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Illinois lawmakers consider issue of underinsured motorists

A motor vehicle accident caused by another driver’s negligence can be a difficult ordeal. In addition to dealing with insurance claims, a victim may have to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit in order to obtain enough compensation to cover property damage, medical bills and expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Another reason a car accident victim might require the advice of an attorney is the issue of minimum liability coverage. Under current Illinois state law, that minimum is set at $20,000 per death or injury to one person, and $40,000 in the event of injury or death to two individuals.

However, medical costs after an accident may require years of therapy, follow-up visits, and medical imaging. Given that timeline, it’s easy to understand how many accident victims incur far more than $20,000. Although some victims may have had underinsured motorists coverage, even that claim process can quickly become complicated.

Illinois lawmakers may be aware of this issue: Legislation that would raise the statutory minimum liability coverage to $25,000 for injury to one person recently passed in the Illinois House. The same bill would raise coverage to $50,000 for two injury victims.

An attorney might be familiar in preparing lost wage charts and other evidence needed to estimate the financial impact caused by an auto accident. Of course, the case must first be won, so an attorney might be helpful in preparing accident crash reconstruction data and gathering other evidence, including any available police and witness reports, to establish negligence as the cause of the accident.

Source: articles.chicagotribune.com, “Illinois poised to raise minimum required auto insurance,” Becky Yerak, May 28, 2013

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