Insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage to protect drivers from others without insurance. In the State of Illinois this type of coverage is mandatory for everyone; if the driver is involved in an accident with another vehicle that lacks insurance coverage, the injured party can still receive financial compensation to recover their damages. This insurance also covers victims of vehicle accidents involving a hit-and-run driver or where the other driver is unable to pay for the damages they caused.
I was just involved in an uninsured motorist accident. What is the first thing I should do?
- If you or any of the passengers has suffered injuries, call 911 immediately
- Take pictures of your car and the scenario where the accident have happened
- Take pictures of your injuries to serve as evidence when filling a compensation claim
You may not be fully aware of the extent of any injuries until hours, days or weeks after the incident. Even if you do not see any physical injuries, get a general checkup that includes x-rays, blood test and others. This diagnostic tool might identify potential internal injuries that are not obvious to you or the doctor.
How am I paid if I am involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured motorist?
To be compensated, you need to file a claim with your insurance carrier. However, your actions do not dissolve the other motorist for his or her legal responsibilities. Your insurance carrier will likely exercise their subrogation rights and seek restitution against the uninsured motorist. This means that they can sue the uninsured or under-insured driver to ensure they recover the amount of compensation they paid to you.
What legal ramification does the uninsured motorist face?
In Illinois, every driver is required to carry minimal insurance coverage as defined by law. The law enforcement officer will likely cite the uninsured motorist for their failure to maintain insurance which will require them to pay substantial fines. Other potential legal action could include:
- Impound the vehicle and having it towed to a police storage area.
- Issue a monetary penalty for their failure to maintain insurance.
- Suspend the driver’s license by state law.
- Require the uninsured motorist to purchase insurance before allowing them to drive again.
- Remain legally responsible for paying damages to the injured parties when the uninsured motorist is determined to be the driver at fault for causing the accident.
- Prevent the uninsured motorist from exercising a right to collect non-economic damages if the other driver was at fault for the accident.
Is uninsured coverage the same as under-insured coverage?
No. Uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage protects you and your family against all damages caused by an uninsured driver. Alternatively, underinsured motorist coverage protects you if the driver who caused your accident has less insurance coverage than the limits in your policy. As an example, a careless driver caused an accident but only has $50,000 in insurance coverage. This policy limit might not adequately cover you if you carry $100,000 in coverage. When this occurs, their insurance company will pay the maximum amount on their policy and your insurance carrier will pay the difference up to your policy limit.
Should I expect my premiums to rise if I file a claim involving an uninsured motorist?
No. Filing a claim against this portion of your policy does not increase your premiums because you are not responsible for the collision.
Can I wait to file a claim for compensation?
The statute of limitation in Illinois restricts the amount of time you have to file a case. Contact a lawyer to gather more information on how to proceed.
I was hit by an uninsured motorist while riding my bike. Can I still file a claim?
Yes. Your uninsured motorist policy covers you for any injury occurring in a motor vehicle accident, even if you are not riding in or driving a vehicle at the time. Your entire family receives coverage from the policy. This means if your child was walking or riding their bike and was struck by an uninsured driver, you can file a claim for compensation against your policy even though you were not injured.
My insurance company has denied all or a portion of my coverage. What can I do?
You can take legal action by hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your case to ensure that any claims denied by your insurance carrier are reversed, and you are treated fairly.
Your attorney can determine if your insurance company is acting in bad faith. If this occurs, your attorney may be able to recover financial compensation that well exceeds the limits of your policy.
How much should I expect to receive from my uninsured motorist claim?
The Romaker Law Firm fights to ensure that every client receive the maximum amount of financial compensation for their damages. We ensure our clients to be compensated for:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical bills that are necessary for future hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- The loss of future earnings because you are unable to work full or part-time due to your temporary or permanent disabilities.
- Non-tangible damages including pain, suffering, mental anxiety, emotional distress, grief, and trauma.