No, not every wreck or crash results in a nice compensation check to cover your damages. In fact, even if you get a check, it might not cover the cost of the collision when you factor in property damage, medical expenses, and your time lost at work while you were recovering.
You should not count on a compensation check or figure that anyone owes you anything unless you go through these preliminary aspects of the wreck and your coverage. If you do get into an accident, the best thing to do is consult a Cincinnati car crash attorney.
Do You Have Car Insurance?
There are some states which limit you in taking action against any involved driver unless you have insurance which meets the state’s minimum requirements. These states, such as Alaska, California, and Louisiana, are referred to as “no pay, no play” insurance states.
Ohio is not a “no pay, no play” state meaning that if you don’t have insurance, you can still file a claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance. If you don’t have car insurance, you should get it, and you can face hefty fines from the crash for not having proper insurance. However, you’ll be happy to know that you can still pursue compensation for the damages that resulted from the crash.
Ohio requires a bare minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury, and an additional $25,000 for damage to property. This minimum coverage is often affordable and accessible.
Was the Crash Your Fault?
Ohio is among the at-fault states in the U.S. that puts the responsible or most-responsible driver at the helm for handling damages. However, Ohio does deviate from a true “at-fault” system in that they use a form of contributory negligence. If you were 49% at fault, and the other person was 51%, then they’ll be handling the damages. But, any check you may receive will be reduced by 49% as a result of your contribution to the wreck.
The fault does not have to be inherently your fault to gain some percentage either. You could have a small percentage assigned to you for not wearing a seatbelt, going over or below the speed limit, or even having a burned-out turn signal.
Did The Other Driver Have Insurance?
What is a bigger issue than you not having insurance is the other driver not having insurance. When it comes to handling claims, it’s always best to work your way through an insurance company that helps people access due compensation. Now, if that driver has no insurance, then you won’t be going through a company with multiple millions waiting around to send out in check form. You’ll be taking your case against them directly.
In these cases, you’ll file a formal claim or suit against the individual and take them to court. At that point, a judge will decide on what to award you, what the defendant will have to pay, and how that payment arrangement is made. It may not be possible to recover your damages all at once.
Judges do consider that many people, especially those who don’t have insurance, simply can’t pull out tens of thousands of dollars after a wreck. There’s also the matter of attempting to collect on that debt, which can be a new struggle.
When Is It Worth Having UIM on Your Police?
UIM or the strung-out version, Uninsured (or underinsured) Motorist Coverage, and it would offer you protection through your own policy if the other driver was not insured. It can help you avoid mountains of medical bills that may exist for years while you’re waiting for your lawsuit to go through and receive payment.
UM or UIM, or UMBI, is meant to cover injuries and not anything else. You should use it whenever you or the passengers in your car are hurt in a wreck when that crash was caused by a person who was not insured.
Should You Fight With an Ohio Car Accident Attorney for Your Compensation Check?
It is almost always worth involving an Ohio personal injury law firm in your car wreck case. Not only can you get a more realistic understanding of what you should see for your compensation but also what to expect in the process. Your first settlement check might not be enough, or you may not receive a compensation check at all.
If the other driver was not insured, you might need to file a lawsuit, and then go through the process of attempting to collect and enforce that debt. With Young, Reverman, and Mazzei, our offices strive to find the best route for your case. We handle each wreck as if it’s a unique instance and hopefully, with the best possible outcome.