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Accidents With Uninsured Drivers

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Truck Accidents

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can be a traumatic experience. When someone else is at fault, they can and should cover your damages in their entirety.

However, not everyone is that responsible. When you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, obtaining the compensation you deserve could prove to be more challenging than you previously thought. To recover what you need, you’ll need to understand the law, your insurance policy, and the process for dealing with an uninsured driver.

Illinois Auto Insurance Laws

Under Illinois law, all drivers must carry specific auto insurance coverage. Every driver must have the following auto insurance coverage before bringing their vehicle on the roads:

  • $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
  • $20,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage

UIM Coverage is Mandatory

One in eight drivers don’t have auto insurance. And although all drivers in Illinois are required to carry auto insurance, the number of uninsured motorists on the roadways puts you at risk for financial distress should a collision occur.

Therefore, Illinois law also requires all motorists to carry uninsured motorist protection.

UIM is designed to protect you if you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver. Your uninsured motorist coverage can also protect you if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident.

Most budget for the following uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage:

  • $25,000 per person in uninsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage
  • $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist bodily injury liability coverage

You may also want to consider purchasing underinsured motorist coverage, collision, comprehensive, rental car coverage, gap insurance, and other types of auto insurance to protect yourself in the event of an accident.

If the Driver Who Hit You Doesn’t Have Insurance

If the driver who hit you does not have auto insurance coverage, that does not mean you will not be able to recover compensation for your damages. Illinois is a fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes, meaning you would typically file a claim with the liable party’s auto insurance provider after a collision.

However, if the driver who hit you does not have auto insurance, you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company under your UIM policy. Since you are required to carry uninsured motorist coverage by law, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurance company to recoup certain types and amounts of damages.

Depending on your coverage, you may be able to recover a sizable portion of your losses. The damages you can recover and the amount will directly relate to the amount outlined in your policy.

Generally, this includes compensation for medical expenses and, in some cases, property damages. But this will usually not cover other economic or any non-economic damages.

Are Lawsuits Against Uninsured Drivers Worth It?

When you have been involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, you may be wondering whether filing a lawsuit against them is worth it. After all, if they do not have auto insurance coverage, chances are they do not have the funds needed to compensate you, even if the jury did return a favorable outcome in your case.

Although filing a civil lawsuit against the liable uninsured driver may not result in the compensation you were hoping for, working with an attorney can help you uncover alternatives.

For example, there may be other liable parties associated with the car accident with appropriate insurance coverage, or an attorney can facilitate a smooth UIM claim with your own insurance company.

What to Expect from the Uninsured/Underinsured Claims Process

When filing an uninsured or underinsured insurance claim with your insurance company, you may be expecting to be treated fairly. While this should be the case, many insurance companies prioritize their financial interests over their claimants’.

It is more common than you might think for insurance companies to attempt to take advantage by unfairly denying claims or looking for every opportunity to reduce the compensation they payout.

You can take steps to protect your compensation by having your car accident attorney handle the negotiations on your behalf.

Get Help from a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

Although claims involving uninsured or underinsured drivers can be more challenging, that does not mean you should not seek the compensation you deserve. You may be able to recover the compensation you are entitled to through the insurance company.

Explore all your options when you contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Find out what your next steps should be when you contact our office for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. You could reach us through our convenient contact form or by phone at 312-236-2900.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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