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Who Pays for Damages in an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver Accident?

Posted on in Car Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,Every driver in Illinois is required to have car insurance before they take their car out on the road. However, not every driver follows the rules. What happens when a driver who doesn’t have insurance, or who doesn’t have enough insurance, causes an accident? You need to understand how your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage works.

The Realities of Liability and Insurance

In Illinois, drivers are not only required to carry insurance, but specifically uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury and underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injury. This means that even if a driver who does not have insurance hits you, you may be able to make a claim with your own insurance company.

Insurance companies are not the ones responsible for causing accidents. But, insurance companies enter into contracts with their customers to pay for the damages the customers cause when they are driving. If you have to take a case to trial in a typical accident, you are suing the other driver, not the insurance company.

If you win, the insurance company will pay for any damages up to the policy limits. You can still pursue a driver who does not have insurance, but the reality is that he or she most likely does not have any assets to pay for the damage they have caused. This is why it is important to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage of your own.

Understanding How Your Coverage Works

In cases where an uninsured driver causes the accident, you make a claim directly with your insurance company. Even if the case was a hit and run, you still make a claim with your insurance company.

Your insurance company then evaluates the claim and makes a decision about who was at fault for the accident and what the value of your claim should be. Insurance companies, even your own, are often reluctant to pay out the full value of claims.

In accidents where the driver does not have enough insurance to cover all of the damages, most policies require that you first prove that the other driver’s policy limits are exhausted before you are able to make a claim with your own insurance company.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to use legal action to get insurance companies to honor their commitments under the insurance contract. These cases are very technical and complex. You must prove all the elements of a negligence case while also demonstrating that the insurance company failed to honor the contract.

Have you been injured in a car accident? Consult with a skilled and knowledgeable Lake County personal injury lawyer to make sure you understand your rights. Call the law firm of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 today to schedule a consultation. You may only have a brief time to make your claim.


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