If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you are probably feeling frustrated, angry, and confused. The thought that a driver could cause a serious accident and drive away is despicable. However, hit and run accidents happen quite often, leaving victims bewildered and overwhelmed. Fortunately, the state of Illinois has protections in place for victims of hit and run accidents.
Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Illinois. If a driver is arrested for leaving the scene of an accident, that driver may face hefty fines and up to 15 years in prison, depending on the severity of the accident.
However, arresting the driver does little to compensate the victim for medical bills, lost wages, and other harm. In Illinois, all drivers are required to have uninsured motorist coverage on their car insurance plans. In many of these plans, coverage for a hit and run accident is provided.
Uninsured motorist coverage covers expenses associated with an accident that is not your fault. Uninsured motorist coverage often provides funds for medical expenses and property damage. However, the details of what is covered and what is not covered are in your individual insurance policy. Some policies provide more coverage than others.
Additionally, the amount of coverage you have plays a significant role in your hit and run case. If the coverage you have is inadequate to cover your medical expenses and property damage, you will be forced to cover the additional costs yourself.
In many cases, the insurance companies try to avoid providing the coverage you have paid for. They may offer you much less than you deserve, or they may delay handling your claim, passing you off from one adjuster to another—all while your bills pile up. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced accident attorney after you have been involved in a hit and run accident.
Accident attorneys know how to negotiate with insurance companies to obtain the maximum amount of coverage possible. Additionally, they will pursue legal action on your behalf against your insurance company if your insurance company acted unethically during your claim. Insurance companies have been held liable for delaying the handling of a claim, as well as refusing to pay coverage that was supposed to be provided under a policy.
Your attorney may also be able to work out payment plans or other options with your medical providers to lower some of your expenses if they exceed your insurance coverage.
Attorneys know the tricks that insurance companies try to use in car accident claims. Without an attorney on your side, you may forfeit money you are entitled to.
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If you were injured in a vehicle accident in Illinois, contact Stein & Shulman, LLC, today to discuss your legal options with a skilled Chicago auto wreck attorney. You can schedule a case consultation at no cost to you by calling our office at (312) 422-0500.