Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Ruling Finding Insurer Not Liable for Coverage After Taxi Cab Collides with Motorcyclist

In a bustling area like Chicago, there are many taxis and motorists traversing the roads on a daily basis. This increases the odds that you could be involved in an accident. As dedicated Illinois car accident lawyers, we have handled a wide variety of crashes, including complex accidents involving multiple parties and insurers.

A recent appellate opinion discusses many issues arising from an accident in which a taxicab operator struck a motorcyclist. The plaintiff in the action was the Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund (IIGF), which sought a declaratory judgment against the cab company and the Chicago Taxi Association, providing clarification about the insurance coverage in the underlying personal injury lawsuit.

The lower court concluded that the cab company was not covered and granted summary judgment in favor of IIGF. The cab company appealed on several grounds. First, it contended that the theory of estoppel or waiver prevented IIGF from asserting that it did not have to cover the accident. Second, it alleged that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment. Finally, it argued that the lower court erred in refusing to grant its motion to reconsider.

Regarding estoppel and waiver, the cab company argued that a 25-month period between when the action was filed and IIGF’s fourth reservation of rights letter constituted a waiver of and estoppel from refusing to provide coverage. The appellate court rejected this contention, noting that the cab company did not offer any evidence showing how it was injured by IIGF’s conduct or delay in reserving its rights. Instead, the appellate court noted that the underlying lawsuit was stayed during this time.

Next, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment in IIGF’s favor regarding when certain insurance policies were in effect. The cab company argued that another insurance policy was transferred from the taxi involved in the accident to a replacement vehicle. IIGF argued that coverage was transferred before the accident and that the policy did not provide coverage for the accident. The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s finding that evidence in the record indicated that the vehicle was not covered at the time of the crash.

Finally, turning to the motion to reconsider, the appellate court found no error with the lower court’s denial of the motion. The cab company argued on appeal that it had newly acquired evidence, but the appellate court concluded that the proffered affidavits did not constitute something new and separate from evidence provided by the cab company at trial.

If you were involved in a car accident, it is critical that you have experienced legal counsel representing you. Insurance companies can be difficult to handle, and they do not always have your best interests in mind. At Therman Law Offices, we proudly assist Chicago residents with understanding their legal rights following a sudden accident. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about our firm and how we can assist you. Call us now at 773-545-8849 or contact us online.

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