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Family still waiting on insurance payout after DUI accident

The attorney for a family injured by a drunk driver says that an insurance company has failed to compensate victims of that crash. At the heart of the dispute is a November 2011 accident between a drunk driver and a minivan. The two-car accident took place in Oak Brook, Illinois, after authorities say a drunk driver slammed his vehicle head-on into a minivan occupied by a mother and two 6-year-old girls. The victims in the minivan were reportedly returning home after getting ice cream.

Police later determined that the drunk driver was more than two times beyond the legal blood alcohol limit around the time of the accident. That driver is now serving a seven-year prison sentence following his conviction for aggravated DUI. The victim's attorney says that although the defendant had no license to drive and was in the country illegally, he did have valid car insurance.

The insurer that provided the defendant coverage is a Chicago-based company named Unique Insurance. The victim's attorney says that despite his clients mounting medical costs, Unique has failed to pay them any money as compensation for their injuries. This is even despite the fact that the family sued the drunk driver and a jury returned a verdict against him in the amount of $3.9 million. The attorneys representing the car insurance company during the six-day trial argued that the victim's lawsuit overstated the severity of their injuries.

There are a few things you should know if you are an Illinois motorist who has been injured in a preventable accident. Under state law, you are entitled to sue individuals and businesses that contribute to your harm by carelessness or negligence. Additionally, you can seek recovery from those liable parties of your medical costs and any income you may have lost due to your accident.

You should also know that insurance companies stay profitable when they don't pay out claims. That's why having legal representation from an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney can prove beneficial. An attorney can help you by petitioning the court to enforce jury awards and help you recover compensation for your injuries from all liable parties.

Source: NBC Chicago-Channel 5, "After Four Years, Victims Still Awaiting Payout From DUI Crash," Lisa Parker and Robin Green, June 22, 2015

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