Car Accidents

Insurance Issues

The most common way to get compensation after a car accident is through an insurance claim. Getting your car repaired is usually a straightforward process after a minor accident. But if you were hurt or lost a relative in the crash, there’s a lot more at stake—for you, the other driver, and the insurance companies. It’s during these important claims that a lot can go wrong. In turn, you might have a hard time receiving a fair settlement.

We recommend you work with a Chicago car accident lawyer from the very beginning. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is experienced in handling car accident insurance claims and winning compensation for our clients. Call us today at (312) 236-2900 or use our online form to request a free, no-risk consultation.

Illinois Car Insurance Requirements

Illinois law requires everyone who owns a car to carry at least:

  • $25,000 coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in a crash
  • $50,000 coverage for bodily injury or death of more than one person in a crash
  • $25,000 coverage for property damage in a crash

The driver must always have proof of insurance with them in the vehicle. They should keep the insurance card in the vehicle. Many auto insurers also provide mobile apps that offer proof of insurance anywhere, any time.

The Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance (Uninsured Motorist)

A common issue after a car crash is learning the at-fault driver doesn’t have auto insurance. This can be very frustrating. We highly recommend you give a car accident lawyer a call.

You can turn to your own insurer for help. But how much your insurer can help depends on your coverage. Your other option is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver and demand compensation from them personally.

Whether or not this will be successful depends on several factors, including the motorist’s income and assets. If they didn’t pay for auto insurance, they might have little-to-no income to pay for damages.

The Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance (Underinsured Motorist)

Illinois’ required auto insurance isn’t much. In a serious car wreck, your medical bills and property damage can be worth a lot more than the minimum required policy limit.

When the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your damages, this is known as an underinsured motorist claim. Depending on your personal auto coverage, you might be able to turn to your insurer for help. You also need to talk with a lawyer about filing a personal injury lawsuit.

The Insurer Ignores Your Claims

After a wreck, you notify the insurance companies about the accident. You get started with a formal claim with your insurer or the negligent driver’s insurer. Under Illinois insurance law, the insurer is required to assign an adjuster and start investigating your claim promptly. But if you don’t hear back and it seems the insurer is ignoring you, call a lawyer. The insurance company might be acting in bad faith.

The Insurer Doesn’t Investigate

Just because an insurer opens a claim and assigns an adjuster doesn’t mean they move forward with your claim the way they should. It’s the adjuster’s responsibility to gather evidence, including the police report, witness statements, vehicle repair estimates, medical records, photos, and more.

The insurer should do this in the weeks following the crash to make a prompt decision about liability. If it’s been weeks or months, and it seems the insurance company is sitting on your claim, not doing anything, call an attorney right away. The insurer might respond and get moving when you hire a lawyer.

The Insurer Keeps Demanding More Evidence

Insurers sometimes try to harass or intimidate claimants. One way of doing that is repeatedly asking for more paperwork and evidence or asking for things you’ve already provided. It’s a tactic to waste your time and intimidate you into not following up with the claim or accepting a low settlement offer. Don’t hesitate to start working with a lawyer when you realize the insurer is being unfair.

The Insurer Doesn’t Return Your Calls or Emails

Insurance companies in Illinois are required to respond to communications within a certain period. If it seems the adjuster and other insurance company employees are ignoring your calls and emails, hire a lawyer. An insurer is more likely to respond to a car accident law firm. And if they continue to ignore your claim, you can move your case to court.

The Insurer Keeps Delaying Your Claim

Insurers sometimes use various stalling tactics. In egregious situations, claims have been denied for years. If you’ve been trying to get compensation from an insurer for months, it’s time to ask for help. Our car accident attorneys will push your claim forward, and when necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit.

The Insurer Denies Your Claim Without a Reason

If the insurance company determines it’s not liable for paying your claim, it must provide a reason for the denial in writing. The reason needs to identify the relevant law or policy provision it’s using to deny liability. If you’re told your claim is denied, but you never receive a reason in writing, ask a lawyer to get involved on your behalf. This is bad faith on the insurer’s part.

The Insurer Approves Your Claim but Won’t Negotiate

An all-too-common issue is when an insurance company approves a claim but then refuses to negotiate in good faith. It’s best to have an experienced attorney negotiate. We are highly experienced in calculating the value of your claim, learning the liable party’s policy limit, and fighting for you to receive the maximum compensation possible.

When you don’t have legal representation, an insurer often tries to hide the policy limit from you. They want you to negotiate in the dark. You also might not have a clear picture of what your case is worth. Hiring a lawyer solves these issues and improves the likelihood of resolving your claim.

The Insurer Hasn’t Sent You Payment

You might have gone through the claims process, negotiated a good settlement, and then waited for the check to arrive. If it’s been weeks or months, and you haven’t received payment from the insurance company despite your best efforts, call us immediately.

Car Accident Insurance Issues FAQ

Do Illinois drivers have to carry auto insurance?

Yes, all Illinois drivers must carry insurance to cover bodily injuries, deaths, and property damage they cause other people.

Do Illinois drivers have to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?

In Illinois, bodily injury liability policies automatically include uninsured motorist coverage for the lawful minimum amounts. If you’re hurt in an accident, you can turn to your own insurance company for help paying your medical bills.

Are there other types of auto insurance?

Yes, drivers have the option to purchase collision, comprehensive, and personal injury protection (PIP), gap, and other types of insurance coverage. But they aren’t required by Illinois law. These other forms of auto insurance can help pay your damages when the other driver is uninsured or underinsured.

Do I have to tell an insurance company about an accident?

You aren’t required by law to tell your insurance company about a car crash. But your policy might require you to tell the insurer. If you want to recover compensation under your auto insurance policies, then you must notify the insurer within a reasonable time after the wreck. If you don’t tell the insurer about the accident for weeks or months, it could deny your claim.

How does an insurer determine liability for the accident?

The insurance company will review the evidence to determine which driver was negligent. This often means determining which driver violated a traffic law, like speeding, running a stop sign, or driving recklessly. If two or more drivers contributed to the accident, the insurer would decide whether their policyholder was more than half at fault.

Can I get compensation if I partly caused the accident?

Sometimes, yes. If you are less than half responsible for the crash, you can still receive compensation. If you are 51% or more at fault, then no, you can’t receive compensation.

When is my vehicle totaled?

The insurance company decides whether your vehicle should be repaired or deemed a total loss. Your vehicle will be totaled if the cost of repairing it is more than its current market value.

Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. with Insurance Issues

Insurance companies are powerful organizations that will try to strongarm you into making an agreement that is unfair. Contact our insurance defense attorneys today for help.

Call us at (312) 236-2900 or use our online contact form.

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