Columbus Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Lawyer
It’s illegal to drive in the state of Ohio without liability insurance, which is coverage that pays the costs when a driver gets in a wreck and causes injury or property damage to others. The minimum amounts of insurance required to be carried in Ohio are $25,000 for bodily injury to one person in an accident or $50,000 for bodily injury to more than one person injured in the same accident, along with $25,000 for property damage. Even though this insurance is required by law, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that 13% of drivers in Ohio neglect the law and drive without insurance anyway. That’s more than one in ten uninsured drivers out there every time you hit the road, and you are sharing the road with over one million uninsured Ohio motorists.
The risks of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver are significant, so what do you do if the driver who hits you is uninsured? Are you out of luck and forced to cover the costs yourself, including all your medical bills and property damage? Not necessarily. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your auto insurance policy, the Oliver Law Office can help you get compensation for the harm done to you by a negligent driver. Don’t make the mistake of trying to handle your UM claim on your own, or you could miss out on valuable benefits. Contact our experienced Columbus uninsured motorist accident lawyer today for a free consultation to find out how we can help.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Works
Typically after a car accident, you would have the option of contacting either your insurance company or the other driver’s insurer if they were at fault. If the negligent driver doesn’t have insurance, though, then you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company through your UM policy. This policy should cover your bodily injury and property damage expenses up to the limits of your policy. Most people purchase UM coverage in the same amounts as their liability coverage, so you should have at least 25/50/25 in UM coverage.
Since you are filing a claim with your own insurance company, you might expect them to make the process easy and pay your claim in full to keep their customer (you) happy. However, while they might act like they are on your side, any time you make an insurance claim, your interest (getting paid fully) is at odds with the insurance company’s interest (paying as little as possible). Even with a UM claim, they will still send out an adjuster to tell you what your damages are and try to convince you what your claim is worth. This amount is nearly always less than what a practiced auto accident attorney can get for you.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage goes hand in hand with UM coverage. Most drivers in Ohio obey the law and purchase liability insurance, but many, if not most, only purchase the minimum 25/50/25 coverage amounts required by law. If you are ever seriously hurt in a car accident, your damages could exceed these minimum amounts. As lawyers who handle auto, truck and pedestrian accident cases involving the most severe cases of catastrophic injury and wrongful death, our Columbus personal injury attorneys know full well how expensive these claims can be. If you have UIM coverage and your damages are greater than the amount of insurance carried by the at-fault driver, you can get benefits from your UIM policy above what the other driver’s insurance pays. As with a UM claim, don’t try to pursue this claim on your own. An experienced and dedicated auto accident lawyer at the Oliver Law Office will know the ropes and have the skills and determination necessary to prove your damages and get the most out of your claim.
Make Sure You Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage BEFORE You Get Hurt in a Crash
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is optional in Ohio. Many years ago, it was at least mandatory for an agent to offer the coverage and explain what it is when purchasing automobile collision insurance. However, the Ohio legislature changed the laws so that insurance companies are not required even to offer that coverage to consumers, leaving many drivers without “full” coverage. Even though you believe you have “full coverage,” you might not be fully covered.
Too many times, we are unable to help injured drivers or passengers because the other driver was operating without insurance coverage and the injured person did not have his or her own Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage. It’s heartbreaking and preventable. We urge you to call your insurance agent and ask them to review the status of your UM/UIM coverage – not only for bodily injury but also for property damage (to repair your car).
Contact the Oliver Law Office Today
You have enough to deal with after an auto, truck or pedestrian accident than to try and handle your insurance claim as well. Let us take on that challenge for you. We handle claims like yours every day and know the steps to take for success. You focus on getting better and getting your household back in order, and we’ll take care of everything needed to get great results on your UM claim. Call our experienced Columbus uninsured and underinsured motorist lawyer today.