all vehicle owners to carry “bodily injury or death” liability insurance. This insurance is intended to compensate accident victims for damages caused by an at-fault driver. These damages may include actual medical expenses, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement or disability, and lost earnings. All victims will be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

Note that bodily injury coverage does not pay for injuries to the at-fault driver, only for injuries to others, including passengers in their own vehicle. However, the at-fault driver could recover compensation from their own auto insurance policy if it includes “medical payments” coverage.

The minimum required bodily injury coverage in Illinois is $25,000 per person and $50,000 total per accident. If two or more people are injured in the same accident, the maximum payout is $50,000, to be split amongst the injured with no individual receiving more than $25,000. If multiple people are injured, none of them may receive enough compensation for all of their damages, unless the at-fault driver chose higher coverage limits.

For example, suppose you are injured by a reckless driver, and they have the minimum required bodily injury coverage. Your medical bills and lost earnings add up to $100,000. Their insurance will only pay you a maximum of $25,000. If the evidence against the reckless driver is strong and they have sufficient assets, you may want to sue that driver personally for the rest of the damages.

Consult an Aggressive Lake County Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a member of your immediate family suffered severe injuries in a car accident, you may be able to claim compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and possibly from other sources as well. To ensure full and fair compensation, speak to an experienced Waukegan car accident lawyer. Contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 for a free evaluation of your case.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K7-203

 

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