Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Attorneys in Dayton
Seeking Compensation After Being Hit by an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver
Insurance is important for all motorists. It's what we rely on when we need to cover enormous hospital bills after an accident. Even though motorists in Ohio are required to carry insurance, some drivers ignore the law, can’t afford insurance, or purchase minimal amounts.
When motorists don't carry enough insurance, they're rarely ever hurting themselves — they're hurting the people they strike in an accident. Victims often have to turn to their own insurance company to provide financial coverage for their damages, which can be a difficult and confusing process without the right kind of help.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is vital that you understand what coverage you and the other party have, and how that coverage works. Our attorneys at The Attkisson Law Firm in Dayton have handled hundreds of motor vehicle accident cases, including those involving uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM/UIM). We will handle the claims process for you so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Seeking legal advice? Call us at (937) 230-8330 now.
Understanding Insurance Coverage
All Ohio motorists are required to carry bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.
The minimum policy limits to meet legal guidelines are:
- $25,000 per person injured in a single accident
- $50,000 for all people injured in a single accident
Because state law does not require drivers to carry additional coverage, however, many don't get extra coverage simply because it's an added expense they might not be able to afford. Even though there are good intentions behind Ohio's bodily injury coverage, it's often not enough to cover the injuries victims suffer in a crash. In serious rear-end and head-on collisions, or crashes involving semi-trucks and other vehicles, victims may suffer incredibly serious injuries that can total hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. The $25,000 minimum may cover only a fraction of the total costs of all necessary treatments.
If an at-fault driver doesn't have an additional policy or worse, has fled the scene of an accident, it's the victim — or the victim's insurance provider — who is left footing the bill. Hit-and-run drivers are treated the same as uninsured drivers since an unidentifiable driver is essentially an uninsured one.
What Happens When the At-Fault Driver is Uninsured Or Underinsured?
When a negligent driver injures you in a car accident, they are typically responsible for the damages. When the driver does not carry enough insurance or has no insurance, the victim may be left dealing with the aftermath. If the victim has underinsured motorist coverage in their insurance plan, this policy can be used to supplement what the at-fault driver's insurance does not cover.
For example: You are hit by a driver and incur $50,000 in medical bills. The liable driver has the minimal $25,000 coverage amount, which means you are left with $25,000 of bills unpaid. The driver in this scenario is “underinsured” because their policy cannot cover all of your damages. If you have a UM/UIM policy, then your own insurance company can pay the remaining $25,000 for you, assuming your policy cap is at least that much.
If you do not have this coverage and are in an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, the effects can be financially devastating. You will be responsible for any medical care and property damage that has not been covered via an insurance policy.
What Should I Do if I’m Injured by a Driver Without Insurance?
As a canny driver, you already follow the rules you need to on the roadways. But when you are injured in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you should be prepared and know what steps to take. Here are some tips to handle an accident with an uninsured driver:
Call 911 - Regardless of whether the other party has insurance or not, it is always beneficial to contact the police. Having a police record of the accident is essential to your case.
Don’t accept any payoffs - Since the other driver does not have insurance, they may try offering you money to cover the costs of your damaged vehicle. You have no idea what your damages or injuries will cost in the end, so it is not a good idea to accept any financial restitution at this time.
Exchange information - You will want to get the contact information of the driver and the vehicle details.
Take pictures - Make sure that you take a few photos of the scene of the accident as well as of all vehicles involved.
Gather details of the accident - Jot down as many details as possible about the accident while it is fresh in your mind
Contact an attorney - Get representation from a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer who can walk you through your case.
Our Knowledgeable Counsel Can Negotiate for You
Our lawyers have more than 40 years of collective experience in negotiating with insurance companies. We will help you understand what your policy covers, and help you determine what compensation you deserve. If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident or are struggling to pay back hospital bills because the at-fault driver carried only minimal insurance, The Attkisson Law Firm in Dayton, Ohio can help.