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Illinois court allows UIM coverage for non-covered vehicle

Illinois state law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance in the event of an accident resulting in injury or property damage. In the event of a motor vehicle accident, this should protect all parties financially. A new Illinois court decision could help victims in motor vehicle accidents recover compensation for injuries.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division decided a case regarding underinsured motorist coverage. In this case, a teen driver was a passenger in a car when it was involved in a wreck and she was injured. She claimed continued lower back and pelvic pain, a reduced ability to walk and potential future complications during pregnancy.

The driver in the accident only had $50,000 in bodily injury coverage through his insurer but her medical costs exceeded that. The victim made a claim through her father's business auto insurance policy. The policy included underinsured motorist coverage for her father and any family members. However, the insurer argued that any accident must occur in a vehicle covered by the policy to be eligible for coverage.

The court disagreed, finding that the policy covers injury to any family member regardless of whether they occupied a covered vehicle at the time of the accident. This decision could make it easier for accident victims to recover compensation from their insurers for accidents involving non-covered vehicles.

If you or someone you love have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you will likely have to work with other drivers, insurance agents, medical providers and other parties to resolve your case. Consider collaborating with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you build a case and seek the best possible outcome, allowing you to recover from your injuries and get back to your life.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Court: Illinois Teen Eligible for UIM Coverage Under Dad's Business Auto Policy," Denise Johnson, Nov. 2, 2012

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