Motor vehicle accidents are tough enough to endure, and when the party at fault is uninsured or underinsured it creates additional hassles and headaches for the injured victim. Fortunately insurance companies have added both types of coverage to their policies for these exact instances where a driver finds themselves in an accident with an uninsured motorist, such as a hit and run situation, or where the motorist who caused the injury does not have enough insurance to cover an injured party’s physical injuries and property damage.

While often these types of insurance are believed to be the same, they are actually two separate kinds of insurance. With uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company can cover any damage to you or your vehicle if the other driver is uninsured. With underinsured motorist coverage, your insurance will cover the difference between your damages and what the other driver’s policy limits are. Check with your insurance as bodily and property damage may be covered or included in another type of protection.

In Illinois, uninsured motorist coverage is required by law of at least $20,000/$40,000. To take advantage of this coverage:

  1. The owner or driver of the uninsured vehicle must be at fault;
  2. The owner or driver has no liability insurance, which can meana. The owner has no insurance at all;
    1. The owner or driver is under-insured;
    2. The remaining limits of the owner’s or driver’s liability insurance has been reduced by other judgments or settlements and are not enough to cover the policyholder’s claim.

Hit and run accidents may also be eligible for a claim on uninsured motor vehicle coverage. It is best to speak to an attorney to determine if you meet the eligibility under the laws of your state.

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver call the police immediately and seek medical help. In Illinois, to be entitled to an insurance claim for damages the policyholder must notify the insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. Provide all relevant information obtained from the accident to the insurance company. The insurance company is required to respond to any notice. Additionally, keep the insurance company updated on all medical treatments, documentation, and evidence related to the accident.

Once you have been involved in an accident, it is best to see an attorney immediately so that the attorney can determine if a situation of an under- or uninsured motorist is at issue. There are special procedures that must be followed when seeking a claim on your under- or uninsured motorist coverage. An attorney can assess your particular case to advise an injured party as to what claims they can make.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you have been injured by an under- or uninsured motorist please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529