Illinois Uninsured Motorist Accident FAQ's
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people with injuries suffered in accidents such as uninsured motor vehicle collisions and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has collected a series of uninsured motorist accident injury FAQs related to the medical and legal aspects of crashes involving property damages, injuries, and fatalities. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Uninsured Motorist Accident FAQs
Insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage to protect motorist from other drivers operating vehicles without insurance. If the motorist is involved in an accident with another driver who lacks insurance coverage, the injured party can still receive financial compensation to recover their damages. This insurance also covers victims of vehicle accidents involving a hit-and-run driver or where the other motorist is unable to pay for damages they caused.
Our legal team has assembled a comprehensive list of the most common uninsured motorist accident frequently asked questions and posted the answers below. Many families use this information to gain knowledge on how to seek financial compensation if an uninsured motorist injured them.
I was just involved in an uninsured motorist accident. What is the first thing I should do?
If you were just involved in an accident where anyone was mildly to severely injured, you should contact law enforcement immediately at 911 using your mobile phone or smartphone. If possible, take multiple pictures of your vehicle's damage, the other vehicle's damage and the scene of the accident. When possible, take photographs of your injuries to serve as evidence when filing a compensation claim.
Once fire rescuers or EMT paramedics arrive at the scene, ask to be transported to the local emergency room even if you do not suspect you are injured at all. You may not be fully aware of the extent of any injuries until hours, days or weeks after the incident. A doctor in the emergency room can perform diagnostic tests including ordering x-rays, taking blood for lab tests, and performing a comprehensive physical. These diagnostic tool might identify potential internal injuries that are not obvious to you or the doctor.
Have a companion or friend come to the scene of the accident and gather evidence including speaking to eyewitnesses to get their name and contact information. Before calling your insurance company, contact a personal injury attorney to help you make a recorded statement and obtain a claim number to begin the process of receiving financial recovery for your damages.
How am I paid if I am involved in an automobile accident with an uninsured motorist?
In Illinois, insurance companies usually offer uninsured motorist coverage. This policy ensures that their policyholder and family members are covered in the event of a hit-and-run accident or a collision involving another motorist without insurance.
To be compensated, you need to file a claim with your insurance carrier. However, your actions do not dissolve the other motorist for his or her legal responsibilities. Your insurance carrier will likely exercise their subrogation rights and seek restitution against the uninsured motorist. This means that they can sue the uninsured or underinsured driver to ensure they recover the amount of compensation they paid to you.
What legal ramification does the uninsured motorist face?
In Illinois, every driver is required to carry minimal insurance coverage as defined by law. The law enforcement officer will likely cite the uninsured motorist for their failure to maintain insurance which will require them to pay substantial fines. Other potential legal action could include:
- Impound the vehicle and having it towed to a police storage area.
- Issue a monetary penalty for their failure to maintain insurance.
- Suspend the driver's license by state law.
- Require the uninsured motorist to purchase insurance before allowing them to drive again.
- Remain legally responsible for paying damages to the injured parties when the uninsured motorist is determined to be the driver at fault for causing the accident.
- Prevent the uninsured motorist from exercising a right to collect non-economic damages if the other driver was at fault for the accident.
Is uninsured coverage the same as underinsured coverage?
No. Uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage protects you and your family against all damages caused by an uninsured driver. Alternatively, underinsured motorist coverage protects you if the driver who caused your accident has less insurance coverage than the limits in your policy. As an example, a careless driver caused an accident but only has $50,000 in insurance coverage. This policy limit might not adequately cover you if you carry $100,000 in coverage. When this occurs, their insurance company will pay the maximum amount on their policy and your insurance carrier will pay the difference up to your policy limit.
Will my uninsured motorist coverage to pay for my property damage as well?
No. You receive coverage for property damage under your collision and the comp portions of your insurance policy for any property that is not your vehicle involved in the accident. This coverage is separate from uninsured motorist coverage. As an example, if your glasses, cell phone or another object inside the vehicle were damaged, lost or destroyed when you were hit by the car, a separate portion of your insurance coverage will pay for those losses.
Should I expect my premiums to rise if I file a claim involving an uninsured motorist?
No. Filing a claim against this portion of your policy does not increase your premiums because you are not responsible for the collision. Your family paid premiums required to maintain the policy coverage to ensure you could receive benefits in the event you were involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. To not initiate a claim for coverage would be a foolish decision, especially with the knowledge that your premiums will not increase.
I was hit by an uninsured motorist while riding my bike. Can I still file a claim?
Yes. Your uninsured motorist policy covers you for any injury occurring in a motor vehicle accident, even if you are not riding in or driving a vehicle at the time. Your entire family receives coverage from the policy. This means if your child was walking or riding their bike and was struck by an uninsured driver, you can file a claim for compensation against your policy even though you were not injured.
My insurance company has denied all or a portion of my coverage. What can I do?
Even though your insurance company sold you the policy, the claims adjuster is not always eager to protect your benefits. The company has a legal responsibility to ensure their stockholder's profits remain intact, sometimes at the expense of the policyholder. You can take legal action by hiring a personal injury attorney to handle your case to ensure that any claims denied by your insurance carrier are reversed, and you are treated fairly.
Your attorney can determine if your insurance company is acting in bad faith through egregious acts. When this occurs, your attorney may be able to recover financial compensation that well exceeds the limits of your policy.
How much should I expect to receive from my uninsured motorist claim?
The uninsured motorist injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers fight aggressively on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive the maximum amount of financial compensation for their damages. Our law firm will build the case to ensure you are compensated for:
- Medical expenses including ambulance fees, hospital stays, surgical procedures, emergency room treatment, medical needs, medications, and nursing services.
- Future medical bills that are necessary for future hospitalization, surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages generated by time away from work due to your injuries.
- The loss of future earnings because you are unable to work full or part-time due to your temporary or permanent disabilities.
- Non-tangible damages including pain, suffering, mental anxiety, emotional distress, grief, and trauma.
Can I wait to file a claim for compensation?
Not really. Illinois law restricts the amount of time you must file a case for monetary recovery based on the state statute of limitations. However, determining when the time expires can be challenging. Because of that, it is recommended to hire personal injury attorney who specializes in uninsured motorist accident cases. Your lawyer, working on your behalf, can calculate the time you have remaining after the accident and assist you in filing all the appropriate paperwork and documentation in the proper county courthouse before the deadline.
Can I handle my compensation case without an attorney?
Probably. That said, the civil procedure surrounding vehicle injury tort law in Illinois can be complicated. You will be required to prove how the actions of others directly resulted in your damages and injuries. Because of that, many individuals will hire personal injury attorney to discuss their legal options to understand better how they will likely obtain more compensation with legal representation compared to going it alone.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
The length of time it takes to resolve your personal injury lawsuit will depend on numerous factors and the evidence in your case. Our attorneys will look at the severity of your injuries, the limits of the other driver's insurance policy, and identify any other potential defendants who could be responsible for your harm.
Your case is unique and proving your claim for compensation in court or through a negotiated meeting with the defendant's attorneys might take as little as three months and as much as a year or longer.
How much will your law firm charge to review my uninsured motorist injury case?
Our law firm provides every potential client a no-obligation, initial case consultation at no charge. Call our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment. Let our team of attorneys discuss your case, listen to your complaints, and provide numerous legal options on how to ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve.
Our family does not have money to hire an attorney. What can we do?
The uninsured motorist injury accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC accept every personal injury case, wrongful death lawsuit, and uninsured motorist compensation claim through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement postpones payment of all your legal services until after we have successfully resolved your case through a negotiated settlement or a jury trial award. In addition, we offer a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee which means if we are unable to secure financial compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing for our legal services.
Contact us today! Our law firm has successfully prosecuted uninsured motorist cases in Illinois. To get your case started we provide extensive case evaluations at no charge. We are here to discuss the merits of your case for compensation without obligation. Call our personal injury law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to discuss your claim. All information you share with our law offices remains confidential.
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