Answers To Questions About Uninsured Motorists
One side effect of difficult economic times is an increase in the number of uninsured motorists on Illinois roads. A related problem is that many drivers who are insured carry only the minimum liability coverage required by law, which is $20,000 per person injured and $40,000 for all people injured in an accident. If you suffer serious injuries, $20,000 will not go far in covering your medical bills, much less compensating you for lost wages, pain and suffering, and permanent impairment.
At the Law Office of James P. Leahy in Elgin, Illinois, I offer a free initial consultation to answer your questions and discuss your legal options if you have been injured by an uninsured, underinsured or in a hit-and-run accident. One way you can protect yourself from these situations is by purchasing UM/UIM coverage.
What Is UM/UIM Coverage?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is insurance that you purchase to protect yourself and your family from drivers who are either uninsured or do not have enough insurance to pay for significant damages. In Illinois, your insurance company is required to offer you UM/UIM coverage at least equal to your liability coverage unless you decline the coverage in writing.
By law, your insurance company cannot raise your rates for filing a UM/UIM claim as long as the accident was not your fault.
Do I Need An Attorney’s Help To File A UM/UIM Claim?
It’s important to get legal advice whenever you need to file a personal injury claim against an insurance company, even if the insurance company is your own.
When your insurance company pays a UM/UIM claim, it is stepping into the shoes of the other driver’s insurance company. In doing so, its interests are opposed to your interests. There are many pitfalls for the unwary. For example, if you settle your personal injury claim against the other driver without permission from your own insurance company, your underinsured motorist claim could be denied.