Even a seemingly small car accident can cause costly damage to your vehicle and leave you with medical bills, treatment, and missed work. Insurance should handle most of the financial aspects of the accident. If you aren’t at fault, you expect the other driver’s insurance to cover the damage. When the other driver fails to carry insurance, dealing with a car accident can become more frustrating and difficult.
At the minimum, most states require that drivers carry liability insurance. In Ohio, motorists are required to have proof of insurance or another kind of FR (financial responsibility). While the state will suspend the driver’s license for failing to carry insurance until he or she can pay for the damage caused by the accident, you may not receive the money you need in time to pay for medical bills or car damage.
After you have made sure that everyone in an accident is okay, get contact information for the other party involved, even if they tell you they don’t have insurance. You will need the information later to file insurance claims or to bring legal action against the uninsured party.
You do have the option to take legal action against an uninsured driver for damages. Unfortunately, those who are uninsured often do not have the financial means to pay out damages agreed on by the court. Your attorney will likely help you assess whether a lawsuit will provide you with compensation. Courts often use payment plans if a defendant cannot pay the full sum, and the court will not often require a truly indigent party to pay.
Uninsured Motorist Claims
One of the most prudent ways to handle an accident with an uninsured motorist is to make sure that your own insurance policy offers benefits for uninsured or underinsured drivers. Under this benefit, your own insurance will cover your accident to the limit of your policy.
To file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurance, you will need to contact your insurance provider immediately following an accident. Some carriers enforce strict deadlines for uninsured driver claims. You may file a claim if the other driver claims to have no insurance or if he or she refuses to provide you with insurance information.
An uninsured motorist claim is very similar to a routine insurance claim, and will include an investigation, depositions, and witness testimonies as well as copies of your medical records. As soon as you know that you will be filing an uninsured motorist claim, consult an attorney. The progress of your claim and any secondary actions against the uninsured driver could be hastened if you have an attorney’s help. Your attorney can also help in the event that your insurance fails to provide necessary coverage.
Roughly 13.5% of motorists in Ohio were uninsured as of 2012. Statistically, uninsured and underinsured drivers are more likely to cause accidents than insured drivers. While you can’t anticipate an accident, you can prepare by investing in an insurance policy that covers uninsured motorist claims.
If you have gotten into a car accident and need assistance, don't hesitate and reach out to Ohio Injury Law.