Chicago Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
Were you injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist? More than one in ten drivers in Illinois are uninsured, and countless others don’t carry enough insurance to cover a serious wreck. These drivers leave hefty financial burdens on people like you when they cause motor vehicle accidents that result in serious injuries. Our uninsured motorist lawyers don’t think you should be left to foot the bill for someone else’s negligent behavior.
Fortunately, you may still be able to recover damages through an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim against your own insurance policy. In some cases, other sources of financial recovery may be available as well. At Ankin Law, we have more than 100 years of combined experience successfully representing victims in UM/UIM motorist claims. We offer free consultations, and we’re available 24/7 to discuss your case. Let us help you maximize your recovery.
Call an uninsured motorist lawyer with Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000.
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Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Auto insurance is a safety net that offers financial protection in case of accidents. Illinois requires all drivers to maintain a minimum amount of insurance coverage. However, not all drivers on the road maintain adequate insurance coverage, leaving you vulnerable in the event of an accident. This is where uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage comes into play, offering essential protection for drivers.
Uninsured motorist coverage, often referred to as UM coverage, is designed to protect you when you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have auto insurance or cannot be identified. With this coverage, you can turn to your own insurance company to seek compensation for the damages and injuries sustained. UM coverage typically includes reimbursement for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other accident-related costs you may incur.
Underinsured motorist coverage, commonly known as UIM coverage, serves as a complement to UM coverage. It comes into play when the at-fault driver has insurance, but his or her coverage is insufficient to fully compensate you for your total damages. UIM coverage bridges the gap between the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage limits and your actual expenses. This may include medical bills, property damage, or other costs that exceed the limits of the other driver’s policy.
UM/UIM coverage is required for Illinois drivers because it provides protection against unpredictable situations on the road. The benefits of carrying UM/UIM coverage include:
Protection against Uninsured Drivers: Despite legal requirements, some drivers still operate their vehicles without insurance. UM coverage ensures that you are not financially burdened if you are in an accident with one of these drivers.
Adequate Coverage: Even responsible drivers may carry only the minimum required insurance, which can be insufficient to cover significant injuries or property damage. UIM coverage fills the gap, ensuring that you are fully compensated.
Coverage for Passengers: UM/UIM coverage typically extends to your passengers, providing protection for their medical expenses and other losses if they are injured in the accident.
Understanding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is crucial for all drivers. It ensures you are financially protected in case of accidents involving drivers who lack adequate insurance.
Differences Between Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Claims
Uninsured motorist coverage applies when you’re involved in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance or can’t be identified in a hit-and-run accident. Underinsured motorist coverage comes into play when the at-fault driver has insurance, but his or her coverage is insufficient to fully cover your losses. Key differences between the two types of claims include:
The Presence of an At-Fault Driver: In UM claims, there’s no at-fault driver’s insurance to recover compensation from. Instead, you’re seeking compensation from your own insurance company. In UIM claims, there is an at-fault driver with insurance coverage, but it is inadequate to cover your total damages.
Liability and Identification: UM claims often involve accidents with hit-and-run drivers who flee the scene or cases where the at-fault driver is unidentifiable. Proving that the other driver is uninsured or unidentifiable is a key aspect of UM claims. UIM claims necessitate proving the liability of the at-fault driver. The focus is on the other driver’s responsibility, and the extent of his or her insurance coverage becomes a critical factor.
The Level of Available Insurance: The primary concern in UM claims is the lack of insurance with the at-fault driver. In UIM claims, insurance coverage is available, but the at-fault driver’s coverage is insufficient to cover your damages fully.
UM claims involve accidents with uninsured or unidentifiable drivers, where your insurance company becomes the source of compensation. UIM claims, on the other hand, are relevant when the at-fault driver is underinsured, and you need to bridge the gap between his or her coverage and your actual damages. Both coverages are essential for protecting yourself in the event of accidents with drivers who lack adequate insurance.
What to Do When the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Insurance
When the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance to cover your damages, you still have options available to pursue a full financial recovery. First, notify your insurance company about the accident and the underinsured motorist situation. Then, gather documentation of your damages, such as medical bills and property damage estimates. Negotiations may ensue to bridge the coverage gap. In case of disputes or unfair handling, consult with an experienced attorney who is familiar with UIM claims.
Did an underinsured driver cause your crash? Call Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000 to recover full compensation.
Steps to Take After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver
Without the other driver’s insurance to rely on for compensation, you may wonder how to cover the costs of medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other damages resulting from the accident. In such situations, taking the right steps can protect your interests and help you seek full compensation.
Hearing Loss Caused by a Workplace Injury
Your immediate concern after the accident should be the safety of everyone involved. Check for injuries and administer first aid if necessary. If there are serious injuries, call 911 to request medical assistance. If it’s safe to do so, move the vehicles to the side of the road to prevent further accidents.
Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s important to seek medical attention soon after the accident. Some injuries may not become apparent immediately, and medical documentation is crucial for insurance claims.
Report the Accident
The next step is to report the accident to the police. Law enforcement will document the accident, interview witnesses, and create an official accident report. This report can be valuable when seeking compensation from the insurance company. Additionally, contact your own insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident.
Collect information from the other driver, even if he or she doesn’t have insurance. This should include his or her name, contact information, and driver’s license details. If possible, also document the make, model, and license plate of the other vehicle.
Take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and any visible injuries. This documentation can serve as crucial evidence when filing a claim. If there were any witnesses to the accident, obtain their contact information. Their statements can corroborate your account of the accident, which can be valuable in the claims process.
Document Ongoing Costs
Keep records of all expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, vehicle repair estimates, and any other out-of-pocket costs. These records will help you determine the true cost of the accident.
Retain a Car Accident Lawyer
Consult an attorney experienced in uninsured motorist claims. He or she can provide legal guidance, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and, if necessary, pursue legal action.
When dealing with insurance companies, be cautious when accepting settlement offers. They may initially offer less than what you are entitled to. Consult with your attorney before accepting any settlement to ensure it adequately covers your losses.
Accidents with uninsured drivers can be challenging, but taking these steps can help you navigate the situation and seek the compensation you need to cover your damages.
Frequently Asked Questions About Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Cases
How Long Do I Have to File a UM/UIM Lawsuit?
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) lawsuit is typically two years from the date of the accident. Although you have two years to file, it’s important to consult with an attorney promptly and initiate legal proceedings within this timeframe to protect your right to seek compensation for your losses.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim?
Hiring a lawyer for an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) claim is in your best interests. Attorneys can navigate legal processes, negotiate with insurance companies, and maximize your compensation. Their knowledge is especially valuable when disputes arise, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive full compensation.
What Happens If I Don't Have UM/UIM Coverage, and I'm in an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
If you lack uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage and are in an accident with an uninsured driver, your attorney can help you determine whether you can sue others who played a role in your crash. If no other sources of recovery are available, you may have to rely on other sources for compensation, such as personal savings or legal action against the at-fault driver. Without UM/UIM coverage, covering your losses can be challenging and costly. Retaining a car accident lawyer can help you sort out the financial mess that stems from these circumstances.
What Our Clients Say About Us
Ms Maria Merman is one of the best attorneys that I know in Illinois. She stood by my side every step of the way through my accident until the last day of my case she emailed me called and always check on me and my children she taught me a lot even though the assurance I had were very stubborn, but she worked through it. I learned a lot from her with my case, she’s so patient. I was very patient with her and if you want the job done right, she is the attorney for you thank you, Ms Merman, you have helped me and my children and changed our life we love you.
Helpful Resources From Our Chicago Uninsured Motorist Lawyers
Do Uninsured Motorist Policies Cover Pedestrians Who Are Injured in Hit-and-Run Accidents?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance covers pedestrians in hit-and-run accidents, compensating for injury-related expenses. However, insurers may attempt to deny claims in bad faith. In Illinois, insurance policies must include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, offering protection in hit-and-run cases or when the at-fault driver lacks sufficient coverage. In a hit-and-run incident, you can file a claim with your own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy to recover costs like medical bills and lost income. Health insurance may not cover all damages, and an uninsured/underinsured motorist settlement can help with additional expenses. If your insurance company refuses to pay, legal action, including appeals and potential lawsuits, may be necessary to obtain fair compensation.
What Is Considered a Hit and Run in Illinois?
A hit-and-run accident in Illinois involves a driver causing a collision and leaving the scene without addressing it, potentially leading to serious consequences. Hit-and-runs often occur due to drunk driving, panic, lack of insurance, or outstanding warrants. Charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies, with varying penalties. Identifying hit-and-run drivers can be done through evidence collected at the scene or eyewitness testimony. Victims can pursue civil claims for damages, including economic and non-economic losses, through uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Accepting a settlement should be carefully considered, as it may affect future compensation. Consulting an attorney is crucial in hit-and-run cases.
What Evidence Is Needed For a Car Accident Injury Claim?
After a car accident, collecting information is vital for supporting your injury claim. This includes the other driver’s details, photographs of the accident scene, his or her insurance information, and the police report. Gathering eyewitness accounts and photographs of the accident is crucial for determining liability. The police report provides essential information about the accident, and speaking to bystanders or witnesses helps corroborate your account. Consulting with a car accident attorney is advised for effective evidence collection, claim building, and ensuring you receive proper compensation.