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How Can I Protect Myself From Uninsured Drivers?

Posted on in Personal Injury

How Can I Protect Myself From Uninsured Drivers?Any driver knows that he or she assumes certain risks by getting behind the wheel. A driver with a history of safe driving often believes those risks to be fairly well minimized. After an accident, however, even the best drivers may find themselves financially impacted by the actions of others, especially if those others are underinsured or uninsured drivers.

Uninsured Drivers

There are an estimated 32 million vehicle owners in the U.S. currently without auto insurance. This means that nearly 13 percent of drivers on the road have no protection in the event of an accident, and in some states, the number is closer to 25 percent. Industry estimates suggest that more than $2 billion is paid annually on uninsured driver claims, not including fatalities or claims of permanent disability.

Insurance industry experts recognize that uninsured drivers usually struggle to afford the cost of insurance premiums. Many drivers who are able to maintain coverage often buy only the minimum coverage required in their states, which, in many cases, is insufficient for serious accidents. Consumer Reports found that the average cost of medical care for a “non-incapacitating injury” after an auto accident was $23,400, higher than the minimum bodily injury requirement in 14 states.

Illinois Insurance Minimums

In the state of Illinois, drivers are required to carry a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident and $50,000 for when multiple people are injured in the accident. Illinois also requires uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage with a minimum limit of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Uninsured motorist coverage covers injuries to the policy owner/driver in the event of an accident caused by a driver without insurance.

While such coverage may offer some protection to Illinois drivers, a serious accident requiring a prolonged hospital stay or extended subsequent treatment can easily exceed the coverage amounts. Policy owners, therefore, are strongly advised to consider carefully their insurance needs when purchasing coverage, including driving routines and the demographics of areas in which most driving will be done.

After an Accident

An accident caused by an uninsured driver can create a large number of challenges for you and your family. Your auto insurance may cover some of your medical bills or repairs to your car, but the other driver can still ultimately be held liable if they were at fault. In addition to bodily injury and property damages, you may be able to seek lost wages or other considerations depending on the circumstances of your case.

A McHenry County Injury Attorney Can Help

If you have been hurt in an auto accident, it is important to seek legal guidance, regardless of how much insurance coverage you have. A skilled Crystal Lake car accident lawyer from Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you understand all of your options for recovering compensation. Call 815-338-3838 to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a member of our team today.

Sources:

https://www.valuepenguin.com/auto-insurance/uninsured-motorist-statistics

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/03/how-to-protect-yourself-against-uninsured-drivers/index.htm

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/vehicles/mandatory_insurance.html

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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