If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed regarding the steps you need to take in order to attempt to obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and any pain and suffering you endured as a result of your personal injuries.
Under Section 625 ILCS 5/7-601 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, all drivers in the state of Illinois must carry insurance coverage. Unfortunately, some drivers fail to follow this law leaving them without coverage following an accident due to their negligence. If you suffered injuries as a result of another driver’s negligence who failed to properly insure their vehicle, call the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation and to learn how a Chicago uninsured car accident lawyer may help with your case.
Required Minimum Motor Vehicle Insurance Coverage in Illinois
Any person driving a vehicle in the state of Illinois that either does not have car insurance coverage or fails to maintain the legally required minimum car insurance coverage is an uninsured or underinsured motorist. According to the Illinois Department of Insurance, there are specific amounts and types of coverage that a motorist must maintain in order to operate a motor vehicle legally in the state of Illinois. These coverages include the following:
Liability coverage encompasses two different types of car insurance coverage: bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD). If an investigation determines that a driver operated a vehicle in a negligent manner causing injury or damages to another person or property, liability coverage will pay for the bodily injury or property damage resulting from that accident.
- Bodily Injury (BI) Coverage. BI coverage will pay for any costs associated with an injury (or death) to a driver, passenger, or pedestrian involved in an accident due to that driver’s negligence. Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 625 ILCS 5/7-203 requires that every motorist carry a minimum of $25,000 per person per accident and $50,000 total per accident worth of coverage.
- Property Damage (PD) Coverage. PD coverage will pay for any property damage to another person’s vehicle, or other property damaged that is due to that driver’s negligence. Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 625 ILCS 5/7-203 requires that every motorist carry a minimum of at least $20,000 of PD coverage per accident.
It is important to note that these Illinois statutes legally mandate minimum amounts for car insurance coverage. Drivers should take the time to consider whether they want to purchase additional insurance coverage, as these minimum amounts may not fully protect an individual from lawsuits if the bodily injury or property damage exceeds these minimum amounts.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you are a driver in the state of Illinois, you are also required to maintain uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on your own car insurance policy. This means that if you suffered injuries in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you should have the ability to receive compensation from your own insurance policy.
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage (UM Coverage). This car insurance coverage will provide compensation for any bodily injuries suffered by a hit-and-run driver, or a driver that is responsible for an accident but has no car liability insurance coverage. The state of Illinois requires that all driver’s carry $25,000 minimum of UM coverage per person, and $50,000 worth of coverage per accident. You have the legal right to purchase additional amounts higher than these limits.
- Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Insurance (UIM Coverage). This type of car insurance will compensate a driver for any difference between the liability limits of the negligent driver and your UIM coverage. It is important to note that Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 5/143a-2 requires UIM coverage if a driver makes the decision to purchase additional UM coverage greater than the minimum amounts.
Making determinations regarding insurance coverage following a car accident can feel frustrating and challenging. If you suffered injuries from an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist, an uninsured car accident attorney can help you through this difficult time. Contact the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation.
Filing an Underinsured or Uninsured Insurance Claim
If you suffered injuries in an accident, you should notify your car insurance company as soon as possible, regardless of whether the other driver was at fault, or if they did, or did not, have insurance coverage. Additionally, you should always file a police report regarding the car accident, even if the police did not arrive at the scene and take their own police report.
If the other driver is uninsured, there will not be another insurance company to contact regarding your injuries and losses. However, if the negligent driver remains underinsured, you will likely still need to contact the insurance company to receive compensation under the car insurance policy.
The police and the insurance company will begin an investigation to make a determination regarding liability and responsibility for the accident. Often, witness statements, photographs, medical records, an examination of the vehicles, and expert witnesses must work together to make a determination regarding fault and liability. If the investigation determines that the uninsured or underinsured driver is responsible for the accident, and their insurance coverage will not completely pay for your losses and damages, you will have to use your own UIM and UM coverage to make up the difference.
For a free legal consultation with a uninsured car accidents lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Contact a Chicago Uninsured Car Accident Attorney for Help Today
If you suffered injuries or property damage due to an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you may still have the right to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. In fact, you have the legal right to pursue a claim directly against the driver personally if they do not have car insurance coverage, or enough car insurance coverage to compensate you for your losses.
These types of claims are often legally challenging and complex. Consider visiting with our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation and to learn how a Chicago uninsured car accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights.