Car accidents are stressful enough. The last thing you want to find out is that the driver who hit you is uninsured. Unfortunately, the Insurance Information Institute reports that about 13 percent of all drivers are uninsured. Not only does that raise insurance costs for everyone else, it means that you may have trouble recovering compensation for your injuries.
With a good lawyer, however, you have some options. Here’s what may happen when you’re hit by an uninsured driver.
Carrying Adequate Insurance is the Law
The Ohio Revised Code and Administrative Code (along with the Ohio BMV) state that drivers must carry adequate insurance. The minimums include $25,000 for property damage and up to $50,000 for the death of two or more people.
There are numerous fines and other penalties for failing to comply with the financial responsibility laws. However, that doesn’t help a plaintiff recover compensation for their injuries—it just adds to the financial burden for the uninsured driver.
Recovering Compensation From Your Own Insurance Company
If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage with your own insurance company, you should file a claim against your own insurance. That puts the onus on your insurance company to go after the uninsured driver to repay them.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is optional in Ohio, so not every policy holder will be entitled to this type of compensation. If you’re without coverage, you may have to pursue Plan B.
Filing a Personal Injury Suit Against the Uninsured Driver
The Plan B option is to file a personal injury civil suit against the uninsured driver. Unfortunately, uninsured motorists rarely have the financial resources to pay for expensive medical bills and property damage. Should you win the case, you may have to petition the court to seize their assets and/or garnish their wages. Some judges may allow the at-fault driver to set up a payment plan. Practically speaking, this means that it could be years—even decades—before you’re repaid for your losses, especially if you suffered serious injury.
As you can see, having adequate vehicle insurance is important—and if you don’t already have uninsured motorist coverage, you should consider adding it to your policy as soon as possible. Since we can’t predict the future, preparing for this possibility can save your finances later on down the line.
Consult with an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured by an uninsured motorist, I can help. You shouldn’t have to bear the costs of your accident alone. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me at 877.944.4373 to discuss your case.