If you’ve received injuries from a car accident in which you were a passenger, you may be wondering whether you’re eligible to recover damages from the driver. While this hasn’t always been the case in Illinois, our Chicago auto accident attorneys assure that, yes, it is possible to file a claim against one’s own driver.

Before the early 1950s, the law in Illinois didn’t do much to protect passengers. In fact, it specified that injured passengers were not allowed to recover from the driver of their own vehicle. But plaintiff’s lawyers lobbied legislators in the state, explaining that the purpose of car insurance was to allow victims full and fair compensation for their injuries. Today, Illinois law encourages people who are wrongfully injured to seek compensation.

Of course, not everyone agrees with passenger’s rights. Insurance companies will frequently attempt to deny claims by arguing passengers endanger themselves by making poor decisions, such as getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking or has exhibited reckless behavior in the past. This is why it’s so important to enlist the help of an experienced Illinois car accident lawyer when seeking damages. A good attorney understands the legal rights of all parties in an automobile crash – and has the skills and knowledge to defend those rights.

If an at-fault driver is insured, his or her insurance company is responsible for paying damages to parties who are injured as a result of the driver’s negligence – whether those parties are pedestrians on the street, drivers of other vehicles or passengers within the driver’s own vehicle.

If you’ve been injured in an Illinois car accident, speak with an Illinois car accident attorney. Your lawyer can determine whether you have a case against your driver – and, if you do, help you receive maximum compensation for your damages.