Articles Posted in Insurance Coverage

Governor Bruce Rauner claims that the Illinois economy is weak. His proposal to solve this alleged problem is to institute lawsuit and workers’ compensation reforms, however, the facts simply do not support him.

First, the Illinois economy is not weak and it is growing at a steady rate. As of January 2015, the unemployment rate dropped two points from a year ago to 6.1 percent. For seven straight months in 2014, Illinois led the country in the rate of decline of its unemployment rate. In 2014, Illinois increased the number of people employed by 106,000.

In addition, frivolous lawsuits are not a problem driving away business. In Illinois, over 70% of lawsuits are actually filed by companies suing each other or individuals for money. Since 2007, the number of all civil cases filed in Illinois courts had declined by 26 percent since 2007. As for medical malpractice, since 2003 the number of lawsuits filed has declined by 40 percent. When frivolous lawsuits are filed, we have a judicial system where the judges have the power to dismiss these cases before they are ever tried before a jury.

A few years ago a client of mine was in a very severe accident after another vehicle crossed the center of the road and struck her head-on. She suffered several fractures to her right leg which required surgery, a lengthy hospitalization, and a long rehabilitation. The at-fault driver only had $25,000.00 of insurance coverage from Allstate. Allstate paid the policy limits and we then went after my client’s underinsured motorist coverage from Farmers Insurance. My client had a 100/300 policy with Farmers ($100,000.00 per person and $300,000.00 per accident). Under my client’s underinsured motorist coverage, we could only collect an additional $75,000.00 even though my client’s medical bills alone far exceeded $100,000.00. After paying the medical liens, attorney’s fees, and case expenses, we were able to recover some money for our client, but she was not fully compensated for all of her pain and suffering, and the permanent disability she suffered as a result of her injuries. We could have gone after the at-fault driver, but he was a teenager with no assets. Unfortunately, this happens all too often to people who are injured as a result of a reckless driver.

Too many individuals purchase inadequate insurance coverage for their vehicles. In Illinois, as of January 1, 2015, the mandatory minimum limits for auto insurance coverage increased from 20/40/15 to 25/50/20. This means that every driver in the state must now have minimum liability coverage of $25,000.00 per person, $50,000.00 per accident, and $20,000.00 for property damage; however, the new mandatory minimum limits are entirely inadequate to protect you in case of an accident. Continue reading

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