The following article will cover:
- Recovering financially after being hit and injured by an uninsured driver in Illinois.
- The prevalence of uninsured and underinsured drivers in Illinois and the importance of having uninsured and underinsured coverage on your insurance policy.
- The procedure for filing underinsured and uninsured motorist claims in Illinois, including the time limits and legal requirements.
I Was Hit And Injured By A Driver Who Is Uninsured. Do I Have Any Chance Of Recovering Financially For My Injuries In Illinois?
If you have automobile insurance, you have uninsured motorist coverage. You may feel hesitant to sue your own insurance company, but in reality, you are not suing them. You are simply making a claim, and your own company will treat you the same way, or even better, than the other company would have treated you regarding compensation.
After that, your insurance company will have the option to sue the uninsured driver and get their money back. This way, you don’t have to sue someone without insurance. Suing someone without insurance is easy, but collecting money from them can be difficult. That is why uninsured motorist coverage is the best path to collect money.
When it comes to uninsured motorist coverage, the procedure is easier, faster, and better for you if there is an impasse and you can’t make a deal with the insurance company. Moreover, it is also the law in Illinois that those claims go to private arbitration, usually three judges.
With arbitration, cases are often concluded within a year and a half, or sometimes even a year after an accident. In contrast, filing a lawsuit and proceeding through court can take a good three years, sometimes even more.
How Common Are Uninsured Or Underinsured Drivers Across Illinois?
In Illinois, approximately 20 to 25% of drivers have no insurance at all. This percentage has remained constant over the years. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, some people knowingly violate the law and do not get insurance. Secondly, some individuals fail to make their insurance payments, and their insurance lapses, leaving them uninsured on the day of the crash.
Occasionally, there are substandard insurance companies operating in Illinois, that have a company strategy of taking money from anyone who applies for insurance. However, after an accident occurs, they start investigating the details of the insurance application and try to find ways to knock out coverage.
In many cases, these substandard insurance companies will argue that the person lied on their application and refuse to provide coverage, even though the individual paid their premiums. This leaves many people who appear to have insurance without coverage.
As for underinsured coverage, there are many who are underinsured, even with insurance. Many people have coverage of only $25,000 of liability protection, which is often not enough to cover the damages suffered in a crash. That’s why it’s crucial to have underinsured coverage of $100,000 or more to bridge the gap between inadequate insurance coverage and the coverage that you need.
Even the so-called good insurance companies are now writing a lot of $25,000 policies, which they know is not enough coverage to pay for the damages suffered by the individual. However, they still sell these policies because it is a huge money maker for them. This means that many people end up with insufficient coverage even though they have insurance.
Underinsured coverage is the most important coverage on your policy, and it covers more than just being hit in a car. It covers you and your family members, even if you are walking on the street or riding a bicycle and get hit by a car. Therefore, it’s essential to have uninsured and underinsured coverage on your policy to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Does Illinois Require Uninsured Or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in Illinois, and it is included in every insurance policy. It is written in the same limits as your liability coverage.
On the other hand, underinsured coverage is not mandatory, but it is automatically applied to your policy in the same amount as your liability and uninsured coverage. You can reduce or eliminate the underinsured coverage, but it is not recommended to do so.
There have been cases where an agent for the insurance company convinced the client that they did not need underinsured coverage or reduced underinsured coverage. This proved to be very costly for the client, as they reduced their underinsured coverage from $100,000 down to $25,000, which effectively eliminated it. Therefore, it’s crucial to have underinsured coverage in Illinois.
What Happens In An Accident When The Driver Has UIM Coverage?
If you are hurt in a car accident, your underinsured motorist coverage will bridge the gap between the limit of the other driver’s policy and the amount of coverage you have under UIM, which is underinsured coverage. It provides you with extra compensation and extra protection when the person who hit you and caused the damage does not have enough insurance.
Is There A Certain Time Limit To File A UIM Claim?
In Illinois, there are limits in filing underinsured and uninsured motorist claims, and generally, there is a two-year statute of limitations. To start the claim, the lawyer will make a demand for arbitration, name an arbitrator, and this will set the wheels in motion to proceed through arbitration.
There are other legal requirements, and if you miss any of these requirements, your claim can be set aside, and you will have no claim left. That is why it’s essential to get legal help from the start, as a lawyer can keep track of all the deadlines and requirements and ensure that your claim proceeds on the merits with your medical bills and records submitted for a fair settlement. For more information on Dealing With Uninsured/Underinsured Drivers, an initial consultation is your next best step.