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It’s common for injured drivers to have to tap into their own auto insurance policies to be compensated after crashes with other passenger vehicles in Ohio.
That’s because around 13% of all drivers in Ohio are uninsured, and many more have only minimum coverage.
The trucking industry is different. Almost all truck drivers, truck companies, and truck owners are insured, whether to comply with state or federal laws or simply to avoid being liable for huge out-of-pocket expenses after crashes.
However, in some cases, injured victims may still look to their own insurance policies to compensate them after accidents involving semi-trucks.
As mentioned above, far fewer people, businesses, and vehicles in the trucking industry are uninsured when compared to individual drivers. However, that doesn’t mean every truck, truck driver, and truck company is properly and fully insured.
For example, you may be injured by a truck driver who is driving somewhere in his cab while off-duty. If he owns his own truck, he may be between jobs, and he may have let coverage on his truck lapse. Or, he may have just purchased a new truck and hasn’t insured it yet.
If he’s uninsured at the time the crash happens, you may need to tap into your uninsured/underinsured driver coverage to pay for your medical bills and lost wages.
Medical payments (MedPay) benefits are available in almost all scenarios after crashes that cause injuries that require medical treatment, if you have purchased that coverage.
MedPay coverage isn’t required in Ohio, but if you purchased it as part of your auto insurance policy, you can use it after a truck accident—even if the truck and truck driver are fully insured or even if you’re found to be at fault for the crash.
Please note, however, that MedPay only covers medical treatments. It doesn’t cover lost wages or pain and suffering. For this reason, it’s important to still file an injury claim against the at-fault party after a truck accident, even if your MedPay coverage can pay for some or all of your medical bills after the crash.
When hauling full-size trailers, big trucks are around 70-feet in length and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when they’re fully loaded. When they’re involved in crashes with passenger vehicles, including even the largest pickup trucks and SUVs, they often cause significant damage to those other vehicles.
If you have collision coverage, you can use it to cover the cost of the repairs needed to get your vehicle back in roadworthy condition even if the collision was your fault. While your vehicle is being repaired, collision coverage typically also pays for the cost of a rental vehicle. And if your vehicle is totaled, collision coverage will pay you the market value of your vehicle, which can be used to pay for a replacement vehicle.
Whether you’re tapping into your uninsured/underinsured driver coverage, your MedPay coverage, or your collision coverage after a truck accident, it’s important to report the crash to your auto insurer as soon as possible.
Most insurers require notification within days after crashes. This is why it’s a good idea to report the crash to your own insurer immediately even if you plan on filing a claim against the truck driver, company, or owner. If you later find out that the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured and you never reported the crash to your insurer, you may be ineligible to get compensation.
Many people mistakenly believe that filing claims with their own insurers means they’ll have an easier time getting compensation than if they file claims against at-fault parties’ insurance policies. Unfortunately, insurance companies want to protect profits no matter what, and it doesn’t matter if the claimant is someone their policyholder injured or a loyal customer of theirs for decades.
Sticking to the facts of what happened when speaking to your insurer is the best way to maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve. Insurance adjusters are trained to engage claimants in conversation in the hopes of getting incriminating statements from them. The less you say outside of merely reporting the facts, the better.
Getting full and fair compensation after a truck accident is often an uphill battle. Insurers on both sides are reluctant to pay the money that injured victims deserve. Too often, victims feel like giving up because their claims are either initially denied or because they feel like the insurance companies are ignoring them.
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, our Ohio truck accident attorneys don’t take “no” for an answer. We have decades of experience getting our clients the money they need for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after truck accidents, whether it’s coming from the at-fault parties’ insurance policies or our clients’ own policies.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you after a truck accident.
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