Uninsured Drivers are on Chicago’s Streets: What You Can Do to Make Sure You’re Safe

The laws in Illinois are designed to protect the safety of all who call the state home, yet when individuals ignore or violate the law, that safety can be jeopardized. One area that receives little attention but makes a massive impact on others is in the arena of automobile insurance. If you live in Illinois and you own a personal vehicle, you are required to carry insurance on that car that meets or exceeds state minimum levels. The purpose behind this mandatory insurance provision is to protect the innocent victims of car accidents who are hurt by enabling them to obtain financial compensation, a form of relief that can help victims get the medical treatment they need as well as provider payment for all of their other expenses.

Though the law applies to all drivers, the fact remains that every day, motorists without valid insurance drive in an around Chicago, posing a serious threat in the event they are involved in a crash. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reported that an estimated 13.3 percent of all motorists on Illinois roads in 2012 were uninsured, contrary to and in violation of state laws. Victims who are hurt by these uninsured drivers soon realize that there may be no insurance funds to provide for their damages, pay for their medical expenses, or even compensate them while they are forced to miss work.

But fortunately for Illinois motorists, steps can be taken to provide protection in the event that an uninsured motorist hits them. By purchasing uninsured automobile insurance, those who drive can guarantee that funds will be available to them if they are involved in a car accident – even if an at-fault driver does not have valid insurance.

Uninsured provisions of automobile coverage provide a set amount of money as available to drivers and passengers if they are hurt in a collision. In the event that another driver is deemed to be responsible and if that driver does not have insurance, those in a vehicle covered by uninsured provisions can make a claim against that fund for his or her damages. This means that a driver can know with confidence that no matter who causes an accident, she will be protected.

In Chicago and in the rest of Illinois, uninsured motorist coverage is often linked with underinsured coverage, a separate but similar type of insurance that can be available to drivers. Underinsured proceeds become available in the event that a responsible driver is insured but that driver carriers an inadequate amount of insurance. Currently, drivers in Illinois are required to maintain $25,000 of coverage per person injured and $50,000 total per accident. While many drivers opt for limits far in excess of this minimum requirement, many driver with only these limits. If a crash causes even moderate injuries, the damages that result can exceed state minimums and can leave victims question whether they have any additional options. If they possess underinsured coverage, that coverage can become available to fully compensate anyone who is harmed in a collision.

In addition to possessing uninsured and underinsured automobile insurance, a good way to protect your rights if you were involved in a collision is to work with a personal injury attorney who has experience handling cases in the Chicago area. An attorney can level the playing field when it comes to dealing with an insurance company and can make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

You cannot control the actions of other drivers but you can make sure that you are protected when the unthinkable occurs in Illinois. If you are facing questions about your options or the rights a loved one may possess after an accident, take action today by working with a professional as all claims must be brought within a time period specified by law to be valid.

Prior Blog Entry:

One Pedestrian is Killed in a Traffic Crash Every Two Hours, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 10, 2016.

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