Even though there are mandatory automobile insurance requirements in Illinois, many drivers are uninsured or underinsured for the damages and injuries caused in an accident. Most people think that you cannot recover damages if an uninsured motorist hits you. However, when an accident occurs, you may have a claim for underinsured motorist benefits. The thing to remember is this: always call a lawyer to review your options.
Uninsured Motorist Claims
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage protects you when you are hit by an uninsured driver. Generally, the policy will pay damages to the policyholder for bodily injury caused by the owner or driver of an underinsured motor vehicle. In order to satisfy this requirement, two elements must be met:
- The other owner or driver must be at fault; and
- The other driver must be uninsured.
Overall, if you are in an accident and the other driver is legally responsible, and they are uninsured, UM coverage can pay for any injuries or property damage sustained by the accident. You will want to contact a lawyer to discuss your options, as the process of making a claim against your uninsured motorist policy is very complicated.
Underinsured Motorist Claims
Underinsured motorist claims arise when the at-fault driver carries an insufficient amount of insurance coverage. When the injuries from an accident exceed the amount of coverage provided by a policy, a UIM claim can be pursued.
In Illinois, UIM claims must be filed against your own automobile insurance policy. Bringing a UIM claim is far beyond merely reporting a claim. Written notices must be filed and technical steps must be taken. If you fail to take the proper steps, you may lose your right to make a claim. You should consult with a knowledgeable lawyer right away to help you through the process.
Why Seek Counsel? Ways a Lawyer Will Help
If you have been involved in an accident with an underinsured motorist, there are ways an attorney can help. A lawyer can help you…
- Identify available UM/UIM insurance coverage or other insurance that may pay for your injuries;
- File the claim against the insurance carrier in a timely manner, in accordance with the rules for UIM claims, and in the specific terms of coverage under the policy;
- Maximize your recovery;
- Resolve hospital and physician bills.
Remember, UIM claims create a conflict of interest between you and your insurance carrier, and an experienced attorney can help you. If you have been involved in an accident with an underinsured motorist, call the sharks and we can help explain your legal options. 312.878.2357