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Understanding Ohio’s Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Protection

April 19, 2023

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When a person suffers an injury in a car accident, everyone expects the insurance company of the driver at fault to cover the damages. But what happens when the party at fault has no auto insurance coverage? Most people believe all hope of getting compensation is lost if you ever get hit by an uninsured driver, but that is not always the case.

In Ohio, you can recover compensation after a car accident with an uninsured driver through uninsured motorist coverage and protection. You can file an injury claim with your insurance provider, and with the help of Cleveland car accident lawyers, you can get the compensation you deserve.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

As much as you expect every driver to be insured, most drivers in Ohio are uninsured or do not have enough to cover damages should they cause an accident. Uninsured motorist insurance coverage is an optional, subsidiary type of insurance that any driver in Ohio can buy and file a claim against if a negligent driver has no insurance coverage.

This type of insurance is beneficial when you sustain severe injuries in a car accident caused by a driver who failed to carry insurance or who was unable to cover your damages. It is simply a way of safeguarding yourself against uninsured motorists. This type of policy offers financial safety and can help you recover money from the at-fault driver. It could cover things like:

  • Medical treatment expenses.
  • Lost income/wages.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Disability.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Property damage, etc.

What Happens if an Uninsured Motorist is in an Accident?

Uninsured motorists can be at fault for a car accident that causes injuries, leaving victims confused and unsure of how to get compensation for the damages they suffered. Under Ohio law, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is offered in an amount equal to that of liability insurance. It must cover bodily injuries that exceed the amounts covered by the liable motorist.

Suppose you were involved in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist and filed an uninsured motorist claim. In that case, your insurance company will immediately be responsible for getting compensation and recovering money from the other driver. Your insurance company will begin its investigation and assess medical records and documents related to your losses and injuries. Any settlement made against the driver at fault might be owed to your insurance company if it provides uninsured motorist coverage.

Remember that although your insurance company works for you, they have a financial interest in settling as quickly and as cheaply as possible. You should contact car accident lawyers in Cleveland to help you understand your legal options and increase your chances of recovering damages.

Does Ohio Require Drivers to Carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Drivers in Ohio are legally required to purchase and carry bodily injury and property liability insurance coverage. This policy pays for the other drivers’ damages when an insured driver causes an accident. On the other hand, Ohio does not require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, so it may not be considered a standard policy.

While uninsured motorist coverage may be optional in the state of Ohio, it can go a long way in protecting you if you are injured in a car accident with a driver who is not insured or underinsured. This policy covers costs beyond what is recoverable from the driver at fault.

What Happens When an Uninsured Driver Causes a Car Accident?

Drivers in Ohio who do not have liability insurance are considered uninsured. If an uninsured driver hits your car, there are actions you can take to protect your rights and hold the other driver accountable. These actions include:

  • Calling the police: While you should always call the police when you are involved in an accident, it is even more important when you are involved in an Ohio car accident with an uninsured driver. Police and accident reports can be instrumental in helping you get compensated for damages.
  • Collecting the other driver’s information: Ask for the driver’s name, contact information, license plate number, and if they are insured or not.
  • Taking pictures: Pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and injuries that were sustained can significantly aid your case.
  • Visiting the doctor: Seek medical attention immediately if you sustained any injuries in the accident.
  • Contacting your insurance company: Inform your insurance company of the accident and that the driver who caused the accident does not have insurance.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy

While the law clearly states who is financially responsible for injuries sustained in an accident, pursuing an uninsured motorist claim can be complicated. In addition to the time-consuming process, insurance companies may deny your claim or offer you settlements that do not fully make up for the losses you have incurred.

Working with car accident lawyers, Cleveland residents can get help investigating and collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses, medical professionals, and experts to determine the total value of what they lost. An experienced car accident lawyer in Ohio will ensure your rights are protected and you receive your due compensation after a car accident.

Contact Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Personal Injury Lawyers in Cleveland, Ohio, for a free case assessment.

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