Purchasing uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is not required in Ohio, so why should you consider it?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in eight motorists nationwide drive without insurance. This rate is even higher in Ohio, which has a 12.5 percent uninsured driver rate. So, if you do not carry UM/UIM coverage and you are in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, you could get stuck with paying for the damages out of your own pocket.
Below, our experienced Cincinnati car accident attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy explain various insurance options that are designed to protect you in case you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
Ohio Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
Ohio’s financial responsibility law requires all motorists to purchase a minimum amount of car insurance before operating a motor vehicle in the state. Each driver must carry proof of coverage for the following minimum amounts:
- $25,000 for the bodily injury per individual in a single car accident
- $50,000 for the bodily injury for all individuals injured a single car accident
- $25,000 for property damage liability in a single accident
According to Ohio law, your insurance company must also offer UM/UIM coverage to you at the time you purchase your liability coverage. You cannot purchase UM/UIM coverage for more than your liability coverage amounts.
You are not required to purchase this additional coverage, but you may want to consider it.
Who Pays If You Are In An Accident With An Uninsured Driver?
If you have purchased UM/UIM coverage and you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to make a claim against your policy to recover damages you suffered because of the uninsured driver’s negligence, up to your policy limits. Your insurance company will then recover damages from the at-fault driver. Filing this type of claim does not affect your insurance rates.
In addition to filing a UM/UIM claim against your own policy, you may also be eligible to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover the damages you sustained. A personal injury claim may enable you to pursue compensation for the following damages:
- Property damage
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Additional Insurance Protection Worth Considering
UM/UIM coverage can protect you in case you are hit by a driver without adequate insurance. Other options for additional protection include:
- Comprehensive coverage – Insurance that covers damages you suffered even if you were at-fault for the accident.
- PIP insurance – Personal injury protection insurance pays for your hospital bills and lost wages after a car crash, regardless of who caused the accident. This type of insurance allows you to get the medical care you need without waiting for the insurance companies to assign fault for the accident.
Contact Our Attorneys For Help
If you were injured in a collision caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, the knowledgeable attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy are prepared to help.
Our personal injury lawyers charge no upfront fees and offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options.