What Happens When I Am Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
Regardless of whether at the time of the accident you are in another vehicle, on a motorcycle or bicycle, or even if you are walking on foot, if an uninsured driver hits you and the uninsured driver is predominately at fault, you likely still have rights.
If you have ever been involved in a vehicle collision, a mere heartbeat after you assess that you are not severely hurt, there is an overwhelming spell of intense anxiety that creeps into your body as a deluge of thoughts flood your head. You might worry about the extent of the damage to your vehicle, and who is going to pay for it. You might be replaying the accident over in your head trying to figure out who is at fault. Did you signal that turn? Was your light green? You might be chanting to yourself, “don’t admit fault,” like your insurance company always tells you to do, even though you feel guilty about being in the accident at all and you just want to make sure the people in the other vehicle are alright. And then it hits you: “What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?”
Carrying valid vehicle insurance is very important for protecting yourself and others in the event of an accident. However, some people and certain situations can lead to drivers being on the road with inadequate insurance, or no insurance at all. Regardless of whether at the time of the accident you are in another vehicle, on a motorcycle or bicycle, or even if you are walking on foot, if an uninsured driver hits you and the uninsured driver is predominately at fault, you likely still have rights.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance Coverage
Uninsured motorist insurance coverage is usually included in your own insurance, and provides an insured individual with damages for any injuries caused by an uninsured, negligent driver. Illinois law requires vehicle insurers to provide uninsured motorist coverage, as well as underinsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage applies when the negligent driver has an insufficient amount of insurance to cover the damage he caused in the accident. In order to be compensated for your damages, you must submit an uninsured motorist claim to your insurance provider. The process for submitting a claim is considerably more involved than simply filing the claim, and requires adhering to certain time frames, submitting written notices and various other specialized procedures. An experienced attorney can help you navigate through the maze of red tape your insurance company puts between you and the compensation you deserve.
You Will Be Suing Your Own Insurance Company
When you file a claim against your own insurance company under your uninsured motorist insurance coverage, you are seeking damages from your insurer. Even though they are your insurance provider, it is unlikely that they will pay out the damages you have requested without a fight. It is most likely to your benefit to seek legal counsel to step in and deal with your insurance company on your behalf.