Anyone involved in a car accident knows it is a stressful and uncertain time. This stress is made even worse when the person who caused the crash was uninsured or did not have adequate insurance to cover the full extent of your loss.
To address this situation, automobile insurance companies offer Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage, commonly known as UM / UIM coverage. If you purchased UM / UIM coverage, your insurance company will compensate you for your injuries, even if the other driver did not have insurance or lacked sufficient coverage to fully cover the extent of your loss. But insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible for your claim, and it can be difficult to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
When an uninsured or underinsured driver causes devastating injuries in a car crash, the personal injury lawyers at Robenalt Law can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. In the case of an uninsured driver, this will involve working with your insurance carrier. When a driver is underinsured, our lawyers will coordinate with both the at-fault driver’s insurance company and your underinsured insurance carrier to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Understanding Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Ohio law requires that all drivers carry liability insurance to cover property damage and personal injuries caused in a car wreck. When another driver causes your injuries, they are liable. Their insurance company will pay for the costs of the damages associated with the crash, up to the limits of their insurance policy.
Every Ohio driver is required to carry a minimum of $25,000 in insurance coverage per person injured in a single incident, $50,000 for all persons injured in a single event, and $25,000 in property liability coverage for a single incident. These coverage limits are commonly denoted as a 25/50/25 policy.
Your UM / UIM coverage operates like a backup insurance policy that applies when you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver. This policy will pay for your injuries and any property damage up to the limits of your UM / UIM policy. But recovering under your UM / UIM policy can be difficult, and working with an experienced personal injury lawyer will help.
Recovering Under Your UM / UIM Policy
When the Other Driver Was Uninsured
Before seeking compensation under your UM policy, your lawyer will need to prove that the other driver was uninsured. This is usually a straightforward process. When the collision occurred, the police officer who responded to the scene will have asked the drivers to provide proof of insurance coverage. If the other driver did not have insurance, the officer will have noted this fact on the police report.
Once your lawyer has presented evidence that the other driver was uninsured, he will submit evidence to establish the extent of your damages, work to negotiate a fair resolution, and close your claim.
From an Underinsured Driver
Seeking financial recovery from an underinsured driver is more complicated. In this situation, you must prove that your damages exceed the amount of the other driver’s insurance coverage. This can be difficult because the insurance companies want to resolve your claim for as little as possible. It can also take time to determine the full extent of your damages and that the other driver lacked sufficient coverage to pay for the full extent of your loss.
Recovering Compensation from Your UM / UIM Carrier
If you were injured in a car crash, you are entitled to compensation for:
Past and future medical expenses
Lost wages and future lost earnings
Permanent physical limitations
Pain and suffering, and
Even if the other driver did not have insurance, you can file a lawsuit seeking to recover the losses that were caused by the crash. However, most drivers who do not have automobile insurance do not have the financial resources to pay the full value of your claim. It is often easier to seek recovery from your UM / UIM carrier.
Because UM / UIM insurance policies are complicated and can be difficult to understand, it is wise to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can provide advice, guide you through the process, and maximize your financial recovery.
At Robenalt Law, our lawyers will prepare a settlement demand package that demonstrates the full extent of your injuries and losses. We will negotiate with the insurance companies to achieve a fair resolution to your claim. And if the insurance companies are unwilling to make a fair offer, we will file a lawsuit to protect your rights so you receive full compensation for your injuries.
To learn more, contact Robenalt Law today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.
Robenalt Law handles personal injury cases, including UM / UIM claims, on a contingency fee, which means you won’t pay an attorney’s fee unless we recover money for you.
Tom Robenalt started his litigation career at a large firm in Cleveland where he defended insurance companies and policy-holders against claims of negligence. For the past 25 years, he has used that experience to help people who were hurt in car accidents and their families obtain the compensation they deserve.
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