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What does uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage mean?

Unless you are an insurance expert or a lawyer, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is nothing short of confusing. Many residents of Peoria think these insurance terms apply to themselves. For example, say a man was hit by a truck and hears an insurance adjuster talking about uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. He might think the person speaking is saying that he—the victim—did not have adequate insurance. The truth is just the opposite.

In an uninsured/underinsured motorist accident, the other driver lacks proper insurance coverage. What this means to you is that you will not be able to collect compensation or benefits because the other driver is not covered by an insurance policy. However, you can ensure that your injuries are taken care of by increasing your own auto insurance. This is known as uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

For many accident victims the next question is, "What if the other driver has no insurance and I don't have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?" While this is unfortunate, you still have options. Your first step should be consulting an Illinois law firm with experience handling uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents.

At this point, you are probably wondering how talking with a lawyer can help. Well, if the at-fault driver has at least some insurance, a lawyer can help you look for loopholes that could increase your compensation. Additionally, an attorney can ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible from your own insurance. Finally, if a third-party shares liability for your injuries (e.g. manufacturer of a defective auto part), a lawyer can also help you pursue compensation in this manner.

Source: NerdWallet, "Uninsured Motorist Coverage Explained," Alex Glenn, accessed March 14, 2017

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