After a car accident, you turn to your auto insurance for help. Perhaps you have vehicle damage, maybe even medical costs, but because the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, you had to utilize your uninsured motorist insurance coverage. In the state of Illinois, drivers are required to carry a minimum of liability insurance. To comply with the law, a driver must carry coverage for at least:
- $25,000 injury or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000 injury or death of more than one person in an accident
- $20,000 for property damage
It is against the law to have no insurance, but there are thousands of vehicles in the country that are uninsured or carrying minimum insurance. Even if a driver carries the minimums above, he or she is unlikely to have adequate enough coverage for the injuries and damages associated with a vehicle accident. This is why auto insurance companies also offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – so that you still have a layer of protection when others choose not to insure themselves properly.
Using Your Uninsured Motorist Coverage – How Will That Affect You?
Most insurance companies are private entities; therefore, they are allowed to do what they wish when it comes to raising an insured’s rates. So, if you were to utilize your insurance coverage in an accident, you may wonder if your rates will increase. Unfortunately, it depends on the insurer. Some insurers will raise your insurance rates, even if you use only the uninsured motorist coverage. Others will only raise your insurance rates if you were considered “at-fault” for the accident.
What is more upsetting is the fact that your own insurer may work against you. They may try to find ways to reduce how much they pay in your accident – even when you are the victim. Most insurers assume that you will not understand the lifetime costs associated with your accident, such as how your injury could impact your daily life, affect your work, or even disable you permanently.
This is where an attorney can help. From the moment of the accident, your best interests are not the same as the insurer’s. Instead, they are looking out for their bottom line and, naturally, their profits. An insurance carrier may also use terms in your policy to deny your claim altogether, or significantly reduce how much they pay. For example, if you do not have evidence showing that there was contact between your vehicle and the at-fault vehicle, the insurer may attempt to reject the claim for non-compliance.
Speak with a Chicago Car Accident Attorney
Malman Law has Chicago motor vehicle accident attorneys who regularly negotiate claims for uninsured motorist coverage. After a car accident, it is imperative that you have an advocate working by your side who has experience in these claims – so that you can maximize the settlement that you are entitled to.
Contact Malman Law today for a free consultation by filling out our online contact form with your car accident questions.