Chicago Uninsured Motorist Lawyers
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, you run the risk of being an accident victim in a collision—and sustaining serious injuries– with an inadequately insured or uninsured driver.
As Chicago car accident lawyers representing people seriously injured in collisions with uninsured motorists, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC knows the impact an accident with an uninsured driver has on you. Our law office has successfully negotiated hundreds of uninsured motorist claims with drivers' own insurance company. Contact us for a free case review of your UM case today.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Pursuing a Case for Bodily Injury Against Your Own Insurance Company
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.
According to the Insurance Journal, 13.7% of drivers in the State of Illinois have no liability insurance coverage of any type. Recognizing the dangers these uninsured drivers pose to every other driver (and pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists) the Illinois legislature requires all automobile insurance policies issued Illinois drivers have uninsured motorist insurance coverage (um coverage).
The effect of the uninsured motorist coverage means that if you are injured in a motor vehicle collision with an at-fault driver who either has no insurance coverage of their own or flees the scene of an accident (hit and run accident), you can still recover compensation for your injuries by filing a claim with your own insurance company.
Under-Insured Motorist Coverage: What Does it Mean?
Unlike an uninsured motorist claim where the driver of the vehicle has no insurance coverage for a bodily injury case, an underinsured motorist claim (UIM claim) means that while the at-fault driver does carry some liability insurance, but there is not enough insurance coverage to fully compensate you for your injuries.
An illustration of an under-insured motorist claim would be if you are seriously injured in a crash and incur over $100,000 in medical bills and other expenses. If the driver that caused the accident had liability coverage of $50,000, you could pursue a UIM claim under your own insurance policy for the remaining value of your case (assuming your policy exceeds the value of the at-fault driver's insurance).
Applying Uninsured Motorist Coverage to Common Chicago Auto Accident Cases
Anytime you or a member of your household is injured in a motor vehicle accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, you are likely covered under by your UM policy. Examples of common situations that may give rise to a Chicago un-insured motorist claim to recover compensation for your injuries:
- Hit and run car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Injuries sustained as a passenger in a vehicle
Hit-and-Run Car Accidents Equating To Uninsured Motorist Claims
Many hit-and-run accidents involve motorists who are driving without any car insurance or who may be under the influence of alcohol or 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 evolve into an uninsured motorist claim. In order to effectuate coverage, injured victims may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer who handles un-insured motorist cases in Chicago to ensure the terms of the policy are enforced.
Costs Of An Auto Accident: Significant Source Of Injury & Property Damage
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 $25,000 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.
The Un-Insured Motorist Claims Process
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 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.
From the time we are retained to prosecute your Chicago uninsured motorist case, our legal team begins to get the evidence needed to prove your case. Frequently, this means:
- Ordering police reports
- Reviewing the language in your auto insurance policy
- Requesting medical records and bills
- Photographing the scene of the incident and your injuries
Once we've gathered the necessary evidence, we then work on negotiating a settlement with your insurance company. If we cannot reach a fair settlement, we will file a demand for arbitration.
Unlike most car accident cases, where a lawsuit is filed if the matter can't be resolved, an un-insured motorist case is resolved by filing a demand for arbitration and the matter is decided by an arbitrator who takes the place of a judge and jury.
Contact Our Chicago Uninsured Motorist Attorneys
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has experienced Chicago car accident attorneys who regularly negotiate claims for people injured in uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) claims throughout Chicago 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.
Before you speak to your insurance company about a potential underinsured or uninsured motorist claim, contact our Chicago uninsured motorist lawyers for a no-charge consultation and an insurance claim evaluation.