You may think you already went through the hassles of a car accident, so it may come as a surprise when the other driver sues you for compensation.
Under the circumstances, you’re probably asking yourself “can someone can you for a car accident if you have car insurance?” An experienced car accident lawyer can tell you, but some general information may help.
Applicable Auto Insurance Regulations
All US states require that motorists carry minimum car insurance policies to cover injured victims involving their policyholders. The relevant required automobile insurance coverage includes:
- Bodily Injury Coverage: Illinois and Iowa have different automobile insurance requirements to pay for injuries to victims. The minimum in Illinois is $25,000 per person, per accident, and $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident. In Iowa, the minimum coverage required is $20,000 per person, per accident, and $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident.
- Property Damage Coverage: This coverage pays for damage caused by a driver to other vehicles, guardrails, signs, lights, etc. in a single or multiple automobile accident. In Illinois, the minimum automobile insurance coverage for property damage is $20,000 per accident. In Iowa, this amount is $15,000.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Coverage: If you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or does not have enough insurance to pay for your injuries or property damage, you can seek payments under your own policy. The coverage amounts for uninsured and underinsured coverage are the same as the amounts stated above for bodily injury (liability) coverage and property damage coverage. This coverage is automatically added to your automobile insurance policy unless you specifically opt-out of the uninsured/underinsured driver coverage by waiving it in writing.
Be advised that, Illinois and Iowa differ in how this coverage is applied after the responsible party’s insurance pays the limits of the automobile insurance policy. Only an experienced car accident lawyer can assist you to make sure you are getting all that you are entitled to.
Typical Insurance Scenarios After an Auto Accident
From the minimal coverage requirements mentioned above, you can see how a victim’s losses can exceed those amounts. Injured occupants of a vehicle involved in an accident may need surgery, hospitalization, and an extensive recovery period for their injuries.
If you or a person who injures you carries the minimum insurance established by law, there may be substantial medical, property damage, and other costs left unpaid after a policy pays out the maximum amounts required. If there were multiple victims, their losses may easliy exceed the minimum coverage.
Grounds for a Lawsuit
When an insurance company’s payments for an accident don’t cover the full extent of the injury and damages, the injured individual is left with unpaid losses. A victim could seek payment under his or her uninsured/underinsured driver coverage and/or by suing the person who caused the injuries. This risk of getting sued for accidents or having inadequate insurance coverage for an accident makes purchasing the amount of insurance above the minimum amount a smart choice if you can afford it.
Discuss Your Rights and Legal Options with a Car Accident Lawyer
If you have concerns about your liability and the amount of insurance coverage you have following a crash, you should consult with an attorney right away. You may be able to minimize your damages and protect your interests, but timing is critical.
For legal help with auto accidents and insurance issues, please call 800.797.5391 or go online to schedule a free consultation with one of our VanDerGinst Law Injury Attorneys. We can give you more advice after learning about the legal issues you face.
The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.