What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is an additional type of car insurance that can cover damages from an accident involving a driver who has no insurance. It is important because it can provide financial protection, not only for property damage sustained but any injury-related costs, too. If having trouble recovering damages under UM insurance coverage, an Ohio injury lawyer in Upper Arlington can provide legal assistance.
Benefits of Having Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Although the state of Ohio requires minimum auto coverage of bodily injury liability and property damage liability, one never knows when an accident with an uninsured driver will happen.
It could be that the motorist allowed the policy to lapse, failed to obtain coverage at all, can’t afford it, or any other number of reasons. UM insurance coverage also applies if hit by a driver who leaves the scene. Uninsured motorist coverage may also be purchased with underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) to cover damages if the at-fault driver has insurance, but not enough to cover all damages.
Uninsured and underinsured drivers can put accident victims in a serious financial situation, especially if there were severe or disabling injuries in the accident. Up to the limits of the policy, UM insurance coverage takes care of damages that might not otherwise be covered. This protection is not only available to the driver of the vehicle, but to any passengers who were injured in the vehicle as well.
Aren’t there other ways to cover damages after an accident with an uninsured driver?
Other types of coverage, like health insurance, may provide some coverage if hit by an uninsured driver, but this doesn’t address other damages that would otherwise be covered by another driver’s insurance policy.
Health insurance won’t provide compensation for lost wages, for example. If a serious injury results in weeks or even months of rehabilitation, going without income for an extended period of time can create a significant financial burden.
There could be damages available above and beyond the costs incurred and the earnings lost. For instance, health insurance won’t cover damages such as pain and suffering.
Of course, there may also be the possibility of pursuing legal action against the other driver with an Ohio injury lawyer in Upper Arlington. But keep in mind that if the at-fault driver wasn’t able to afford insurance, it might be hard to collect compensation to cover damages.
Statistics on Uninsured Drivers in Ohio
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, in 2011 there were a total of 48,091 uninsured drivers involved in crashes. Of those, 36,449 were drivers who didn’t have insurance and yet were at fault for the accident.
The following are the top five age groups that did not have proof of insurance at the time of an accident:
- 21 to 25 year-olds (6,972)
- 16 to 20 year-olds (5,434)
- 26 to 30 year-olds (5,183)
- 31 to 35 year-olds (3,824)
- 36 to 40 year-olds (3,144)
The best way for a motorist to protect him/herself may be by purchasing UM insurance coverage. If there are issues collecting on an uninsured motorist coverage policy or if accident victims wish to pursue a lawsuit against an at-fault driver, an Ohio injury lawyer in Upper Arlington at Bressman Law can help.