Legal Question in Personal Injury in Illinois

Hello I was involved in an accident on 9/23/2012 I have three additional passengers we were taken to hospital with whiplash injuries and my neck is still bothering me. I got all of the other driverís information and found out that the person who hit my vehicle did not have insurance. I then contacted my insurance company and they said I only have liability with uninsured coverage for property and bodily. I have faxed my police report and everything and now I was told I have to go to the secretary of state to get a report that the individual did not have insurance. My question is how am I supposed to do that they are my insurance company so why don't they do. Also why do I have to do it when I have the police report and everything, meanwhile my vehicle is sitting needing to be repaired. Also I was told I have to use my own insurance for the medical bills when I have medical payments along with the uninsured protection. Please help

Thank you

Asked on 10/01/12, 8:58 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Nima Taradji Taradji Law Offices

You have been given wrong information.

To answer your question first: Under your policy, in order to trigger the uninsured motorist clause, it is your responsibility to prove that the driver that hit you was 1) at fault and 2) did not have insurance. Because it is your responsibility your insurance will not lift a finger until you prove to them the status of the other driver. You need to send a letter to Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) (not secretary of state) and request insurance information for the other driver from them. Contact IDOT and ask what information they need you to provide them--generally a copy of the police report will do the trick. Once you have that, you will need to send the letter from IDOT certifying that the other driver was uninsured to your insurance.

Then they will tell you what else they find wrong with your case so as not to pay you :)

Also, be advised that uninsured motorist claims do not include property damage. If you only had liability insurance, your insurance will not pay for your vehicle repairs--regardless of whether the other driver was at fault or not or had insurance or not. Property damage is not included in UM claims--unless you have paid for it and purchased that extra insurance which most people don't...

With respect to the personal injuries involved, you would be better off speaking with an attorney if you want to get fair compensation for the injuries you have sustained. I have never seen a person do well without an attorney--even if they have to pay attorney fees--the end result with an attorney is more in your pocket.

I hope this helps-If you need more info, call my office.

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Answered on 10/01/12, 9:22 am

You may need an attorney because it may be that your agent did NOT procure an effective policy for you. Having said that....

1. Uninsured motorist coverage is REQUIRED to be in an auto policy in Illinois.

2. It should cover passengers in your against bodily injury caused by the driver of an uninsured car that is legally liable for the injuries.

3. You say your car and "bodily" are covered - so that sounds like exactly what uninsured motorist coverage is all about.

4. Your policy may obligate you to provide the information needed so you should go to a Secretary of State Driver's Facility to request the information - every Illinois registration requires identification of insurance.

5. Yes you may also have collision coverage for your vehicle: this is your insurance and where the other vehicle appears to be uninsured (the driver may be but the car may have insurance noted with the Secretary of State unless it expired) you can apply through your own insurance for coverage, and your insurer will determine whether the other car owner/driver is liable to you in which case it will try to get the money it pays you back from the other driver/car ("subrogation").

6. "Medical Payments" may also be at a minimum -- this can pay you or your passengers but is limited to the amount you purchased. Beyond that your liability insurance should cover your passengers' injuries pending a determination that the other car/driver was at fault.

These are just some basics -- again you should contact a personal injury attorney who can fully review the situation with you.

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Answered on 10/01/12, 9:46 am
Burton Padove Indiana and Illinois Lawyer, Burton A. Padove

Your explanation is a bit confusing and at least to an extent, it sounds like there is a miscommunication concerning the medical bills. I suggest that you contact an injury lawyer for an in person interview. Most give free consultations.

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Answered on 10/01/12, 10:19 am
Sal Sheikh

Fell free to contact me for a consult.

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Answered on 10/01/12, 4:53 pm

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