Understanding UM/UIM Coverage in an Ohio Auto Accident Case

Car Accident Liability Insurance and Judge's gavel. Visual concept for legal blog: Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Ohio drivers are required to carry state-minimum liability insurance in the following amounts:

  • $25,000 per person injured in one accident
  • $50,000 for all people injured in one accident
  • $25,000 for property damage in one accident

Nonetheless, more than 13% of Ohio motorists drive without even minimum insurance coverage. If you were hurt in a car accident with an uninsured driver or a driver whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the full extent of your losses, you may wonder how you can recover compensation after a car accident.

Ohio automobile insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as optional insurance you can purchase when you buy your automobile insurance policy. Known as “UM / UIM coverage”, this insurance coverage can provide you with compensation if you are injured in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. This coverage applies to the named insureds on the policy if the vehicle is listed on the policy and it applies to all passengers in the insured vehicle. If you were working at the time of the crash, your employer may also have UM / UIM coverage that applies to cover your losses. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage also applies to permissive users of your automobile.

By Ohio law, if you or a family member has been injured as a result of an uninsured driver, and you seek compensation from your own auto carrier, your auto insurance company is not permitted to raise your rates. ORC 3937.22 states as follows:

No insurer shall increase the cost of a private passenger automobile insurance policy based on the insured's involvement in a single motor vehicle accident during the policy period when both of the following apply:

(A) The insured's action is not a proximate cause of any loss, damage, injury, or death arising out of the accident;

(B) The insured has not been convicted of, pleaded guilty to, or pleaded no contest to, a violation of law as a result of the accident.

Seeking Compensation Through Your Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage

To seek coverage under your UM / UIM coverage, you will need to prove the other driver did not have insurance. This is typically accomplished by providing your insurance carrier with a copy of the police report, which will show the other driver did not have automobile insurance. In situations where the other driver provided proof of insurance but their insurance policy was not in effect, a letter from their insurance carrier indicating that their coverage was invalid on the date of the accident is usually sufficient to prove they were uninsured.

Once you establish the other driver was uninsured, you can make an uninsured motorist claim through your own insurance carrier. Resolving an uninsured motorist claim can be complicated. Our personal injury lawyers will guide you through the process and maximize your financial recovery.

  • Our office will contact your insurance carrier to advise that you are represented by a lawyer.
  • We will submit a settlement demand package that identifies the full extent of your losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
  • We will negotiate to settle your claim.
  • If we cannot resolve the claim to your satisfaction, we will file a lawsuit to protect your rights and seek compensation for your injuries.

What If the Other Driver’s Insurance Was Insufficient to Cover My Losses?

In some situations, the other driver has liability insurance, but their coverage limits are insufficient to cover the full extent of your losses. In these situations, our office will ask the other driver’s insurance carrier to pay the limits of the policy, and we will seek additional compensation through your underinsured motorist coverage.

Before submitting a claim for underinsured motorist coverage, we must prove that your losses exceed the limits of the other driver’s liability insurance policy. It can take time to identify the full extent of your losses and the limits of the other driver’s insurance policy. Once we establish that the value of your claim exceeds the limits of the other driver’s insurance policy, we will ask them to pay the policy limits and seek additional compensation through your underinsured motorist policy, up to the limits of your coverage.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Obtaining full and fair compensation after a serious car accident can feel like an uphill battle. Our lawyers will be your advocates, fighting for the compensation you deserve. We will gather the evidence necessary to present a compelling claim and negotiate to resolve your claim for its full value. If your insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, we have the knowledge and expertise to litigate your uninsured or underinsured motorist claim in court.

In addition to maximizing the value of your claim, working with a dedicated personal injury lawyer will relieve some of the stress you experience after a car accident and allow you to focus on your recovery.

To put our experience to work for you, call (216) 223-7535 or contact Robenalt Law today to schedule a free and confidential appointment to discuss your personal injury claim and how we can help.