Car Insurance Claims After an Accident in Illinois
If you’ve been injured in an accident, insurance claims may be the last thing on your mind. However, it is in your best interest to file an insurance accident claim as soon as possible. Illinois requires all drivers to have a minimum of $20,000 coverage for bodily injury liability and $15,000 coverage for property damage. In Illinois, there is a “fault” system used to determine financial responsibility for an accident. Insurance is a necessity so that the person responsible for an accident can compensate anyone who was injured or whose property was damaged. In this blog post, you will learn everything you need to know about filing an insurance claim after a car accident in Illinois.
First Party vs. Third Party Claims
Filing a claim with an insurance company is the first step on the road towards compensation. But, how do you know if you need to file with your insurance company or a third party? A claim that you file with your own insurance company is called a “first party” claim. In this case, your compensation is dependent on what you have covered in your automobile insurance policy with the company. An example of this would be if you were in an accident that was clearly your fault. Another example would be if your property was damaged by a natural disaster. A claim that you file with another person’s insurance company is called a “third party” claim. The most common type of third party claim is a liability claim. For example, if you cause an accident and injure someone in the passenger seat of another car, the passenger can be a third party filing a claim against your insurance.
Filing A Claim
Once you know if you are filing a first-party or third-party claim, you’ll want to contact the respective insurance company within 24 hours. At this point, it is recommended that you work with a personal injury attorney who can speak to insurance companies on your behalf. You don’t want to accidentally admit fault or offer extra information that could negatively affect your settlement. You’ll also want to make sure you understand exactly what your insurance policy covers before speaking with the insurance company. Again, a personal injury attorney can make this process smoother for accident victims. Once all information is provided about the accident and injuries sustained, the insurance company will open an investigation.
At this point, you might be asked to provide even more details about the scene of the accident, possible witnesses, and more. The insurance company will also probably ask you to receive an independent medical evaluation (IME). Once the investigation is complete and they have all the details required, they will issue a settlement check. If you’ve made it this far without a lawyer, this is the point where you should definitely consider consulting with one. There is a good chance that the insurance company is offering lower than you deserve. It can be hard to know the value of your claim and it’s often tempting to accept whatever is offered. A good attorney can help you negotiate the claim and maximize your compensation.
Can You Sue Your Insurance Company?
It may seem like what you can receive from your insurance company is perfectly laid out in your contract, but that’s not always reflected in the settlement. Sometimes, insurance companies don’t pay out everything that is required by law. This is considered bad faith insurance practices. Below are some examples of an insurance company acting in bad faith:
- Denying or delaying compensation without reason
- Failing to acknowledge or reply promptly
- Misrepresenting a material fact or policy provision relating to coverage
- Attempting to settle a claim for an unreasonably low amount
- Failing to perform a proper investigation
- Requiring unnecessarily cumbersome documentation to process a claim
- Failing to inform the insured of the appeals process
- Using inappropriate investigation methods
- Failing to provide a reasonable explanation for a denied or underpaid claim
A person may bring suit against an insurer who has caused him or her actual damages by engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practice. One of the best ways to avoid insurance companies acting in bad faith is to work alongside a car accident lawyer.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.
Being involved in a car accident can be emotionally and physically stressful. You probably wish that the insurance companies could just figure everything out for you. However, not being actively involved in your claim from the start can affect your compensation. Luckily, consulting with a personal injury attorney can help you understand your situation and what options are available. A good attorney will communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate for full compensation for your damages.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. works hard to get you the settlement you deserve. They offer a free consultation and do not charge you anything until you win a settlement. The experienced attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd. fight to secure your financial future. For more information on handling insurance claims after a car accident, call 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office. You should never battle a product liability case without a dedicated attorney by your side.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.