You call us – Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers. We have experience in fighting insurance companies on Uninsured Motorist Claims throughout our State.
In Illinois, all motorists must have automobile insurance. Sadly, some drivers have no insurance to cover the damages resulting from their negligence. This lack of insurance can be catastrophic, especially to those who are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. The last thing an accident victim wants to do is to pay for medical bills and other costs out of their own pocket. This is where uninsured motorist coverage steps in.
What if the other driver has insurance but not enough – File an Underinsurance Motorist Claim
Using your own policy’s UM coverage.
Even if a motorist doesn’t have any form of insurance, an accident victim could file a claim with their insurance company, which would be responsible for paying the full cost of their injuries and other damages up to the policy limits of the applicable uninsured motorist coverage. It is vital to realize that this option is only available if a person purchased uninsured motorist (UM) coverage prior to being involved in an accident.
Under Illinois law found at 625 ILCS 5/7-203, drivers are required to purchase uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Even though drivers are required to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, insurance companies still try to find ways to deny claims or limit the financial recovery of their policyholder. This means that accident victims will have to fight vigorously to obtain the compensation they deserve. A skilled Illinois uninsured motorist lawyer can play a vital role in helping accident victims receive the compensation they need to compensate them for their losses.
In Illinois, insurance carriers must include uninsured motorist coverage on EVERY auto insurance policy. This type of policy ensures that the holder of the policy and members of any accident victim’s family are covered in the event of a collision involving an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run accident.
In order to receive compensation for one’s injuries, an accident victim must file a claim with their insurance company to cover their damages. In this case, an insurance carrier, in exercising their subrogation and restitution rights, will likely pursue a case against the uninsured motorist to recover the money they paid to the accident victim.
UM coverage can protect an accident victim and their family against damages caused by an uninsured motorist. Conversely, underinsured motorist coverage protects an accident victim if the at-fault party has less insurance coverage than the limits in the victim’s policy.
While Illinois law requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury, it does not require uninsured motorist coverage for property damage. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to purchase uninsured motorist property damage coverage. For example, without uninsured motorist property damage coverage, if you are hit by an uninsured driver, then you may not have any way of getting your vehicle fixed because the at-fault driver does not have insurance and you did not purchase uninsured motorist property. On the other hand, if you are hit by an uninsured motorist and you had uninsured motorist property damage coverage, then you can go through your own insurance company to get your vehicle fixed. Additionally, if your personal property was damaged in a collision with an uninsured driver such as your cell phone, laptop, or other personal items of value, then you can also make a claim under uninsured motorist property damage coverage.
Your first and only step is to contact a lawyer that can fight on your behalf
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today!
Insurance companies are a business, meaning that they are not always eager to protect an accident victim’s benefits. Specifically, an insurance company is legally responsible to ensure that the profits of their stockholders remain intact, sometimes at the policyholder’s own expense.
A seasoned Illinois uninsured motorist attorney can help an accident victim fight for their legal rights and interests in handling their claim and seeking to have the denial reversed. An attorney is also vital at this stage because they can help an accident victim determine whether their insurer is acting in bad faith by denying their claims. When this occurs, an experienced attorney may be able to help their client navigate the claims process and receive the compensation they deserve that well exceeds the limits of the accident victim’s insurance policy.
There are several types of damages that an accident victim can pursue in a UM claim. These include the following:
In the case of a wrongful death, per the Illinois Wrongful Death Act, codified at 740 ILCS 180/1 et.seq., the spouse and next of kin of the deceased can seek such damages that include, without limitation, grief, sorrow, funeral expenses, and mental suffering. Essentially, the spouse and next of kin of the deceased individual are entitled to collect the proceeds of a UM claim for these types of losses.
Filing a UM claim does not usually increase one’s insurance premium due to the fact that they are not responsible for causing the crash. However, insurance companies can take a wide variety of factors into consideration when determining an individual’s risk profile (such as the individual’s claim history) and setting their premium. UM coverage is required under Illinois law and helps protect people from other drivers who have decided not to follow Illinois law and have not purchased insurance coverage or have allowed their insurance coverage to lapse (such as by not paying their premium in a timely manner).
Recovering after an injury has occurred is never easy, and there’s no such time as a, “good time” to do so. As one of our local Judge’s likes to say, “each case is like a finger print”, in some cases a $25,000 per individual, $50,000 per accident policy may be adequate, but in cases involving catastrophic injuries, or death, that amount of uninsured motorist coverage is woefully inadequate. While people may be covered for catastrophic loss through life insurance either purchased privately, or through their employer, increasing the amount of UM coverage on your personal policy is never a bad idea, and generally is not an expensive addition for piece of mind. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash by someone that didn’t have insurance, at the Rockford Personal Injury Lawyers, our office prides itself on talking to anyone that has been injured to see if we can help in their recovery. Therefore we always offer a completely FREE and honest consultation about what we might be able to do to help you or your loved one in an Illinois Uninsured Motorist case. Feel free to call, text, or email us 24/7/365 at (815) 964-8303.