When one is involved in a car accident, the general routine is to stop, look out for any injuries and everyone else’s state, document the accident scene, and then exchange contact information, including insurance coverage. But what do you do if the other driver is uninsured or is underinsured?
The primary source of financial compensation following a car accident is usually the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. While auto insurance is a requirement in Illinois, not everyone has it because not every driver can afford it, especially when faced with other expenses like mortgage, food, utilities, etc. That’s why you need the assistance of experienced personal injury lawyers in Southern Illinois to help you homogenize benefits under your own insurance policy.
What Are the Insurance Requirements in Illinois?
Illinois has some of the strictest insurance requirements in the country. Besides the specific coverage requirements, the state also requires a random license plate verification process to identify uninsured motorists. The state requires every motorist to buy auto insurance policies in these amounts:
- $20,000 coverage for the damage of another’s property
- $25,000 coverage for the injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 coverage for the injury or death of two or more persons in an accident
Besides, drivers are required to carry around their insurance cards in their vehicles and present them to officers whenever requested. Unfortunately, not every driver adheres to these requirements, and they continue to put other people at risk. It is essential to talk to a Mt Vernon car accident attorney when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver to learn your options.
How Can an Uninsured Driver Affect Your Claim?
Once you discover that the other driver does not have auto insurance, you would probably want to file a claim against the individual. Unfortunately, this isn’t a guarantee that you will receive enough compensation to cover your losses.
What If the Driver Is Unlicensed?
Being hit by an unlicensed driver is a lesser evil of the two. In many cases, the unlicensed driver is driving an insured car, and therefore the owner of the vehicle would be responsible. However, the unlicensed driver will still face repercussions.
What Can I Do If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
Due to the financial disaster a person can face when involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, Illinois has made it mandatory for motorists to have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. This policy ensures that policyholders and their families are covered in collisions involving another uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run accident. You can also use your regular insurance to cover you in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver.
Use Your Own Insurance Coverage
To be compensated, you need to inform your insurance carrier and file a claim with them. However, you still need a Southern Illinois uninsured motorist accident attorney on your side to help you deal with your insurance company. Insurers are notorious for shortchanging accident victims and making payouts that don’t come close to the losses the victim suffered. Besides, your regular insurance may or may not cover you depending on the clauses of fault contained in the contract.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Because your regular insurance may not be sufficient, many people buy uninsured motorist coverage as a supplemental insurance plan. In Illinois, it is mandatory to have it and cover at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Because of the potential lifelong injuries and traumas car accidents can cause, it is advisable to purchase more than the minimum amount. Notably, your uninsured motorist coverage will not cover your property damage or loss.
File A Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Liable Party
Sometimes a third-party claim may arise if you’re dealing with more than just the driver. For instance, you can file a claim against a trucking company, shipping company, or truck manufacturer if the truck driver that caused the accident didn’t have insurance. Generally, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against a driver’s employer if the driver collides with you while on the job. Whatever option you choose, you need a knowledgeable Mt Vernon uninsured motorist accident lawyer to represent you and seek fair compensation.
Is Uninsured Coverage the Same as Underinsured Coverage?
There’s a difference between “uninsured” and “underinsured.” Underinsured coverage will protect you when the at-fault driver has less insurance coverage than the limits in your policy. Conversely, uninsured coverage protects you and your family against losses by an uninsured driver.
An Insured Motorist Hit Me While Riding a Bike. I’m I Covered?
Yes, you are covered by your uninsured motorist coverage even if you were not driving a vehicle at the time – as a cyclist or pedestrian.
What Should I Do If My Insurance Provider Denies Part or All of My Coverage?
Insurance companies are in business and are not always enthusiastic about protecting your benefits or quickly making payouts. They have goals to ensure profitability – sometimes at the expense of the policyholder. When faced with such a challenge, quickly get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in Southern Illinois and let them help you reverse this decision and ensure you are treated fairly. A skilled personal injury near you can determine if the insurance company acted in bad faith through egregious acts.
An Aggressive Legal Professional Fighting for Your Rights
Don’t make the mistake of engaging in talks with your insurance company without an attorney. Your insurer doesn’t have your best interests at heart. The wisest move to make is to involve an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your Illinois uninsured car accident attorney will advise you on the way forward.
Our attorneys at Olson & Reeves will review your case, gather evidence, and compile your medical records. We will ensure you get the compensation you deserve using our skills and several years of experience representing car accident victims in Southern Illinois. Call us today at (618) 316-7322 and let us discuss your case in detail.