In Reed v. Farmers Insurance Group the Illinois Supreme Court-by a 4-3 vote-upheld an arbitration system in which injury victims are bound by awards below $20,000, but in which insurance companies can insist on a trial de novo for awards over that amount.' A recent legislative enactment has complicated the threshold at which awards change from binding to non-binding, by increasing it to $50,000. However, even in cases where a higher threshold applies, those injury victims receiving awards below the threshold (or losing on the issue of liability) are bound by the arbitration, while injury victims receiving awards higher than the threshold can be required to re-litigate their cases de novo in the court system. This is the arbitration system that awaits Illinois drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured today by uninsured motorists.
Michael J. Hanagan,
If You Lose, It Is Binding, but If You Win - They Get a New Trial: Illinois Uninsured Motorist Arbitration,
2005 J. Disp. Resol.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/jdr/vol2005/iss1/8