Insurance Coverage After an Auto Accident
One of the most common questions we hear from car accident victims is, “Whose insurance will pay my medical bills and car damages?” Unfortunately, the answer to that question is never clear cut. There are several factors that come into play in determining coverage for accident-related costs, including which driver was at fault and whether each party has enough insurance. That said, the short summary we provide below should give you a basic understanding of insurance coverage after being involved in an auto accident.
Insurance and the Accident Victim
At the outset, your medical insurance and the medical payments provision under your own auto insurance will cover your medical bills. This occurs even while the insurance companies are determining where to allocate fault. Should the insurance companies and/or court determine that the other driver was at fault, the other driver’s insurance company will reimburse your insurance companies for money paid out.
Insurance and the At-Fault Driver
The State of Illinois requires every single driver to carry automobile insurance. The state does set limits on the two required components of the insurance policy: bodily injury and property damage liability. That policy steps in to pay for your injuries and property damage after the driver receives official notification of guilt for causing the accident.
What Happens When the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Any or Enough Coverage?
You may wonder how you will cover your bills in situations where the at-fault driver had no insurance or where you were involved in a hit-and-run accident. Luckily, the state has taken care of that concern for you by requiring that you carry uninsured motorist coverage (UM). With the UM policy, your own insurance company pays for all medical and property damage costs, up to the policy limits you choose.
If the at-fault driver only carries the state-mandated minimum coverage, or if you only carry the minimum UM coverage, you may find that you will exhaust those limits quickly. This is because the limits set by Illinois law are fairly low: $20,000 for bodily injury per person; $40,000 for bodily injury per accident; and $15,000 for property damage. More often than not these days, injuries sustained in a serious motor vehicle accident quickly surpass those limits. So what happens then?
If you have the optional coverage known as an underinsured motorist policy (UIM), you have little to worry about. That portion of your policy kicks in to cover remaining medical costs after you have exhausted the at-fault driver’s policy limits or if the at-fault driver did not have any coverage. If you do not carry UIM insurance, you will have to turn to your own health insurance policy for coverage.
Learn More About Insurance Coverage After an Accident
If you have suffered injuries in an auto accident and want to know how you will cover your medical bills and other related costs, contact our Chicago law office. At The Rooth Law Firm, we have more than 28 years of experience representing our clients’ rights and interests against insurance companies and at-fault drivers. Call us at 877-356-3007 to schedule your free consultation, during which we will help you understand your costs and your options.