When most people think of vehicle accidents, they think of incidents involving the careless or negligent actions of one or more drivers. However, accidents can also be caused by poor weather conditions. Here, we want to discuss what types of weather conditions are most likely to cause vehicle accidents in Illinois. Additionally, our car accident lawyers in Chicago want to review whether or not you will be able to recover compensation for your losses through an insurance settlement in these situations.
Illinois Weather can Present Risks for Drivers
We don’t all have the luxury of operating our vehicles only in perfect weather conditions. The reality is that the weather in Illinois can present significant risks to drivers. This can include weather such as rain, snow, wind, sleet, and fog. Drivers involved in weather-related accidents often suffer from severe injuries and even fatalities. Often, individuals sustain injuries due to accidents after another driver loses control of their vehicle because of the weather.
Information available from The US Department of Transportation indicates that weather-related vehicle accidents result in more fatalities than every other type of weather disaster combined, including tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, around 21% of all vehicle accidents (approximately 1,235,000 in total) that occur each year are weather-related. Out of these incidents, around 418,000 people are injured, and around 5,000 people lose their lives annually.
The winter months present significant challenges for drivers in Illinois. Snow, rain, icy conditions, and fog are all common during the winter in this state. Drivers often have difficulty seeing past the front of their own vehicles. This can be disastrous for others on the roadway, including other vehicles, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
What Insurance is Required in Illinois?
Individuals are required to carry insurance in order to operate their vehicles legally in the state of Illinois. By law, every driver in the state must carry the following types and minimum insurance coverage:
- Bodily injury liability coverage – Minimum legal requirement $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage – Minimum legal requirement $20,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage – Minimum legal requirement $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
In the event an individual sustains an injury or property damage in an accident caused by another driver, they should be able to recover compensation for their losses from the other driver’s insurance carrier. However, if an individual loses control of their vehicle as a result of weather-related conditions, recovering compensation can be challenging, particularly if they only have the minimum coverage required in this state.
Those who carry comprehensive and collision coverage on their insurance policies will likely be able to recover additional types of compensation to help with weather-related accident property damage. If an individual has medical payments coverage as part of their auto insurance policy (not required under Illinois law), then they should be able to recover compensation for various types of medical expenses caused by the collision.
Working With an Attorney
If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident as a result of inclement weather in Illinois, you may need to work with an attorney to recover the compensation you are entitled to. If you were struck by another driver affected by hazardous weather conditions, your personal injury attorney will be able to help sort out insurance settlement issues with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Additionally, if you are struggling to recover compensation under your own insurance policy, an attorney can help you fight that battle to recover the compensation you need.