In the state of Ohio, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a minimum amount of liability insurance—even though, by some estimates, as many as 15 percent of Ohio residents drive with no liability insurance or other proof of financial responsibility. Ohio law requires 25/50/25 minimum liability limits–$25,000 for one person for a single accident, $50,000 total for a single accident, and $25,000 total property damage for a single accident.
Those drivers who carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on their own insurance policies who are involved in an accident with an at-fault driver may have extra coverage if their injuries are severe enough to require a higher limit. Ohio uninsured motorist coverage is not required in this state and is an optional coverage that drivers can choose to decline when purchasing an auto insurance policy. Considering the number of uninsured drivers on the roadways, it could be a wise decision to opt for Ohio uninsured motorist coverage.
Liability may not always be as straightforward as it seems. A police report can go a long way toward showing which driver was primarily responsible for the vehicle accident—if the police officer is able to make that determination. The insurance companies may conduct their own investigations and, once you have hired a car accident lawyer, he or she may also conduct an investigation to determine clear fault. Fault is the key concept that lets an injured person recover compensation for their harm when another person or entity is to for the accident.
Liability involves first proving that the other driver had a duty of care to others on the roadways and that the driver breached that duty of care by acting in a negligent manner. If that breach of duty of care resulted in injuries, and those injuries resulted in financial damage, then liability may be clear. Ohio is what is known as a “fault” state. Those deemed at fault—or their insurer—will be required to pay for the damages of the other driver.
If liability is shaky, your attorney may choose to hire an investigator, as well as other legal experts, who may be able to recreate the accident and clearly show liability. In the state of Ohio, even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you are still allowed to bring a claim for damages against the other driver. As an example, if the other driver ran a red light and hit you, but you were driving over the speed limit you might be deemed 10 percent at fault for the accident. Therefore, if you received $100,000 for your damages, you would only receive $90,000, deducting $10,000 for your own liability.
As if getting into a car accident were not overwhelming enough, what if you find out that the driver at fault for the accident has no insurance? First, as with any car accident, you will need to call 911 for an ambulance and the police. In some cases, an uninsured motorist might take you aside to beg you not to call the police because they know they will be ticketed for having no insurance. No matter how sorry you feel for the other driver, you should never be persuaded to avoid calling the police.
The police report can clearly establish fault, which could turn out to be incredibly difficult without that report. After contacting the police, attend to the medical needs of all those involved in the accident, including yourself. If you are able, medically speaking, take photographs at the scene of the accident and obtain witness contact information for any bystanders or passengers who witnessed the accident.
Never admit liability at the scene of the accident, even down to avoiding saying “I’m sorry.” While you may only mean that you are sorry the accident occurred, your words can be taken out of context and used to show you were at least partially responsible for the accident. Answer any questions from the police honestly, but without going into unnecessary detail. As soon as you have received medical care and are home, contact your insurance company and let them know about your accident.
Keep in mind that even though it is your insurance company, they have the same aversion to paying out claims as any insurance company. Since your insurer has its own bottom line to worry about, be cautious in your dealings with them. Better yet, let your attorney handle the insurance company on your behalf. Unlike a for-profit insurance company, your car accident attorney from Kruger & Hodges will have your best interests at heart throughout every step of the claims process.
When you are dealing with Ohio uninsured motorist coverage, working with a trusted car accident attorney from Kruger & Hodges can help provide you with the information you need. We will review your insurance policy and determine what compensation you are entitled to receive, as well as investigate the circumstances of your accident. We will negotiate with your insurance company to ensure you receive full compensation, supporting you throughout the claim.
The mere thought of a car accident is the worst nightmare for most drivers. When a car accident is clearly the fault of one driver, then a legal complaint against them must be filed in order to obtain damages. But when the at-fault driver has no insurance, this increases the complications exponentially.
While you can sue an uninsured driver, the reality is that if the driver had no insurance, he or she probably has no assets as well. If you carry Eaton uninsured motorist coverage, then you will be filing with your own insurance company. While this might seem like a good thing, when you are filing against your insurance company, you are in the same position as if you were filing against the other driver’s insurance company.
The overarching goal of insurance companies is to pay out as little as possible on claims. Your insurance company will be of the same mindset, regardless of the fact that you are their customer. Having an experienced auto accident who can deal with your insurance company is the best thing you can do for a positive outcome.
When you are involved in an accident that involves Ohio uninsured motorist coverage. While some personal injury law firms will try to quickly negotiate a settlement for their client following a car accident, these quick settlements rarely compensate victims fully. At Kruger & Hodges, we will begin assisting you by thoroughly analyzing each detail of your claim. We will quantify the full damages you need and deserve, then determine the potential ways to achieve full compensation. We will help you through this difficult time, ensuring your rights and your future are properly protected throughout the entire process. Contact the car accident attorneys from Kruger & Hodges today.