You may be the safest driver around. The kind of driver that never takes chances and always follows speed limits and traffic signals. That’s great. But as long as you share the road with other vehicles, your run the risk of being involving in a collision—and sustaining serious injuries– with an inadequately insured or uninsured driver.
Auto claims against your own car insurance carrier
Normally, when you sustain a personal injury due to the fault of another party, you are entitled to pursue a claim or lawsuit for all of the damages as set forth under the law. However, little can be done when the person who caused the accident has inadequate insurance or personal assets to adequately compensate you. This is a good reason to have un-insured motorist (UM) or under-insured motorist (UIM) as part of your auto insurance coverage.
Dangers from other drivers without adequate insurance coverage
Unknown to many people, Illinois law only require car owners to have minimum auto insurance coverage including: $20,000 for injury or death of one person in an auto accident, $40,000 for injury or death involving two or more people in a car accident and $15,000 in property damage coverage.
Hypothetically, even the most severely injured person may only recover $20,000 for their injuries. Yes, even a pedestrian hit by a car in a crosswalk and incurred thousands of dollars in medical bills related to his injuries could only recover $20,000 for his injuries– even though his case may be worth quite a bit more.
Making matters worse, a difficulty economy has resulted in increasing numbers of drivers who ignore these statutory auto insurance requirements or who skip out on making premium payments resulting drivers on the roads without any insurance coverage at all.
If you are injured in an automobile— or any type of accident involving a motor vehicle (pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle) —and the value of your injuries and other damages exceeds that of the at-fault parties insurance coverage, you may be able to pursue a claim against your insurance company under the terms of your policy.
Hit-and-Run Car Accidents
Many hit-and-run accidents involve motorist who are driving without any car insurance or who may be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. While law enforcement officials may be able to use forensic evidence to identify these offenders, the reality is that many of these drivers do not have any assets from which to collect. Consequently, many hit and run cases involving car accidents, pedestrian knock downs or bicycle crashes evolve into an uninsured motorist claim. In order to effectuate coverage, insureds may wish to contact an attorney handling car accident cases to ensure the terms of the policy are enforced.
Costs Of An Auto Accident
The National Safety Council has compiled a list of what injuries can cost you over a lifetime. Since each injury is unique, it is difficult to know exactly what any given accident, auto or otherwise will cost. However, these are estimates based on wage loss, medical expenses, motor vehicle damages and other losses attributed to motor vehicle accidents for the year 2010:
- Motor vehicle death, $1,410,000
- Non-fatal injury, $70,200
- Property damage accidents with disabling injury, $8,900
Considering the low minimum of $20,000 for liability insurance under Illinois law, it is evident that even if a driver has insurance, it may fall much short of even the “average” injury accident. If there is a serious, life-changing disability or death, this will only scratch the surface of the financial loss.
Don’t Be Lulled Into Believing That Your Insurance Carrier Has Your Best Interests In Mind
From the moment that you are involved in an accident, your best interests are different from those of your insurance carrier. Insurance companies simply make more money by paying less on claims.
In addition to paying less out on claims, insurance carriers may also use the detailed terms of your policy to find a way to deny the claim altogether. For example, many uninsured motorist policies require the claimant to establish that there was ‘contact’ between the at fault vehicle and their own. If you do not present evidence to support this, your claim may be rejected as non-compliance pursuant to the terms of the car insurance policy.
Attorneys fully prosecuting reckless driving cases involving inadequately insured drivers
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has car accident attorneys who regularly have negotiate claims for people injured in un-insured (UM) and under-insured motorist (UIM) claims throughout Illinois and the entire Midwest. Just as in many areas of personal injury law, it is important to have an advocate with experience on your side in order to maximize an auto insurance claim.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers successfully handle uninsured and under-insured motorist claims on a similar fee arrangement that we handle all of our other personal injury matters, with a fee charged only if there is a recovery for you.
Before you speak to your insurance company about a potential under-insured or un-insured motorist claim, talk to our Chicago uninsured motorist lawyers for a no charge consultation and a insurance claim evaluation.
Related materials from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers:
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage Can Help Children Who Have Been The Victim Of Hit-And-Run Auto Accidents
Last week I met with the family of a seven-year-old boy who received horrific orthopedic injuries (fractured tibia and fibula with de-gloving of his leg) he sustained due to being hit by a car as he was crossing the street with friends. The driver completely ignored a traffic signal before hitting the boy and racing away before their plates could be written down.
Several months after the incident– and several leg and arm surgeries later, the boy’s parents called to tell me about the incident and inquired as to what if anything they could do for their son who has incurred significant medical bills and will need extensive future medical attention….
I receicve many inquiries from parents of injured children who are concerned both about the long-term impact of injuries on their children— and how to go about seeking legal recourse from the party that may have caused the injured. While the medical implications of an injury are indeed best suited for a physician to address, to potential legal redress may be evaluated by an attorney experienced in personal injury law.
Few relationships have such an alignment of interests as an attorney / client relationship in a personal injury context. Under a contingency fee payment plan, the financial interest of client and lawyer and completely aligned. Simply put, a contingency payment is a payment based on a recovery for the injured person. In a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney receives no payment until the lawsuit is tried to verdict or settled. After all the work has been done, the attorney receives a percentage of the recovery….
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has resolved an uninsured motorist case for $250,000 on behalf of a 41-year-old carpenter who sustained cuts to his face and injuries to his back and neck. The incident occurred when a hit-and-run driver veered into his lane of traffic and collided with him head-on.
After receiving emergency care at the scene from paramedics, the man was transported to an emergency room where a plastic surgeon removed the bits of glass from his face and closed the wounds with approximately 20 stitches. Due to ongoing lower back pain, our client’s family physician referred him to an orthopedist who confirmed that the pain was due to a bulging disc in the lower back.
After several months of physical therapy, our client made a good recovery and was able to resume most of his activities….