When Ohio residents are involved in a car accident that is caused by someone else’s negligence, and are injured in the process, the first thing they and their loved ones do is consider themselves lucky that they survived the crash. However, it is entirely possible that their car was totaled in the crash. As time passes, considerations about the car and the damage done to it come to mind, and not only are victims thinking about their medical bills, but also their mechanic bills. They may think that the other driver’s insurance will cover the bill, but what if they are injured by a driver who does not have car insurance, or their coverage is not enough?
It is true that most states require motorists to carry automobile liability insurance. But people end up getting around this law, to the extent that a 2014 study conducted by the Insurance Research Council found that one in every eight drivers was uninsured in 2012. This means that 12.6 percent of drivers across the country are uninsured. Ohio is above the national average — uninsured drivers make up around 13.5 percent of the driving population, ranking it 17th among all the states. Ohio does not have mandatory uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance laws.
So where does that leave someone who is involved in an accident with one of these drivers? It depends on the laws of the state in which the accident occurred. In a state with traditional tort laws, the insurance of the person who is at fault pays. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, he or she may be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit. In a no-fault law state, each driver and their own insurance pays, regardless of fault. This means the victim is covered, although the coverage may be limited.
When one is involved in an accident, focusing on recovering from injuries is very important, but it is also important to determine how to go about getting one’s property damage fixed. An experienced attorney may be able to guide victims through the legalities of holding an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist liable for his or her role in the accident.
Source: Insurance Information Institute, “Uninsured motorists,” Accessed July 20, 2015