Where You Involved In A Hit & Run Accident or With An Uninsured Motorist?
A car accident with someone who has no insurance is considered an uninsured motorist case. An uninsured motorist case can arise in many ways. Maybe the person who hit you showed an insurance card to the police officer, but did not pay their premium, so their insurance was canceled. Maybe the person driving the car which caused the accident was an excluded driver. We have even handled cases where the insurance company for the at fault driver went bankrupt.
No matter how it happens, if there is no insurance to cover your medical bills and lost wages, you have an uninsured motorist case.
What Is An Uninsured Motorist Case?
But, do not expect that your insurance company will fairly compensate you simply because they are your insurance company. You should contact an attorney familiar with uninsured motorist cases to protect your interests.
What Does Underinsured Motorist Insurance Cover?
Uninsured motorist insurance covers you if you are a pedestrian.
We represent many clients who are hit while they are pedestrians. It is common for a car to hit a pedestrian and then flee the scene. This becomes a hit-and-run accident. If you have your own car insurance and you are hit by an uninsured motorist, your insurance company will cover your injuries.
Uninsured motorist insurance covers you, your children, and any family member living with you.
Even though the car insurance may be in your name, uninsured motorist coverage is much broader than you may think. Uninsured motorist insurance covers not only you, but any family member residing in your household. The reason for this is apparent from the following example. If your young son or daughter is hit by an uninsured motorist, they are not old enough to have their own car insurance which would cover them. Provided they live with you, your car insurance will provide uninsured motorist coverage to him or her. However, insurance policies do not limit uninsured motorist coverage to children. Insurance policies cover any family member living with you. To discuss whether uninsured motorist insurance applies to you or your family members, contact us for a free consultation.
Uninsured motorist insurance covers your family even if you cause the accident.
Unfortunately, sometimes an accident can be your fault. To make matters worse, your accident may cause a family member to sustain injuries and incur medical bills or lost wages. Your insurance company will point to the “Family Member Exclusion” in your insurance policy which states they will not compensate a family member if the accident is your fault. You may assume that there is no recovery for your family members based on what your insurance company may tell you.
While the exclusion is valid, your family members now have an uninsured motorist claim. Insurance companies will not tell you this since their job is to save money, not pay claims. If you or your family members have been denied by an insurance company, contact us to see if we can help make a recovery.
What Is A Hit-And-Run Motorist Case?
When someone causes an accident and flees the scene, or gives you fraudulent identification, you will have a hit-and-run case. A hit-and-run case is treated similarly to an uninsured motorist case. Many times, our clients or witnesses are able to get a license plate of the car which caused the accident. While this can be important, it is not necessary in order to present a claim for damages in a hit-and-run accident.
What should I do in a hit-and-run accident?
Like all accidents, you should properly document your accident. In a hit-and-run accident, you must file a police report within 24 hours. Failure to do so will likely result in your uninsured motorist claim being denied by your insurance company. If you have a license plate, allow the police to do their job. If they are able to identify the car, they will do so. You should also contact a hit-and-run attorney familiar with hit-and-run and uninsured motorist cases.
Your insurance company will take the place of the hit-and-run motorist.
Many people believe that if they are in a hit-and-run accident, they are unable to make a recovery. This is untrue. Your insurance company steps into the shoes of the hit-and-run vehicle. As such, your insurance company is responsible for not only your medical bills and lost wages but also your pain and suffering, as well as other damages caused by the hit-and-run vehicle. But do not expect that your insurance company will fairly compensate you simply because they are your insurance company.
What Is An Underinsured Motorist Case?
In Illinois, the minimum insurance limits are $25,000 per person. If you are in an accident with a driver who carries the state minimum insurance limits, it means that no matter how serious your injuries, no matter how high your medical bills or lost wages, the most the at fault driver’s insurance company has to pay is $25,000. Given the cost of medical care, many of our clients incur substantial bills which quickly approach the state’s minimum limits.
The importance of underinsured motorist coverage
If the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries, your insurance will cover the excess. Of course, you must have underinsured motorist limits greater than the person who caused the accident. If you also have the state minimum insurance, you will not have an underinsured motorist case. Your limits must be greater than the at fault driver. We always advise our clients to have higher insurance limits than are required by law. Usually, your underinsured motorist limits will be the same as your liability limits and your uninsured motorist limits.
The important legal requirements for an underinsured motorist claim
There are many legal and technical requirements to present an underinsured motorist case. If you have a potential underinsured motorist case, it likely means your injuries are more serious than a simple muscle strain or sprain. It is advisable to have an experienced personal injury lawyer handle your case. There are too many pitfalls which can hurt your case. To speak to a lawyer familiar with underinsured motorist cases, contact McCready Law for a free consultation.
Won't My Insurance Company Treat Me Fairly In An Uninsured Motorist Case?
Many people believe the insurance company will treat them fairly because it is “their” insurance company. It’s not like making a liability claim against another insurance company, is it? You may be surprised to learn that insurance companies handle uninsured motorist claims the same way they handle liability claims.
The fact that you are one of their insureds makes no difference. The job of an insurance company is make money, not pay claims. An insurance company will try to keep the amount of money they pay on any claim as low as possible.
You still need a lawyer to represent your interests in an uninsured motorist claim. Simply because you are dealing with your insurance company in an uninsured motorist claim does not mean your insurance company will open their checkbook and pay you fair compensation for your injuries.
Insurance companies look for any way whatsoever to keep the amount of money paid on a claim low. This is why you still need a lawyer to protect your interests in an uninsured motorist case, even against your own insurance company. To discuss your case with an experienced uninsured motorist lawyer, contact us for a no obligation consultation.
Won't My Insurance Rates Go Up If I Make An Uninsured Motorist Claim?
Part of the insurance premium you pay goes to uninsured motorist coverage. You are paying for this coverage and you should use it if you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist or hit-and-run driver. It will not cause your insurance premium to go up.