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According to a recent report, as many as 15 percent of drivers in the state of Illinois are driving without vehicle liability insurance. That report also found that the number of uninsured drivers tends to fluctuate along with the unemployment rate, as people who lose their jobs and are struggling financially are forced to choose which priority bills get paid. Auto insurance is often not high on the list that includes shelter, food, and utilities.
New Hampshire is the only state which does not require motorists to have auto insurance. However, with a national average of one in seven motorists driving without coverage, it is apparent these laws do not always work. The state with the lowest percentage of uninsured drivers – Massachusetts at 4 percent – requires all drivers to show proof of insurance before they can register their vehicle.
Many auto insurance policies have uninsured motorist coverage to cover the cost of injuries or property damage in the event an accident is caused by an uninsured driver. When an uninsured driver is at fault for a motor vehicle accident, it is those policies which cover those damages, passing costs of these accidents to insured drivers – in the amount of more than $10 billion every year.
Illinois Coverage Laws
In Illinois, the law requires that all vehicle owners carry uninsured motorist coverage. The current minimum requirement is $20,000 per injured person, with a maximum of $40,000 per accident. The minimum coverage for property damage is $15,000.
Another issue that accident victims often run into is underinsured drivers. Because many people only obtain their state’s minimum auto insurance coverage requirement, there are many cases where the damages – for injuries and/or property damage – far exceed the amount of insurance coverage the at-fault driver carries. In these instances, the victims can often recover the difference in costs under their own auto insurance policies.
For vehicle accident victims who find themselves dealing with either an uninsured or underinsured at-fault driver, it is important to consult with an experienced DuPage County personal injury attorney. Insurance companies – even your own – may try to reduce their own expenses by offering lower settlements than you truly need to recover from your accident. An accident attorney can help negotiate the best outcome possible for you.