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Illinois Drivers Must Carry Liability, Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Illinois requires all drivers to carry minimum amounts of automobile insurance to operate vehicles in the state. Unfortunately, some motorists choose to ignore this law, which means that drivers they injure in an accident could be left high and dry with burdensome medical costs. In anticipation of these situations, it is imperative that drivers purchase uninsured motorist insurance to cover themselves in the event of car accidents with uninsured motorists or hit-and-run accidents.

Minimum Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Illinois

Illinois requires that all drivers have uninsured motorist coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Drivers may also purchase additional coverage in exchange for a higher premium.

In July 2007, Illinois toughened penalties for failing to purchase auto insurance. Currently, uninsured motorists face an automatic, three-month suspension of their licenses and $100 fee to have their licenses reinstated. If motorists are caught driving with a suspended license, the suspension increases to six months. In addition to the license reinstatement fee, uninsured motorists must pay a fine between $500 and $1,000 for failing to carry the state's minimum levels of auto insurance coverage.

Other Required Coverage in Illinois

Illinois also requires all motorists to purchase a minimum amount of bodily injury liability insurance of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident and property damage coverage of $15,000 per accident.

Motorists may also wish to purchase underinsured motorist insurance. This type of policy covers the difference between a driver's uninsured motorist coverage and the liability limits of a driver who does not have enough insurance to cover the damage from an accident they caused.

Why Uninsured Motorist Coverage Is Important and Related Liability Issues

Uninsured motorist coverage is a vital source of funds for drivers injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver or by a hit-and-run driver. This insurance may cover all or part of an injured party's medical bills.

Sometimes, however, drivers may not have enough uninsured motorist insurance to cover their serious injuries. In this case, it is possible to take court action against the at-fault, uninsured driver to recover damages. In this case, the court will give the uninsured motorist 30 days to pay for the injuries. If he or she fails to pay within that time frame, the uninsured motorist will have his or her license suspended until the damages are paid.

If you or a loved one has been injured by an uninsured driver, it is important to read your insurance policy to understand whether your injuries will be completely covered by your uninsured motorist coverage. If not, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you build a civil case against the at-fault, uninsured motorist that injured you and/or to help you navigate your insurance claims process.

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