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The basics of uninsured motorist coverage

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2019 | Firm News

Your day may begin normally, and your drive to work may be uneventful until another vehicle runs a red light or crosses into your lane causing an accident that leaves you injured. To your shock, the driver does not stop to see if you are hurt. If you are too shaken to get a license plate number, you may never know who to contact for insurance information to cover your damages.

In another scenario, the other driver stays behind but has no insurance information to share with you. Perhaps the driver has only the minimum amount to drive legally, leaving you with thousands in medical bills and car repairs. Fortunately, Illinois requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage on their car insurance policies. Do you have enough UM coverage to get you through such an accident?

What does UMI cover?

Uninsured motorist coverage creates a safety net if the driver responsible for your injuries does not have insurance or does not carry enough to cover your damages. UM can include bodily injury and property damage, but some states, such as Illinois, require only UMBI. Many UMBI policies can help you pay for any of the following:

  • Hospital expenses following the accident
  • Doctor bills related to your injuries
  • Time lost from work
  • Medical expenses for any passengers in your car during the accident
  • The value of your pain and suffering

While Illinois law requires you to carry a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage for you and any passengers, it may be insufficient for what you need. The cost of treatment for injuries in a serious car crash can reach many thousands of dollars. If you have multiple people who suffer injuries in your vehicle, your minimum coverage may not be enough.

How can an attorney help?

If you are injured in an accident through the fault of an uninsured or underinsured driver, you will be dealing with your own insurance company when seeking coverage through your UMI policy. This is not an easy task. Insurance companies are not eager to pay out what you need, even when your policy is valid and up-to-date. Having a legal advocate often means obtaining a settlement offer that will more reasonably match the expenses you are facing.

Additionally, even with UMI insurance, you may find that your expenses far exceed the insurance coverage of you and the other driver. In this case, you may consider seeking additional compensation through a personal injury claim. These can be complex and difficult, but a skilled attorney will guide you through the process for seeking the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.