Being in a motor vehicle accident is very distressing and upsetting. It makes matters even worse if you find out that the person who is at fault has no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover your injuries. In many cases, filing a lawsuit against someone who is at fault but has no or inadequate insurance is pointless, because they have no resources to pay you. But you may be entitled to compensation from your own insurance company.
Your Own Insurance Policy May Include Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage That Covers Your Injuries
Many auto insurance policies in Ohio include optional coverage called “Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage,” often referred to as “UM / UIM.” If your car policy includes UM / UIM provisions, your insurance company will compensate you for your injuries in situations where the person at fault has no or inadequate insurance. It may also pay for injuries to passengers in your car, or they may be covered by their own auto insurance policies.
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries Can Include More Than Just Medical Expenses
If you are seriously injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for much more than just your medical expenses. There is a wide range of losses for which you may be compensated, including:
- lost wages;
- permanent physical limitation;,
- potential loss of future earnings;
- physical pain and suffering;
- emotional pain and suffering;
- loss of consortium, which basically means being deprived of the benefits of a family relationship.
Should You Accept a Settlement Offer from Your Insurance Company for Your Car Accident Injuries?
When you are injured in an accident, you often will receive a very quick offer from your insurance company to settle for a specific amount. If your injuries are very slight with little or no medical treatment required, it may make sense to accept the settlement offer. However, if your injuries and medical expenses are more than minimal, you are likely to receive more compensation if you ask an auto accident attorney to assist in negotiating with your insurance company.
Here are some important points to remember if you receive a settlement offer from your insurance company:
- Sometimes the full extent of your injuries will not be known within a short time after an accident, as can be the case with neck and back injuries. In that situation, settling early could mean that you receive much less than you should.
- Insurance companies train their adjusters to settle claims quickly and for a small amount, even when a person is significantly injured. Accepting their offer could leave you inadequately compensated for your injuries.
- If you receive a settlement, you will have to reimburse any costs or expenses that were paid by your health insurer or another insurance company. The amount you can keep will be reduced accordingly.
- If your injuries and medical expenses are significant, it is always beneficial to consult with an attorney before accepting your insurance company’s settlement offer.
Your Insurance Rates Will Not Increase If You Make a UM / UIM Claim with Your Insurance Company
You may be concerned that filing a claim under the UM/UIM provisions of your policy will cause your rates to increase. It won’t. Ohio has laws that forbid an insurance company from increasing your rates if you make a claim under your UM/UIM coverage.
Ohio Has a Two-Year Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit for Injuries Suffered in an Auto Accident
There is a time limit set by law for filing lawsuits arising from injuries received in a motor vehicle accident. The legal term for the deadline is “statute of limitations.” In Ohio, the time limit is two years. Because of that law, it is always in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Us – Let Us Fight for You!
At The Robenalt Law Firm, we understand how stressful it is to be in an accident and how difficult it can be to negotiate with an insurance company after you have been injured. Your initial consultation with us is completely free. We handle many cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that you pay no legal expenses unless we recover compensation for you. Our “No Fee Unless We Win” approach is just one reason why you should choose us to help with your auto accident compensation rights.
If you have been injured in an accident or you have a loved one who has car accident injuries, talk with us at no cost. We have helped clients recover under UM/UIM insurance provisions in many different circumstances, including when they were drivers, passengers (even when they were in the car of the driver who was at fault), pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
Our attorneys represent clients in Cleveland and throughout Ohio, as well as in Florida. Call us at (216) 223-7535, complete our online form, or email [email protected] to schedule your free consultation.