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Who Pays Medical Bills for Car Accident Injuries in Illinois?

 Posted on August 20, 2023 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?” Unfortunately, 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.” This is especially true if you hire an experienced Illinois car accident lawyer to help with your claim.

Getting Your Medical Bills Paid After a Car Accident

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 and, therefore, liable for your injuries and damages.

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.

How is Fault Determined in an Illinois Car Accident?

Determining fault in a car accident involves carefully examining various factors to establish liability. The state follows a modified comparative negligence system, meaning that a person can still recover damages if their degree of fault is not greater than 50 percent. Fault determination relies on several key elements:

  • Evidence Collection: Gathering evidence is essential. This includes police reports, witness statements, photographs of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries. Your Illinois car accident attorney will help you collect evidence supporting your claim.

  • Traffic Laws and Regulations: Violations of traffic laws can play a significant role in establishing fault. If one driver is found to have violated a traffic law, it can contribute to their liability.

  • Eyewitness Testimonies: Statements from witnesses who saw the accident can provide valuable insight into the sequence of events and who may be at fault.

  • Expert Analysis: Accident reconstruction experts can use their expertise to recreate the accident, helping to determine factors like vehicle speeds, angles of impact, and more.

Navigating fault determination can be complex, but seeking legal guidance from an experienced Illinois car accident attorney can protect your rights and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Consult a Seasoned Lake County, Illinois Car Accident Lawyer Today

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 a skilled Waukegan, Illinois car accident lawyer from Salvi & Maher, LLP. Contact us Salvi & Maher, LLP online or by phone at 847-662-3303.


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If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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