Under Illinois law, anyone registering a vehicle must have adequate insurance. Currently, our state requires that you have at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, up to a maximum of $50,000 per accident (when two or more people are injured). The state also requires at least $20,000 in property damage insurance. At Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we want to notify the public about the importance of uninsured motorist coverage, which is included in every car insurance policy sold in Illinois.
What UM Covers
Uninsured motorist coverage kicks in if you were struck by someone who lacks insurance. It is fault-based coverage, meaning you cannot use it if you were to blame for the collision. But if someone else is at fault, then UM coverage can pay out benefits up to the policy limit for:
- Medical care
- Lost income or lost wages
- Pain and suffering
About 13 percent of all Illinois motorists lack coverage. This means that if you are hit by such a driver, you will not be able to make a claim with their insurer. UM coverage, however, can step in and provide benefits in this unfortunate event.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
This is slightly different coverage. It kicks in if the driver at fault for the accident has insurance but not enough. For example, a driver might be carrying the minimum in bodily injury liability—$ 25,000. However, if you suffered $100,000 in financial losses, you have losses that are not being compensated.
This is where underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) comes in. It will pay benefits once you hit the at-fault driver’s policy limit. It is also excellent coverage to have given the skyrocketing cost of medical bills. Anything but the most minor injuries will probably exhaust $25,000 in coverage.
UM Coverage Must Be Offered
All policies written in Illinois must contain uninsured motorist coverage with coverage limits equal to your bodily injury liability coverage. We strongly encourage all motorists to carry as much uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as they can reasonably afford.
There are simply too many uninsured motorists on the road, and the state’s minimum bodily injury liability insurance is clearly inadequate for all but the most minor injuries. For example, if you need surgery to set a broken bone and need to spend even a few days in the hospital, then $25,000 will probably not cover all your expenses. With both UM and UIM coverage, you can achieve additional peace of mind.
Negotiating with Your Insurance Company
Though uninsured motorist coverage is great to have, the fact is that many of our clients still struggle to get a meaningful payout from their insurer following a crash. Some insurers fight claims or drag their heels, which necessitates legal intervention. In many ways, trying to negotiate with a UM insurer is as frustrating as negotiating with any other driver’s insurance provider—even though you have been paying premiums! Fortunately, our personal injury lawyers are adept at gathering the evidence necessary to make a compelling claim.
Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you are struggling to get your insurer to take your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim seriously, please contact a dedicated Chicago personal injury lawyer at Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz at 312-804-6102 today. We offer a free consultation to those who need legal advice following car accidents.