Most compensation for car accidents that involve other cars or commercial vehicles like taxis, Ubers, buses, and semi-trucks comes from insurance companies. In fact, it is rare for a car accident or a commercial vehicle accident case to go all the way to trial. Usually, the at-fault driver’s insurance company reaches a settlement with the injured parties. But this doesn’t mean that everyone always gets the compensation they deserve. The insurance claims process can be complicated, and some insurance companies can be unscrupulous when it comes to compensating accident victims.
Furthermore, many accident victims are in no state to prepare and defend an insurance claim when they’re trying to heal from their injuries. This is why hiring an attorney from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to handle your insurance claim can not only reduce your stress after an accident, it can improve your chances of getting a settlement that covers the full extent of your damages. Call us today at (312) 236-2900.
Insurance Requirements in Illinois
Along with a driver’s license and valid registration, car insurance and commercial vehicle liability insurance are required for driving legally. Nonetheless, research by the Insurance Research Council suggests that around 12.6% of drivers on the road are not covered by an insurance policy.
If you drive a car in Illinois, you must have the following types of car insurance coverage:
- $25,000 injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 injury or death for all persons in an accident
- $20,000 damage to property of another person
You may also carry uninsured / underinsured (UM / UIM) coverage in case you are hit by someone who does not have any or enough coverage. Collision and comprehensive insurance will cover your property in case you’re in an accident and are at fault.
Commercial vehicles must also carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, which is established by state regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and is higher than for personal vehicles. Those amounts are set to provide enough coverage for the serious injuries and property damage that can occur as a result of semi-truck accidents.
If you have been involved in an accident with a car or truck and they did not have enough coverage, you may have bills that are not covered by insurance. Contact our experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers to find out more about your options.
First- and Third-Party Claims
After being injured by another car or commercial vehicle, you’re going to have to work with not only your insurance company but that of the other driver or business as well. You may have to deal with a number of insurance companies if there are multiple policies involved. Claims with insurance companies that are not your own are called “third-party claims” rather than “first-party claims,” which occur with your own insurance company.
Regardless of whether you are filing a first-party claim or a third-party claim, you may have to deal with many insurance issues. The goal of every insurance company is to pay out as little as possible. You will have to prove that your injuries and losses should be compensated.
You will likely have to file more than one claim and speak with multiple investigators. It’s important to know your rights when working with one, let alone numerous companies. Partnering with an attorney can ensure each insurance provider receives the paperwork it needs to investigate and approve your claim.
Proving Damages If You’ve Been in an Accident
Whether you’re filing a first or third party claim, you’ll need to provide evidence of the damages for which you are seeking compensation. Insurance companies hire investigators and claims adjusters whose job it is to ensure that claimants aren’t exaggerating or making up damages.
If you’re making a claim for car repair expenses, the insurance company will need an estimate from your repair shop. In some cases, the insurance company will want proof that the car damage was actually caused by the accident and not some prior event. Therefore, you should take photos of the accident scene and your car damage and include them in your claim.
When claiming for medical expenses, you’ll need to prove that the treatment you received was reasonably necessary to address injuries that were actually caused by the accident. An investigator may compare your medical bills with the accident report and any available witness testimony. If the investigator sees anything suspicious, you might need to provide further justification for your medical expenses. In some cases, investigators will follow an accident victim around to determine whether the injuries are real or not.
Insurance companies can be difficult to work with, and they may use sketchy tactics to try and save money. It’s important to protect your rights by working with an experienced attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.
A Skilled Lawyer Can Help
Like all businesses, insurance companies seek to increase their revenue and decrease their expenses. Thus, any time an insurance company can justify reducing or not paying a claim, it will do so.
For this reason, you should ensure your claim is well documented, and avoid giving verbal statements to an insurance adjuster. If you contradict a previous statement—even accidentally—the claims adjuster may attempt to lower your recovery. Claims adjusters are professional interviewers, and they may try to corner you into saying things that hurt your case. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we know the ins and outs of the insurance claims process and know how to work with claims adjusters to get our clients the compensation they deserve.