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Can I Make a Personal Injury Claim If I Was at Fault?

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Insurance, Personal Injury


Even when you do your best to exercise caution while driving, it’s only human to make a mistake behind the wheel. However, if you’re injured in a car accident due to your own negligence, you still suffer losses like any victim. So, one of the first questions you’d ask a personal injury lawyer is whether you can file a claim if you were at fault. After all, Illinois law requires motorists to carry mandatory minimum insurance coverage to cover losses after an auto collision.

However, there is much more to the issue than a simple yes or no. Mandatory auto insurance coverage only provides compensation when the other driver sustains injuries because of your negligent acts. You may have options to file a claim, but you may need legal help understanding your rights. To discuss your circumstances with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney, do not hesitate to call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. For a free consultation, contact us at (312) 236-2900 today.

No-Fault Versus At-Fault Liability Laws

It’s important to understand how fault works in the context of insurance. The majority of states use an “at-fault” approach to car accidents. This traditional liability insurance coverage means that the driver who caused the accident must pay for the other motorist’s losses. If you were injured in an auto crash in an at-fault state, you and your personal injury lawyer would file a claim with the insurer that provides coverage for the negligent driver.

The remaining states employ “no-fault” liability laws, where the insurance company pays out to its own policyholder to cover losses after an accident. These jurisdictions require motorists to carry personal injury protection, commonly known as “PIP.” In a no-fault state, your own insurance company compensates you for your losses. Even if you were responsible for causing the accident, you would file a claim under the PIP provisions in your policy.

Illinois is an At-Fault State

Illinois follows the traditional at-fault approach to liability in a car accident. When you’re hurt, you will file a third-party claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company. You should note that, because insurers are businesses motivated by profits, they are reluctant to pay out compensation when their policyholders cause accidents. Thus, it’s wise to retain a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests, so you get the compensation you deserve.

Personal Injury Protection in Illinois

Though Illinois is an at-fault state, you may still be able to make a personal injury claim when you’re the driver responsible for causing your losses. PIP insurance coverage is not mandatory as it is in no-fault states, but it’s an option you can carry under your insurance policy. If you choose to carry PIP, you may be covered for many types of losses related to your injuries, such as for medical costs, rehabilitation, physical therapy, lost wages, and other qualifying damages. There are limitations to PIP coverage, as you cannot obtain any amount over your policy limits. Plus, PIP does not cover pain and suffering or property damage to your vehicle.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. About Your Case

Even when you’re at fault in causing your injuries, all is not lost when it comes to filing a personal injury claim with an insurance company. You may have options, and an attorney can help explain them. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we work with insurers on a daily basis, so our personal injury attorneys have accurate knowledge of policy coverages, PIP, at-fault, and many other types of claims. To schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled legal team, contact (312) 236-2900 today.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900