When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be able to receive insurance benefits from the policies involved in the crash including your insurer policy and the at-fault driver’s policy. This can sound like a straightforward process, but all too often an insurance company fails to play by the rules. Also, there are a number of rules that apply to your insurer’s ability to recoup any benefits paid to you from a settlement or judgment entered in your favor in a corresponding civil case. The seasoned Chicago car accident lawyers at Therman Law Offices are available to assist you with understanding your right to insurance coverage following a car accident.
Recently, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered a case in which the plaintiff appealed two orders of summary judgment entered in favor of the defendant, an insurance company. The plaintiff had filed an action seeking a declaratory judgment asking the court to interpret an insurance policy that was issued to the defendant and active at the time the parties got into an accident. The plaintiff suffered injuries when she was hit by an underinsured motorist. Her damages totaled $350,000.
The insurer for the at-fault motorist provided the policy limits of $100,000. The plaintiff then applied for underinsured motorist coverage with her own insurance company to recover the outstanding damages, including a $250,000 coverage limit and $100,000 in medical payments. Her insurer provided the $100,000 medical payment coverage. It then offset the $100,000 paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the $100,000 in medical payments to conclude that the plaintiff was entitled to $50,000. The plaintiff declined the offer and filed an action seeking a declaratory judgment from the court explaining the proper interpretation of the policy.