On Sunday, a northbound drunk driver ran a red light at the intersection of 43rd Street and Western in Chicago and hit a westbound Lexus. The impact killed the driver of the Lexus and caused the Lexus to smash into another car that was stopped at the red light for traffic traveling southbound on Western. Including the drunk driver, one was killed and seven injured as a result of this Illinois drunk driving accident.Cases like this underline the need for obtaining underinsured motorist coverage for yourself when buying car insurance. The underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage would apply any time that the total damages caused in an Illinois car accident exceeds the amount of liability insurance coverage available.My experience has always seemed to be that the worst drivers only carry the minimum amount of liability insurance, when they bother to have any insurance at all. The state minimum auto insurance is $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. If that is the case in this accident, that means that the six survivors of the accident and the family of the person killed in the wreck have a total of $40,000 in liability coverage to compensate them for their losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of economic support of society. That kind of money does not go far in this kind of car crash.Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the family of the person killed in the accident gets $20,000 from the minimum policy held by the drunk driver as compensation for their Illinois wrongful death claim. That leaves $20,000 to be split between the other six survivors of the accident, or $3,333 each. That will not cover the emergency room bills for any of them. Where underinsured motorist coverage would help the victims of this accident is by providing them compensation for their injuries for the amount due in excess of the amount paid by the at-fault driver. For example, if the driver of the southbound car had $100,000 in underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage and sustained $20,000 in damages, her insurance would pay her the $16,667 difference between her damages and the amount of liability insurance available to her. The article on our web site about use of Illinois UIM coverage in multi victim car accidents explains this further.Cases like this show how important underinsured motorist coverage is for protecting you and your family. It is cheap coverage, and as experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers, we recommend that you purchase full coverage on your vehicle for as much coverage as possible when buying or renewing your automobile insurance coverage, because if the at-fault driver in this accident had no insurance at all, there would still be an avenue of recovery through an Illinois uninsured motorist claim.