Drivers throughout the country are required to carry minimum levels of insurance to cover liability related to damage to both a person and any physical property that may be involved in an accident. In Illinois, drivers are required by the state to maintain $25,000 of coverage for bodily injury or death if one person is involved in the accident, $50,000 for 2 people, and $25,000 for any damage to property.
These minimums are often not enough to cover the expenses incurred during an accident. They’re certainly not enough to cover the loss of companionship or the lost income and associated expenses surviving spouses and families can incur as the result any serious or fatal injury.
Such was the case in the recently settled case of Lawrence Echols and Shannon Hill. In 2013, Hill’s vehicle collided with Echols resulting in his death at the age of 17, and Shadontre Smith who was seriously injured in the accident. Hill carried the minimum $20,000 per passenger that was required at the time of the accident.
Hill, whose intoxication with both marijuana and alcohol led to the accident is currently serving an 11 year sentence for failure to report a fatality accident, reckless homicide, and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.
Many families have no further recourse other than to accept the $20,000 the insurance company is required to pay under the terms of the policy. When you consider the value of a human life, and what has been lost or altered, that’s egregiously inadequate.