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How to Recover Money Damages After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver in Chicago, Illinois

In Chicago, Illinois drivers are required to carry insurance on their automobiles in the minimum amount of $20,000.00.  However, if you are injured by an uninsured driver or a driver with inadequate insurance, you may recover under your own insurance policy up to your limits.

If you are like most people on the roadways in Chicago, Illinois, you have insurance in the event you are in a car accident.  You have insurance for at least two reasons.  First, to cover property damage or injury to another person or other people in case you are the at-fault driver in an accident.  Second, to cover your own property damage and injury if you are hit by an uninsured driver.  The average driver in Chicago, Illinois is aware that s/he can make a claim to their own insurance company for property damage or damage to their car.  However, many drivers are unaware that they can make a claim to their insurance company for medical bills and other damages if they are hit by an uninsured driver

When you are hit by an uninsured driver, your insurance company will usually pay you for your property damage with few questions asked.  However, most insurance companies are not exactly forthcoming about other coverages that might be available.  This often includes payment for your medical bills as a bare minimum.  This article, however, does not address medical payments coverage, rather the much larger issue of uninsured and under-insured coverages. 

In Chicago, Illinois, insurance policies are required to contain provisions for both uninsured drivers and under-insured drivers.  (See 625 ILCS 5/7 - 601(a); 215 ILCS 5/143a.)  These insurance provision are known as uninsured and under-insured motorists coverage or UM/UIM coverage.  Obviously, an uninsured driver is a person without any insurance.  However, many drivers upon the roadways carry minimum coverage.  In Chicago, Illinois, this amount is $20,000.00 per person and $40,0000.00 per occurrence.  While such coverage limits may be sufficient for a minor accident, $20,000.00 in medical bills can add up rapidly in a moderate to heavy impact.

UM/UIM coverage is in your policy of automobile insurance in Chicago, Illinois because it is required.  Furthermore, under recent case law, Shultz v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co., 2010 WL 966206 (Ill. Mar. 18, 2010) your limits must be equal to the policy limits.  Previously, these amounts could differ greatly, e.g. a $250,000.00 policy might only have UM/UIM coverage limits of $100,000.00.  Under the current law, your $250,000.00 policy must have equal UM/UIM limits.

These provisions allow you to recover money damages from your own insurance policy when you are injured by an at-fault uninsured driver.   The damages you are entitle to recover, include medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of normal life and lost wages.  The are further explained in my article titled "Your Right to Recover Damages According to a Personal Injury Lawyer in ChicagoFree Web Content, Illinois" also on this website.

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This article was written by Lynette Simmons Hoag of the Hoag Law Group, LLC. She is a personal injury attorney in Chicago, Illinois.  

Lynette Simmons Hoag

Hoag Law Group, LLC

3727 N. Kedzie Ave.

Chicago, IL 60618

Telephone:  (312) 878-7000

Fax:  (312)  878-7001

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