Can I sue my spouse's insurance company for auto accident injuries in Illinois?
I was the passenger in a single vehicle accident caused by my spouse, and received injuries including broken arm that required surgery/a plate to repair. Can I sue my spouse's insurance company for the medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering? We live in Illinois and the accident occurred in Illinois. We do not have any special "spousal" coverage.
750 ILCS 65/1 seems to indicate that I can sue my spouse's insurance, "A husband or wife may sue the other for a tort committed during the marriage", but it does not explicitly reference suing a spouse’s insurance company for an auto accident.
4 attorney answers
The short answer is yes. There is nothing in the law that prevents you from suing your spouse if they commit negligence. In Illinois, you don't sue and insurance company, you sue the person and the insurance company covers the loss. I'm sure your spouse will understand. What can be a problem is that your insurance policy may have an exclusion for suits by another member of the household. If this happens, you may be able to claim it under your uninsured motorist coverage. This depends on your specific policy. So, all of this is a long way of saying that there is probably a remedy, but you are probably going to need a lawyer to help you navigate it. Call if you have questions.
The other answer is correct in that Illinois does not recognize direct actions versus insurance companies for this type of thing, rather you sue the person whose insurance stands in and defends them.
Unless there is an odd clause in your wife's policy that prevents spousal or familial action, which would be against public policy anyway, you should be able to do this.
If it ever came to trial, there are immunities spouses may exercise in not testifying against one another but if you are all on good terms, this is not a problem.
Good job on your research--you are on your way but if you do need a lawyer, get one early, as this can become complex.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Suits are not generally lodged against an insurance carrier, but rather the adverse individual. The insurance company will indemnify your husband. You need to speak with a personal injury attorney. Arrange a free consultation as soon as possible.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
You need to hire a lawyer and pursue an uninsured motorist coverage claim against your spouse's insurance company. This may require you to file suit against your spouse, however, in order to meet the policy requirements. If the company does not negotiate the claim in good faith, you also may have an action directly against the company under the Insurance Code.