Auto accident settlements rarely exceed the policy limits, but it does happen. In some cases, a jury will order a defendant to pay the injured party more than the insurance policy provides.
More than one outside party may have caused the accident in other cases. The injured party can seek the full policy limit from more than one party and recover greater total compensation when that happens.
Seeking an auto accident settlement that exceeds the policy limits can be complex, especially for people with no legal experience. You may need to file insurance claims with multiple providers or take your case to trial. You may find this process easier with the help of a personal injury lawyer that has handled cases like yours before.
What Are the Auto Insurance Policy Limits in Illinois?
Illinois requires drivers to purchase auto insurance to pay for damages resulting from an accident that they cause. This insurance must meet minimum requirements set by the state. According to the Illinois Department of Insurance, the required minimum coverage is:
- Bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person per accident and $50,000 total per accident
- Property damage coverage of at least $20,000 per accident
Your lawyer will find out how much coverage the at-fault party carries. We will also determine how much your losses are worth and advise you how much compensation you should seek in your settlement.
Damages Available After an Auto Accident
Your lawyer will prove your losses with medical expert witness testimony or accident reports. They must first estimate how much compensation you should seek, though. You may be entitled to damages for:
- Medical bills for emergency and follow-up care
- Medical equipment like mobility aids
- Future medical bills if you will need future treatments or surgeries, ongoing therapy, or ongoing care
- Loss of income for unpaid time off work while you recover
- Reduced earning capacity if the accident affects your ability to work
- Property damage if the accident totaled or damaged your vehicle
- Pain and suffering if the accident caused you to lose a body part, become paralyzed or disfigured, experience chronic pain, endure a long recovery, develop a psychological condition, stop participating in things you once enjoyed, etc.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Auto Accident Case?
The law does not require victims to work with lawyers, but having one handle your auto accident case could bring you peace. This is especially so if you choose to go to court to seek compensation that exceeds policy limits.
A lawyer can help you sort out the complexities of your case, advise you on the best path to obtaining compensation, and make the whole legal process less stressful for you. Here are some ways a lawyer can help:
- Investigate your auto accident: We will gather cell phone records, toxicology reports, and more. Our team will determine who caused your accident, which may be more than one party, and is therefore responsible for your losses.
- Estimate how much your damages are worth: We will estimate your damages and use that as a starting point as we seek a settlement.
- Handle the insurance process: Your lawyer will gather medical bills and records from all your providers as well as receipts for other expenses. We will file an insurance claim with the insurance providers of all parties responsible for your accident.
- Negotiate a settlement: Most of the time, all parties prefer to settle out of court. We will negotiate a fair settlement for your losses.
- File a lawsuit: Your best option for recovering damages over policy limits may be to sue the at-fault party or parties. Our team can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.
File Your Lawsuit Before the Illinois Deadline on Personal Injury Lawsuits
You may need to sue the at-fault party to gain compensation for your losses after a car accident, but Illinois limits how long you have to do so. 735 ILCS 5/13-202 establishes the statute of limitations for personal injury at two years. You must file a lawsuit against the other driver within this time. If you wait any longer, you lose the right to sue.
Our lawyers can work with you to:
- Establish a timeline for your injuries
- Determine if any exceptions to this deadline apply to your case
- Make sure that you file your lawsuit on time
We Can Represent You After an Auto Accident
If you were injured or lost a loved one in an auto accident, you could recover a financial recovery for medical expenses, lost income, and more. The Kryder Law Group, LLC, could secure a settlement that compensates you for the value of your losses.
Call our office today at (312) 223-1700 for a free case consultation. We work on contingency. This means you pay nothing until we secure damages for you.