The Ohio BMV clearly lays out the minimum insurance requirements. However, not everyone is able to meet these requirements, and they drive uninsured. Or, people choose to not get car insurance at all and put others at risk. The idea for many of these people is that they would have full coverage if they were so concerned about recovering from a wreck.
When it comes down to it, anyone who can afford UIM, then you should have it. With Ohio’s fault system, it’s clear that if the uninsured person is at fault, you may have to fight for years to obtain any amount of compensation.
What is UIM?
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage is a policy addition that allows you to seek compensation through your policy if the other people cannot cover the damages. Specifically, UIM addresses injuries. Now your property damage will largely be left up to you. But for anyone who was hurt in an Ohio car wreck and then learned that the other person didn’t have insurance, it can change your case.
Additionally, UIM kicks in when the person has the minimum coverage and your injuries go past that coverage. Not only are many people in a position where they cannot cover their own medical costs, but it’s almost always cheaper to have UIM coverage than to handle medical bills.
When Does UIM Come Into Play?
UIM becomes available to the policyholder only after they’ve initiated a claim against the at-fault driver, or in some cases pedestrian. It means that you put in your claim, got the maximum possible from of their policy, and still have a substantial amount of injury-related expenses that you need compensation for in order to recover financially.
Uninsured Motorist coverage can come into play for various other accidents as well such as hit-and-run crashes. Or, if you were walking as a pedestrian and a vehicle hit you and ran, you could possibly recover some compensation through your UIM policy.
Handling a Case Against an Uninsured Driver
After a crash, it’s normal to expect the other driver to produce their insurance information. When they’re unable to, they may simply leave the scene. Or, they may stick around but reveal that they don’t have insurance. In these cases, contact the police so there is a full report of the situation, and you may need assistance in handling this driver.
However, it’s important to note that you should never take it upon yourself to lecture the driver about having insurance. Don’t lose your temper. Instead, focus on resolving the matter. Contact your insurance company and a lawyer after seeking medical attention.
Now, if you’re dealing with a driver that has the minimum insurance requirements, then you won’t know that anything is amiss until you begin your claim. When making your claim, you’ll work with your attorney to create a fair estimation for a compensation demand. That will include your lost wages, pain, and suffering, and all medical bills.
When the other insurance company responds you may be told that they most they can payout is the $30,000 on the policy. That’s fine. Keep in contact with your attorney and begin the process of seeking the remainder of the compensation you need from your UIM policy.
Recovering Money Awarded in a Case
When it comes to recovering money, the most common method is through a settlement. The settlement will often close out privately without anyone having to go to court. In these cases, it’s important that you don’t accept too low of a settlement.
Work with your Ohio car accident lawyer to determine when a settlement is fair, and when it’s not. There are times when it’s more reasonable to accept a low settlement than to take on excess court fees. Recovering money from a settlement or court case should always be your decision.
If You’ve Already Had a Crash, It’s Not Too Late
Handling a claim by yourself is difficult, instead, choose to involve an attorney. If the person you hit was uninsured or underinsured, then there are still options for you to pursue compensation. You may be able to readdress fault, file a suit against the person individually, or look at other avenues. The issue is that you need to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Contact Young, Reverman, and Mazzei to start evaluating your case and fault today. After a consultation, you’ll know much more about the claim ahead of you and how to handle these situations with care.