When it comes to property damage, injuries, potential lawsuits and auto insurance issues, things tend to quickly spiral out of control, even if it is a minor fender bender case. And when the negligent party has no insurance at all or are underinsured, further complications can arise. In Illinois, a large number of drivers are either uninsured or barely meet the minimum liability insurance requirements. Due to this, other motorists face a legal risk where they are unable to get the adequate financial recourse in the event of a traffic accident.
Minimum Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage Requirements
In Illinois, it is mandatory for all drivers of registered vehicles to carry liability insurance. Under the state law, the minimum coverage is:
- $15,000 for property damage
- $20,000 for the death or injury of one person, such as a passenger, pedestrian, another driver or yourself, in a single accident.
- $40,000 for the death or injury of two or more people in a single accident.
It is important to note these are minimum amounts that motorists are required to carry by law. It is always better to have insurance policies with higher coverage, as it is helpful in events when you are at-fault in a personal injury case. If the damages exceed your insurance coverage, you will have to compensate the remaining amount from your pocket.
Fault System in Illinois
Illinois has a fault system that helps in determining who is responsible for paying for damages resulting from a traffic accident. Under Illinois law, the person who was negligent or at fault will have to compensate the victim for the economic and non-economic damages due to the accident. The victim may go with one of the three following ways:
- Pursue a claim with the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver
- File a claim with their own insurance company, if they have insurance in place and it is enough to cover the losses.
- File a lawsuit in civil court directly against the other driver and let the court decide the fair compensation for your damages.
Getting Compensation for Underinsured or Uninsured Drivers
If it comes to your knowledge that the at-fault driver is uninsured, you should inform your insurance carrier immediately and let them know your intent to file an uninsured claim. This is important because some car insurance policies have certain deadlines for notification of uninsured claims.
In general, an underinsured or uninsured driver claim takes longer to develop than a normal auto accident case. This is because you will know whether the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the damages only after you have complete knowledge of the extent of your damages. However, such cases proceed in the same manner as any regular traffic accident claim. There will be investigation, depositions of witnesses, and disclosure of your records. In case the amount exceeds the insurance coverage of the at-fault driver, you may have to satisfy it with their personal assets.
To get a complete understanding of how you can get fair compensation for your damages, you should seek legal help of a reliable car accident attorney. They will assess your case and devise a legal strategy for the litigation process. Contact Fisk & Monteleone LTD. today at 815-209-9030 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys.