Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Ruling for Injured Plaintiff In Auto Insurance Coverage Dispute

Insurance policies are supposed to provide us with some sense of security should we get hurt in a car accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies often resort to playing games or trying to interpret their policies in a way that benefits them the best. While you are suffering from your injuries and trying to get back on your feet, it can be hard to take the time to read through your policy and understand whether you are getting a fair deal. One way to protect your rights and to make sure you get the payout you deserve is to work with a Chicago personal injury lawyer. If you are involved in an auto insurance dispute or were hurt in a car accident, call Therman Law Offices now.

In a recent case, the Illinois Court of Appeal considered whether an insured’s auto policy required the insurance company to pay her benefits when she was hurt while riding in someone else’s vehicle. The driver of the vehicle in which she was riding hit another car in an intersection. The plaintiff maintained an auto insurance policy that also included uninsured motorist (UM) coverage up to $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person up to $50,000 per accident.

The insurance company filed a claim for a declaratory judgment. This type of claim asks the court to issue a ruling that decides who is right in a legal conflict, such as a contract dispute. The lower court eventually concluded that the plaintiff was entitled to coverage under her UM policy even though she was not riding in her vehicle at the time of the accident.

The insurance company filed an appeal. It argued that the language of the policy unambiguously provided for coverage only in situations where the insured was riding in her own vehicle. The plaintiff countered by arguing that Illinois law required the insurance company to provide coverage, specifically Illinois Insurance Code Section 143a. According to the plaintiff, the public policy behind this provision is aimed at ensuring that insured’s who pay their premiums are able to receive the benefits of the coverage that they are buying.

The insurance company argued that this statute was not as broad as the plaintiff suggests and that parties can limit the scope of UM coverage. The appellate court considered the evidence in the record and concluded that the plaintiff’s interpretation of the statute was correct and that the lower court was correct in concluding that she was owed benefits under the policy.

If you were hurt in a car accident, it is important to explore all of your legal rights and options, including your rights under any available insurance policies. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago car accident lawyers can help you make sure that you are taking the right steps and that you are being treated how you deserve to be treated. Take some of the pressure off the situation by calling us now for a free and no-obligation situation. You have nothing to lose by talking to one of our staff members. Call now: 773-545-8849 or contact us online.

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