Personal Injury Claims Against Drivers with SR-22 Insurance in Illinois
Provided by HG.org
Drivers with SR-22 insurance are considered high-risk drivers. Getting involved in a driver with this type of insurance can add additional complications to a personal injury claim. Understanding this insurance and how claims may work with people who have this type of insurance can help personal injury victims be aware of their rights.
The Illinois Department of Transportation requires certain drivers to provide proof that they have at least the minimum amount of liability insurance. These drivers are considered high-risk and may include drivers who were previously involved in an accident during which they did not have insurance or who had their driverís license suspended for drinking and driving. The Illinois Department of Transportation requires a SR-22 document from a driver before it will reinstate driving privileges. SR-22 insurance must be carried for three years from the date of reinstatement. This type of insurance carries additional requirements that are not part of traditional automotive insurance policies.
The government requires the use of the SR-22 form to verify an individualís financial responsibility and ensure that the driver maintains adequate insurance. When filing this form, the insurance company provides proof to the Illinois Department of Transportation that the motorists matches the requirements under state law. The driver is permitted to drive the vehicle with a restricted license.
SR-22 insurance mandates additional requirements. The insurance company that covers the insured is required to notify the Illinois Department of Transportation of any late payments, lapses in coverage or switching of providers. Additionally, the insurance company must certify coverage to the Illinois Department of Transportation and must notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if the policy is cancelled, terminated or lapses. If the insurance company notifies the Insurance Department of Transportation of lapsed or cancelled insurance, the driverís license will be immediately suspended because of failure to comply with the SR-22 requirements. The driver may reinstate the SR-22 process again. However, the three-year period will start over.
When SR-22 Insurance Is Required
The requirement to have SR-22 endorsement is imposed on certain drivers who are considered high-risk. This is usually because the individual has been convicted for a traffic-related offense, such as driving without insurance, causing injury in an accident while not insured or DUI. SR-22 insurance is necessary in addition to typical automotive insurance. SR-22 insurance does not replace insurance coverage. Instead, it is an endorsement to another automotive policy that provides additional policy language, broadens the scope of coverage and imposes additional requirements.
Length of Requirement for SR-22 Insurance
The amount of time that a driver must have SR-22 insurance varies by the offense and imposition of the requirement. SR-22 insurance is required for at least a year when a person was driving without insurance and convicted of the offense. The driver must have insurance for up to five years for a DUI conviction.
Lapse of Coverage
If the insurance lapses while the insured is required to maintain SR-22 insurance, the insurance company must report this. The motorist is considered to be in default and can be charged as a separate offense for each time the motorist lapses.
Verifying Insurance Coverage
If a motorist is injured by a driver who is required to maintain SR-22 coverage, there are extra steps that he or she may want to take through legal counsel. His or her lawyer may be able to verify whether the driverís coverage status with the Illinois Department of Transportation is current. If the driverís insurance coverage had lapsed, the injured motorist should file an uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage with his or her own insurance carrier.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer in Illinois for Help with Your Claim
If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver who is required to maintain SR-22 coverage, it is important that you seek help immediately from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Illinois. A knowledgeable lawyer will know how to verify coverage with the Illinois Department of Transportation and what steps to take if the coverage is not valid at the time of the accident.
A personal injury lawyer can investigate a motor vehicle accident and find evidence that establishes that the motorist with SR-22 insurance was at fault. He or she can contact the insurance company to demand sufficient compensation to cover the damages that the victim sustained. He or she may also provide representation if a trial becomes necessary because an insurance company does not provide proper compensation for the victimís injuries.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.