I was Told the Driver of the Vehicle I was Involved in an Accident With had Full Coverage. What Does That Mean?
Probably not. Full coverage usually refers to state-mandated auto insurance requirements and is not an assurance that an at-fault driver was adequately insured to fully cover all expenses arising from a car accident.
“Full insurance coverage” often refers to coverage for liability and property damage, which is the minimum legal requirement to operate a vehicle in Illinois. However, full coverage is not a straightforward insurance term and does not always mean the same thing across the board. For example, Illinois requires certain minimum coverage levels, but the minimum coverage might not be sufficient to reimburse all parties for their actual expenses. Sometimes comprehensive coverage is included in the definition of “full coverage” but may not be mandated by law, like in Illinois. Comprehensive insurance covers losses from things like vandalism and theft.
Unfortunately for an accident victim with serious injuries, state minimum “full coverage” falls far short of compensating his or her medical care, as most recoveries in automobile accident cases are significantly limited by the amount of insurance coverage in place at the time. For example, if you are t-boned in an intersection and break your leg and need surgery, you may have medical expenses of $100,000. If the driver who caused your accident simply had the Illinois minimum full coverage levels, you would only recover $25,000.
Current mandatory minimum liability coverage in Illinois is $25,000 for bodily injury and $20,000 for property damage—typically only a fraction of a serious accident victim’s actual costs.
Another common problem that comes up in many auto accident cases is that some drivers simply ignore the law. Even though Illinois has required drivers to purchase liability insurance for decades, many drivers fail to comply with the mandate or fail to keep policies current and up-to-date. With a significant number of drivers on Illinois roads without any insurance (some studies suggest nearly 10 percent of all drivers), it is crucial that you protect yourself and your family with the purchase of uninsured motorist coverage that exceeds the state minimums by a significant amount. For a relatively modest premium cost, auto insurance coverage can be expanded greatly beyond what Illinois obligates drivers to carry.
Don't Assume That Another Driver's Insurer Will Automatically Compensate You for Your Injuries
Don't be lulled into believing that an insurance company for an at-fault driver will quickly furnish you with the funds needed to fairly compensate you for your injuries, medical bills and lost wages. Even when drivers carry insurance, it may be insufficient to cover your costs or the insurer may not pay what you are owed until they are taken to court. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our Chicago car accident attorneys take pride in representing people from across Illinois in all types of serious car accident cases and are prepared to help you get the recovery you need. Contact our office today for a free review of your case.