In 2010, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said uninsured drivers were responsible for causing more than 8,700 car accidents in the state. That is for a one year period, the most recent data available, and the last few years could be even higher since the number of uninsured drivers has skyrocketed to well over a million since 2002. In 2002, the number of uninsured drivers that were caught without the required automobile insurance was almost 691,000 and that number now sits at 1.1 million drivers for 2011.
Many people are concerned that uninsured drivers are driving up insurance rates for everybody else. When a person gets into an accident, regardless of whether or not it is their fault their insurance may increase due to the accident on their record. If the driver who was considered at fault in the accident does not have insurance, the insured person’s insurance company usually ends up footing the bill, driving up that person’s insurance rates even higher.
Ohio accident statistics show that when an uninsured motorist is involved in a car accident, 75 percent of the time the fault of that accident lies with the uninsured motorist. The over 1 million motorists driving without insurance means one in eight drivers in the state are driving without the proper insurance coverage to protect others they may be responsible for injuring. That is a 60 percent increase in the last ten years in the number of uninsured drivers.
The only method to enforce the law, which has been in effect since 1953, that stipulates Ohio drivers must carry proof of insurance for property damage and bodily injury coverage, is for police to ask for it during traffic stops. Although the law has been on the books for well over 60 years, Ohio has one of the highest numbers of uninsured motorists in the country. That is no comfort to someone injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver.
There is legal recourse however, for recovering damages, including medical expenses and lost wages, from an underinsured or uninsured motorist. A personal injury attorney can help you file a claim and the sooner you consult with one the better. It is important to preserve as much of the evidence in any accident case and the sooner a claim is filed the more options you may have to recover damages from the responsible party.
Source: Live Insurance News, “Over the last 10 years, the number of uninsured motorists caught has risen by over 409,000.,” Colleen Jeremy, Oct. 10, 2012
Our Cincinnati personal injury law firm helps people injured in a car accident caused by an underinsured or uninsured motorist recover compensation for their injuries.