While all licensed drivers in Ohio are legally required to have car insurance, some motorists either do not purchase the required insurance or let their policy lapse. If you are involved in a car accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured, this can complicate the situation.
If you live in Ohio, you can purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, although it is not required. However, if you can afford to purchase this type of coverage, it will ensure that you are not responsible for the costs associated with the accident if the at-fault motorist does not have liability insurance or enough insurance to cover your damages. You would simply file a claim with your own insurance company. The insurance company may attempt to recover money from the at-fault driver. If the driver is underinsured or uninsured, your insurance policy may cover the costs beyond what the at-fault driver can pay. Your premiums will not be affected if you have to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
There are several steps you can take if you are in a car accident with an uninsured driver, including the following:
- File an uninsured motorist claim. If you have this type of coverage, your insurance company may cover the costs associated with the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
- File a claim with your health insurance company. If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, and the other driver is uninsured, you may file a claim with your health insurance company. This can help you avoid paying for any losses out of your pocket.
- File a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, you cannot file an insurance claim against a driver who does not have insurance. However, you may be able to seek financial compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit. This can be a complicated process, particularly if the at-fault driver does not have the financial resources to pay for the damages. Your car accident lawyer can help you explore your options.
What Steps Should I Take After an Accident With an Uninsured Driver?
The following are steps you should take whenever you are involved in an accident:
- Call 911. When the at-fault driver is uninsured, it is essential that you have as much evidence as possible if you are going to file a claim. The police officer who arrives at the scene will fill out a police report. Make sure that you obtain a copy of the police report so that you can submit it to your insurance company.
- Exchange information with the other driver. Even if the other driver does not have insurance, ensure you get their name, contact information, driver’s license number, and license plate number.
- Collect evidence. In addition to the police report, take pictures of other evidence, including the damage to your vehicle, injuries, skid marks or debris on the road, and any other evidence that will help your case. Keep copies of all medical records, proof of lost income, bills, and recipes related to the accident.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not think that your injuries are severe, it is imperative that you are examined by a medical professional who can determine the severity of your injuries and recommend the best course of treatment.
What Damages am I Entitled to in an Uninsured Motorist Claim?
If you do not have uninsured motorist coverage, or your policy does not compensate you for the total costs associated with the accident, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. You may be able to receive the following damages in a successful lawsuit:
- All present and future medical expenses associated with the accident
- Lost wages, including loss of future earning capacity
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
Remember that if the uninsured driver involved in the case makes an initial settlement offer, it is unlikely that this will cover the total costs of your damages. You should discuss the details of your case with a skilled car accident lawyer.
Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyers at Wolterman Law Office Assist Clients With Claims Involving Uninsured Motorists
If you were injured in a car accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, do not hesitate to contact our Cincinnati car accident lawyers at Wolterman Law Office. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 513-488-1135 or contact us online. Located in Loveland, Ohio, we serve clients in Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.