STOP!!!! Before you order medical records, hire experts, draft a demand letter, etc!!
Find out the limits of the defendant’s auto insurance policy first. Why spend a bunch of money if the medical bills are at or above the policy limits? Find out what you’re dealing with first – here’s how:
215 ILCS 5/143.24b provides that an automobile liability carrier must disclose the dollar amount of liability coverage upon receipt of a certified letter from a claimant’s attorney with a brief description of the nature and extent of the injuries, a statement of the amount of medical bills claimed, and copies of the medical records.
In practice, insurance companies often disclose these limits without having to do all of this, but it is important to know that this section exists.
I’ll save the rant about how $20,000 insurance minimums are ridiculously low for another post.
(Howard Zimmerle is a car accident attorney in Moline and Rock Island, Illinois).