(CBS) – Some Illinois motorists will have to dig deeper into their pockets to pay car insurance so that they can increase their minimum liability coverage.
For one Chicago man, the change is a little late, after he was injured while riding his bike.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.
A severely bruised arm and a fractured finger that required surgery — these are the injuries Scott Walters suffered last year after riding his bike into an open car door in Albany Park.
“I couldn’t use my hand for about a month or so, it was wrapped up. I was going to school at the time, I do web design,” he says.
His medical bills totaled more than $56,000.
Walters received $20,000 through the driver’s minimum liability coverage. About 35 percent of Illinois drivers have this. Each will start paying more for that coverage on Jan. 1, 2015; that’s when the law approved by Gov. Pat Quinn goes into effect.
The mandatory state liability minimum for coverage will increase from $20,000 to $25,000.
“It’s really not fair to the people that have been injured and I still believe this number is woefully low, in light of the rising economics in our society,” says Jeff Kroll, Walters’ attorney.
Robert Passmore is the senior director of Personal Lines of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, also known as PCI. He says those with minimum liability insurance coverage could see their rates rise by as much as 20 percent.
He cautions that some motorists may fail to buy insurance with the price increase.
Walters, who was injured in the accident, says the $5,000 increase helps, but it’s still not enough to offset medical bills. He still owes more than $36,000.