Illinois Law For Uninsured Accident Victims
A car crash involving two parties that have insurance can be complicated. A car crash with an uninsured driver or a hit-and-run is even more complicated and can lead to financial ruin. A motorist who is at fault for an accident and doesn’t have motor vehicle liability insurance coverage, or a driver who flees the scene, cannot reimburse innocent victims for injuries and property damage they caused.
You shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical bills and property damage out of pocket.
Protect yourself and safeguard your family. If you have been hurt or a loved one has been killed as a result of an auto accident with an uninsured driver, contact Illinois personal injury attorney Christopher Dixon. Call 855-40-CRASH.
Illinois Safety and Family Financial Responsibility Law
In Illinois, drivers are required to have car insurance. The Illinois Safety and Family Financial Responsibility Law requires motorists to carry car insurance that meets, as a minimum, the following requirements if a driver is deemed at-fault for an accident:
- $20,000 of coverage for the bodily injury or death to one person in one accident
- $40,000 of coverage for the bodily injuries or deaths to two or more people in one accident – with a cap of $20,000 per person
- $15,000 of coverage for injury to property or destruction of property of others involved in the accident.
Unfortunately, not everyone follows the law. According to a 2011 report from the Insurance Research Council, roughly one in seven drivers are uninsured. In Illinois, about 15 percent of drivers don’t have insurance.
Drivers who don’t have insurance are still responsible for the accidents they cause. They are still liable for injuries. Unfortunately for the innocent injured victims or their families, the uninsured driver often does not have a way to actually pay for the damages they have caused.
Illinois Uninsured Motorist Coverage Law
To reduce the pain and suffering that may be caused by an uninsured driver, motorists with insurance need to ensure they have an uninsured motorist provision contained in their own policy. That provision allows a motorist to obtain coverage from his or her own insurance company in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver.
The good news is that Illinois requires every insurance policy that is sold to come with Uninsured Motorist coverage. This means that your insurance is obligated to pay for the costs you incur from damages and injuries caused by an uninsured motorist.
If you are making a claim against your own insurance policy as a result of an uninsured accident, remember that all insurance companies – even your own – are not eager to pay.
Filing a claim against your insurance company is only the first step in the process. There are also written notices that have to be filed with the insurance company. If your insurance company does not receive a timely notice of your intent to file an Uninsured Motorist claim, it could result in a waiver of your claim. Further, complicated steps that must be followed in order to bring an uninsured motorist claim to your insurance company exist. Sometimes, coverage issues are brought to light and must be discussed during arbitration.
Your insurance company will also want some sort of proof that an at-fault driver lacks insurance. Proof can be shown through several ways:
- The accident was a hit and run;
- Illinois Department of Transportation certification;
- An affidavit from the at-fault driver;
- A letter from the at-fault driver’s insurance company denying coverage.
In order to process uninsured motorist claims quickly and efficiently, Illinois has adopted the use of arbitration. When arbitrators rule on an uninsured motorist claim, the ruling is final and cannot be reversed due to mistakes or facts of law. However, a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision held that either party (the insurance company or the insured) could demand a jury trial if the party believes the arbitrator’s decision was unfavorable.
Any claims against your own insurance company should be considered an adversarial situation. An Illinois lawyer who handles uninsured motorist claims is an important ally who can ensure that you recover all of the funds you’re entitled to as a result of the accident.
What Should I Do After I Am Hit By An Uninsured Motorist?
Along with purchasing uninsured motorist coverage, there are a couple of things you can do to maintain your claim if you’re ever in an accident with an uninsured driver.
- Document the accident and the damage. Take photos if you’re able. Write down the other driver’s information (license plate number, driver’s license number, make and model of the car), as well as names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- Call the police and make sure an accident report will be written. A police report is a crucial piece of your claim if the other driver does not have insurance.
- Contact an attorney. You may fall into a false sense of security and think your insurance company has your best interests at heart. However, insurance companies are in the business of making money. If they can find any way to deny your uninsured motorist claim, they will.
Contact An Lawyer for Uninsured Motorist Accidents
Illinois uninsured accident lawyer Chris Dixon has extensive experience handling uninsured accident injury claims throughout the State of Illinois. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Illinois is two years. Don’t delay contacting an attorney who will preserve your rights to reimbursement for your losses.
For an immediate FREE uninsured motorist case evaluation, call Christopher R. Dixon at 312-600-8054, or toll-free at 855-40-CRASH. Case intake specialists are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.