Chicago injury lawyers urge review of car insurance policy at start of New Year

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The Chicago car accident lawyers and the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes urge you to review your automobile insurance policy as we begin the New Year.

Having a solid auto insurance policy that includes more than the Illinois minimum coverage of $20,000 per person/$40,000 per occurrence, as well as uninsured motorist coverage, can help protect you and your family in the wake of a serious or fatal Illinois traffic accident.

The state’s minimum coverage can be quickly exhausted by a serious accident and increased coverage is often available for just a few dollars more in premiums.

As a recent article published by MSNBC illustrates, a flight in a medical helicopter can cost $12,000 to $25,000.

In the event of a serious Chicago car accident, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you have adequate insurance coverage.

The MSNBC article reported on the case of a Pennsylvania women who was taken to the hospital by medical helicopter after a car crash and awoke in a hospital room six weeks later to find out she owed $500,000 in medical bills.

As we reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog in June, Abels & Annes partner Dave Abels told WUIS 91.9 that the state’s mandatory minimum coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per occurrence is not adequate in the wake of a serious car accident.

“It covers you for small accidents but not the big accidents that you really care about where your life is changed forever,” Abels said.

The Association of Air Medical Services estimates that 550,000 people in the United States are flown by medical helicopters or planes each year for a medical emergency, including car accidents.

Hopefully, few of us will be among that number. But the reality is routine medical costs in the wake of a car accidents can quickly exhaust Illinois minimum car insurance coverage limits. An ambulance ride can cost $2,000, according to the American Ambulance Association.

And Chicago pedestrian accidents, Chicago bicycle accidents and Chicago motorcycle accidents also often lead to very serious injury and sky-high medical bills, which in many cases can be covered by an adequate car insurance policy.

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The Air Medical Services reports car accidents are a primary cause of medical flights, noting that nationwide, severe car accidents cause 500,000 hospitalizations, more than 250,000 serious injuries and 42,000 deaths a year in the U.S
The MSNBC article quoted Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a Harvard University researcher, as saying car accidents and the associated medical bills are a contributing factor in more than 60 percent of all U.S. bankruptcies.

Motorists should also review their policies to make sure they are properly covered in the event of an uninsured or underinsured Chicago car accident.

As reported in August on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers blog, Illinois’ tough new uninsured motorist law carries a penalty of up to a year and jail and a $2,500 fine for those who cause an Illinois car accident while driving without insurance.

But that won’t help you or a family member pay medical bills in the wake of an accident. Ensuring your policy has adequate coverage in the wake of a Chicago uninsured motorist accident means your family will be protected by your own insurance policy in the event of a serious car accident, regardless of who was at fault.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the Chicago car accident attorneys and the personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.