Ohio state law only requires that owners of vehicles and drivers of vehicles have a state minimum liability automobile insurance policy of $25,000.00. ( https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/dl-mandatory-insurance.aspx). In play, this means that in the event that you are hit by a driver of a vehicle that only has a $25,000.00 liability policy, you will likely only be able to recover $25,000.00 at the very most for your injuries despite how severely injured you were by the accident caused by that person’s negligence. (This is making the assumption that the wrongdoer is not personally recoverable. State law makes it difficult to recover against an individual’s assets because a person’s assets are exempt to a certain amount. See ORC Section 2329.66) Taking it a step further, if you died in an accident caused by another with only state minimum liability insurance, your family would only be able to recover $25,000.00. Why is $25,000.00 liability policy not enough? After being in an automobile accident, a quick trip in an ambulance to the emergency room to assess your injuries, a primary care provider follow-up appointment, and physical therapy or chiropractic treatment for a few months after the accident to fully heal your injuries is likely to fully deplete $25,000.00. This amount would surely not adequately compensate you for your pain and suffering and lost wages, nor cover medical bills that you would incur if your injuries were severe or life-threatening. However, Uninsured/underinsured (“UM/UIM”) insurance allows individuals to insure against other driver’s decision to only purchase state minimum liability coverage, or worse, choose to drive with no insurance at all. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage covers you and anyone in your car for personal injuries, including medical bills and pain and suffering, if you are in an automobile accident that is caused by someone who does not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance to cover the amount of your personal injury claim. Thus, if a negligent driver hits your vehicle and severely injures you and your family, even if he/she only has a state minimum policy, a $1,000,000.00 UM/UIM policy invested in by you would cover you and your family’s personal injury claims. We cannot control individuals around us and the insurance they choose, but we can control and protect our families by investing in the protection of UM/UIM insurance. Be at ease with you and your family in your vehicle by having UM/UIM insurance of a much greater amount than $25,000.00 to make sure you all are covered, no matter what the other person’s coverage is. The attorneys at Lardiere McNair DiNicola & Stonebrook, Ltd., LPA. suggest checking your UM/UIM insurance coverage with your insurance agent. Our attorneys are also available to advise you of your options when it comes to UM/UIM insurance or to help you navigate a personal injury claim where the at-fault driver may have been uninsured or underinsured. Call us at (614)-534-1355 to discuss your options
Taylor Agler is a Law Clerk at Lardiere McNair DiNicola & Stonebrook, Ltd., LPA. To read more about our firm, please visit lawyerscolumbusohio.com.
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