What happens if an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance coverage?

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2021 | Uninsured/Underinsured Accidents

Auto insurance is a critical protection for people on the road. If someone crashes into you, their motor vehicle liability insurance protects you from paying for your vehicle repairs or massive medical costs. If you get hurt so badly that you miss work, insurance can help with lost wages as well.

Unfortunately, Ohio has a fault-based insurance program. The driver who causes the crash is the one whose policy will pay for vehicle damage and medical expenses. Your financial future is at the mercy of another driver’s insurance policy limitations. That might mean they don’t have enough coverage for your needs.

Ohio’s minimum coverage requirements may leave you with uncovered losses

Under the current insurance requirements in Ohio, drivers must carry at least $25,000 worth of property damage coverage. They also have to have $25,000 worth of medical liability coverage that goes up to $50,000 of medical coverage if more than one person gets hurt.

Unfortunately, those amounts are maximum benefits, which means that if your costs are higher than $25,000 or $50,000 if both you and your spouse get hurt, you may wind up with a lot of costs that insurance won’t cover.

What happens when there isn’t enough insurance?

When a driver who caused the crash doesn’t have adequate liability coverage, there are three likely outcomes. The first is that the victim has uninsured and underinsured driver protection that they use from their own policy. The second is that the victim has no such coverage and takes no additional action, essentially choosing to absorb those costs themselves.

The third is when a driver without uninsured driver coverage or who does not want to use their own policy chooses to file a civil lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash. That may be the only way to recoup what insurance did not compensate them for after the crash.

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