Uninsured Motorist Claims

Accidents involving Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers

Even though the State of Illinois requires drivers to carry liability insurance, that does not guarantee that all drivers on the road are insured or adequately insured. According to the Insurance Research Council, more than 25% of drivers are uninsured. Even if the other driver has liability insurance, he or she may be underinsured. An underinsured motorist has liability insurance that meets the state-required minimum but is not enough to pay for total damages. In Illinois, that minimum is currently only $20,000 (see Changes to Illinois Liability Insurance for 2015).

Protect Yourself & Passengers with UM/UIM Coverage

Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage gives you the peace of mind that you and your passengers receive compensation for injuries that are the result of the negligence of any other driver, even one who is uninsured or underinsured. When you elect UM/UIM coverage, you are protecting yourself and your passengers from the risk that the driver who causes an accident does not have adequate insurance to compensate you. UM/UIM coverage is relatively inexpensive to add to your existing auto policy. Your UM/UIM coverage should equal your Bodily Injury liability limits. Depending on your insurer, you may be able to add UM/UIM coverage for as little as $3-$4 per month for $100,000/$300,000 per person/per accident. Making a claim for benefits will not increase your insurance rates because you are not at fault for the accident.

A Real Life Example

Adler & Adler, P.C., obtained a $57,000 settlement for a client from his own insurance company. His case is a good example of how UM/UIM coverage protects you when you are injured by a driver without insurance or with inadequate liability insurance.

In February 2006, Defendant A, an uninsured teenage driver, took a joy ride in the car of Defendant B, who had minimum policy limits of $20,000. Our client was walking in a Chicago park, when the teen lost control of the car and hit him. He suffered an injury to his right shoulder, causing him to lose time from work and to undergo extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. His medical bills alone totaled more than $9,000.

We obtained a default judgment against the teenager, but she had no assets or insurance to pay the judgment. Defendant B's insurance carrier denied the claim because his car had been stolen. Like most policies, the insurance did not cover a driver who used the car without permission. Our client carried full coverage on his own vehicle, including UM/UIM coverage in the amount of $100,000. His insurance carrier paid the settlement under the UM coverage. Without this coverage, our client could not have obtained any compensation for his injuries.

This case also illustrates other important points. UM/UIM coverage protects you when you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, even if you are not in your car when you are injured. In our above case, if Defendant B's insurance policy had applied, our client could have collected $20,000 from Defendant B. Our client's insurance company would have paid the remaining balance of $37,000. Without UIM coverage, only $20,000 could have been collected.

UM/UIM Claims Require Experienced Attorneys

You need an attorney to protect your legal rights and pursue maximum compensation in a UM/UIM claim. Your insurance policy specifies rules for when, how, and if a claim can be made. Failure to comply with those rules can invalidate your coverage and defeat your claim.

24-Hour Hotline: (312) 443-1488

Auto accidents aren't limited to business hours! That's why we are here for you when you need us, 24-hours a day. If you or a friend or family member are injured in a traffic accident, maximize your claim by contacting us immediately at (312) 443-1488. We offer free initial consultations. If we don't recover compensation on your behalf, you don't pay.

Tell Us What Happened to You

Do not hesitate to Contact Adler & Adler, P.C. at (312) 443-1488 even if you are not sure that you have a case. Your initial consultation is FREE. You do not pay unless we collect compensation on your behalf.

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