Driving is something millions of Americans do every day, and most trips are uneventful. Unfortunately, some outings do not end well, and car accidents can leave drivers and passengers injured, not to mention causing substantial property damage. Consulting with a personal injury attorney is always advisable in this situation, whether you are planning to pursue a lawsuit against the other driver or file a claim with your own insurance company.
Illinois, like other states, requires all drivers to have car insurance to cover situations where they are at fault in a collision. However, like other legal requirements, not everyone follows the rules, and statistics indicate that over 13 percent of Illinois drivers are uninsured, which amounts to more than 1.1 million registered drivers in the State. To put this in perspective, an eight-car accident occurred on I-294 recently, and according to the numbers mentioned above, chances are quite high that at least one of these drivers was uninsured.
Illinois insurance carriers offer coverage for accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists, but what these provisions actually cover, and how the process works, is not understood by many drivers.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage is typically part of comprehensive automobile insurance packages. These packages often include higher amounts of potential payouts for bodily injury claims and coverage for additional financial ramifications associated with car accidents, such as rental reimbursement. This type of coverage is offered to help save drivers and their families from bearing the brunt of hit-and-run accidents or other collisions involving individuals without insurance coverage.
If the other driver in a car accident does not have insurance, or if their coverage is inadequate, an injury claim under an under-/uninsured motorist policy would be filed with one’s own insurance company. Uninsured coverage protects against all damages from another driver, up to policy limits, and underinsured coverage is triggered when the other driver’s policy is less than an injured victim’s policy, and damages are above that amount. A person’s own insurance company would pay the difference between the maximum amount paid by the other insurer and the additional damages, up to the policy limit. Note that these policies typically only cover bodily injury, not property damage.
Examples of the damages these insurance policies may cover include:
One would reasonably assume that if the person filing the claim paid for uninsured driver coverage, the insurance company would be willing to pay. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Adjustors often look for reasons to deny claims, and a very detailed claims process is commonly required to even request coverage.
Basically, there is often a conflict of interest between the insurance company and the policyholder, which requires the intervention of an experienced personal injury attorney to level the playing field. In addition, the under- or uninsured driver still retains legal liability if he/she is at fault, and an injury victim may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit to be fully compensated. Thus, whether you are pursuing coverage rights with your insurer or suing to hold an at-fault driver accountable for injuries he/she caused, an experienced attorney is key to obtaining the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Car accidents can be devastating, and learning that the other driver does not have insurance only compounds the injury. Working with a skilled attorney can make all the difference in this situation. The dedicated DuPage County car accident attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC have years of experience representing car accident victims and helping them receive the compensation they deserve. Contact us today at 630-932-9100 for a free initial consultation.
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