Usually, the liability insurance or person at fault for an accident pays for all the damages. However, if that person or entity does not have coverage or has a limited amount of coverage for an accident, you can make a claim under your own policy if you have the proper insurance. For example:
- If you are involved in an automobile accident and both the driver and owner do not have insurance, you would apply your under insurance coverage on your policy;
- If the driver or owner has no insurance or you are involved in a hit and run accident, you would have a claim under your own insurance policy for as much as you purchased the coverage for. It is imperative when you purchase insurance, you may want to call your lawyer to review the amount of insurance coverage you have; and
- Also covered under your policy, if you purchased it, is medical payments. The medical payment clause in your policy normally will pay you for all medical bills or other related expenses that happened within a reasonable period of time after the accident and is related to the accident. This author recommends that people purchase an umbrella policy that has uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Nowadays because medical care is so expensive, one should purchase an umbrella policy in the amount of one million dollars or more.
Unfortunately, the State of Illinois only requires a person to have $20,000.00 of liability insurance. Most uninsured motorist coverage may pay you up to policy’s limits for injuries caused to you:
- while driving or riding in the vehicle named in your policy;
- while driving or riding any vehicle you do not own;
- if you are walking while struck by a vehicle; and
- if you are living with a person who owns a vehicle and has uninsured motorist coverage, you may also be covered. You may also have a claim under the driver’s uninsured/under-insured provision of his or her policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage places limits on when you may collect compensation and how much you may receive.
- Some uninsured motorist coverage includes accidents even if it was a hit and run accident. However, there are limitations on coverage for hit and run accidents in that may States you are required to show that the vehicle struck you or struck the car you were driving or a passenger in;
- Some insurance policies require you to identify the driver of the vehicle if they hit you and left the scene;
- If you are driving during your employment, your uninsured motorist coverage may be reduced by your worker’s compensation claim or other payment such as disability you may have received;
- If you receive payments for your medical bills under the Med Pay of your own insurance company, there is often a clause which states your insurance company will be paid back if you collect money from another insurance company; and
- The insurance of the driver of the car is the primary coverage, so you want to first look at the insurance of the driver of the car, and then look at whether or not you live with a family member who has a vehicle and uninsured motorist coverage. Under those circumstances you may be covered.
Uninsured motorist claims and Medical Payment claims are very complex. The author believes you need a lawyer to determine if you do have coverage. For example, I recently had an injured party by a hit and run incident where the potential client was injured. His lawyer was not aware of the uninsured motorist provision. When he came to my office, I asked him about uninsured motorist coverage and he said he lives with a family member who does have uninsured motorist coverage up to $100,000.00. The case is pending and I believe we will secure for him the policy limits of $100,000.00.
Uninsured motorist provisions are very important and can cover you and your family members, so please secure that type of coverage.
If you were injured by a hit and run or another vehicle which left the scene of accident, David K. Kremin & Associates has 30 years of experience filing these types of claims. Please call us for a free consultation at 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800) 275-2529 .