Can an arbritator make an award decision that would exceed all liability coverage?

Asked over 3 years ago - Belleville, IL

I was involved in an auto accident in Chgo. IL due to the accident there is/was personal & damages liabilities.. I have concurred severe chronic pain and alot of other health/mental injuries. Over the past 13 years since the auto accident to present, medical bills, loss wages, 14 meds, tests, 23 specialists, hospitalized etc..

At the arbritation it was confirmed that all of the above I've listed exceeded the uninsured/underinsured liability coverages.

Do an Illinois arbritator has the right to award an amount that exceeds the max coverages?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Stephen Laurence Hoffman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Absoulutely.

    Most arbitrators, like most judges and juries, are kept ignorant of policy limits for reasons of law and fairness. Savvy arbitrators can often estimate what the policy limits may be but it is not something to which they are supposed to be privy.

    Now, the question of what happens with regard to collection of the judgment/award is a different story.

  2. Michael W. Clancy

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Although yes is the right answer, I'm not sure that this gives you the right impression. While the arbitrator's job is to award you damages which fairly and adequately compensates you for your injuries regardless of the coverage, this doesn't mean that you will actually be able to collect more than the available coverage. The only circumstance under which this might be possible is if you could prove bad faith on the part of the involved insurer, and it is not clear at all that you have the right to make such a claim against the UM/UIM carrier in Illinois even if there is bad faith. In the end, this means that while the arbitrator can award whatever he or she wants, in almost every case your actual recovery will be limited to amount of the coverage. I'm sorry I don't have better news.

  3. Steven Alan Fink

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes. Arbitrator bases decision on damages, not on amount of insurance available. If there was no insurance you are still entitled to damages.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

  4. Lars A. Lundeen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes,but you cannot collect more than the UM policy limits that are available.

    Legal Disclaimer:

    Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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