When you are involved in a motor vehicle collision in Ohio and you want to begin the process of seeking compensation by filing an auto insurance claim, you will typically have the option of choosing between filing a first-party claim or a third-party claim. A first-party claim is an auto insurance claim filed through your own insurer.
When you file a first-party claim, you will need to pay your deductible up front, but the claims process may go more quickly since you will have more control over the process. With a third-party claim, you will not have to pay your deductible, but you will be subject to the limits of the at-fault’s driver’s insurance policy, and the process can go more slowly.
What are your options when you end up in an accident involving an uninsured or an underinsured motorist? I want to explain what these terms mean and to discuss your options with you.
Uninsured Motorists in Ohio
Uninsured motorists (or UMs) in Ohio are those who are breaking the law by not having the appropriate amount of liability insurance in the event of a crash. Ohio law requires a motorist to carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage. An uninsured motorist does not have any of that coverage at all.
What can you do if you are involved in an uninsured motorist accident? You cannot file a third-party claim since the at-fault driver does not have any insurance. You may have selected to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage added onto your own auto insurance policy. If you do have uninsured motorist coverage, you can file a claim through that part of your policy.
Underinsured Motorists in Ohio
The words look similar, but an underinsured motorist (UIM) is different from an uninsured motorist. In an accident involving an underinsured motorist, the at-fault driver may have the required amount of liability coverage under Ohio law, but it may be insufficient to cover your losses. Accordingly, the driver is underinsured based on the losses she or he may have caused. In such a case, you may have a few different options. You might be able to seek some coverage through the underinsured motorist’s policy, and then you may need to file a lawsuit afterward. You also may have added underinsured motorist coverage to your own policy, which might be able to make up the difference in losses.
Contact Me as Soon as You Can to Discuss Your Auto Insurance Claim
Getting hurt in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be devastating. I know how concerned you must be about your ability to obtain full financial compensation for your losses, especially if your own insurance policy will not provide you with the kind of coverage you deserve. I can work with you to determine whether it makes sense to file a lawsuit against an uninsured or underinsured motorist, or whether another party with deeper pockets also may bear some responsibility for the collision. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Give me a call at 877.944.4373 to discuss your options for getting the compensation you deserve.