You pay the price when other drivers refuse to pay for insurance

Using a vehicle to get from point A to point B has become such an everyday part of life that driving can feel like a right. It isn't. Driving is a privilege, which means that it comes with certain legal restrictions, requirements and obligations.

Drivers are legally obligated to paying for the damages that result from an accident that was their fault. Under Ohio Revised Code § 4509.101, proof of financial responsibility is a legal requirement. Financial responsibility simply means that you have the money necessary to pay for the damages.

In Ohio, you need to have a minimum 25/50/25 coverage:

  • $25,000 to pay for bodily injury to or death of one person in a single accident
  • $50,000 to pay for bodily injury to or death of two people in one accident
  • $25,000 to pay for property damage that results from a single accident

Most people do not have this amount of cash on hand or in their savings, which is why they purchase car insurance. They pay premiums over time. When they cause an accident and another driver sues them for damages, their insurance company pays the claim/award for them.

Not only is insurance or other valid proof of financial responsibility a legal requirement, driving without it is also a crime. Why should you worry about having uninsured or underinsured coverage if that is the case? Although it is a punishable offense, the reality is that many drivers take this risk and do not purchase insurance.

You can still file a personal injury lawsuit directly against an uninsured driver at fault in a car accident. The driver may be responsible under the law, but who is going to pay? The problem is that most people who do not have insurance also do not have the money necessary to cover your medical bills, lost wages or other damages. This does not mean that your attorney is without options, but it makes your case significantly more difficult.

Insurance companies offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage so that you can still obtain money in situations involving another driver with inadequate or no insurance. Including this type of coverage in your policy may cost you a little extra now, but it provides invaluable protection later.

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