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What happens if I am hit by someone who does not have car insurance?



Unfortunately, we’ve seen this happen more often than we’d like. And if you are the driver who has been hit, it really stinks. This post will briefly outline the requirements for driving in the state of Ohio (also known as the Ohio Financial Responsibility Law), how your own policy can come to the rescue, and how money can be recovered (if possible) from the at-fault driver.

Ohio Financial Responsibility Law

You cannot legally drive in Ohio without being able to demonstrate your financial responsibility (FR). To do this, you must have the minimum requirements for liability coverage if you are responsible for a traffic accident. The minimum claims are $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for bodily injury to others and $25,000 for property damage to others.

If you own a vehicle, you buy car insurance. If you don̵

7;t own a vehicle, you buy a Named Nonowner policy (also called a Named Operator). Both options provide coverage for bodily and property damage equal to or greater than the above limits (you can choose the limits of your choice) and comply with the Financial Liability Act.

Failure to have proof of financial responsibility can result in serious penalties, including:

  • Driving license suspension from 90 days to one year, depending on whether it is the first time or repeated.
  • Seizure of license plates and registration
  • No driving privileges during suspension

So, yes, even though Ohio has a law, there are still drivers who don’t follow them. And sometimes these drivers are involved in accidents. Let’s go through an example.

The accident

All motor vehicle accidents share basic similarities – 2 or more vehicles involved, where one is at fault for the accident. Your vehicle is damaged and you receive damage. During the investigation, it is discovered that the at-fault driver does not have insurance (in this case, the driver and the owner of the vehicle are the same, and it is the owner’s responsibility to insure the vehicle). What are you doing? Your first option is to use your own insurance to pay for your injuries and damages.

Use your auto insurance to pay for your damages and injuries.

Let’s just say it now and get it out of the way – it absolutely stinks to have to use YOUR insurance to pay for damages and injuries when YOU weren’t responsible. I get it – it’s NOT fair. But knowing this is a possibility should be a wake-up call that YOU need to have the best policy possible to protect YOU. You cannot count on others to have the necessary coverage to pay. You just can’t.

So let’s talk about the different parts of your car insurance that can be used here.

For your bodily injury:

  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury Liability (also called UM/UIM) – this coverage pays for your injuries if they are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Underinsured means that you do not have enough insurance to fully pay the compensation. It pays up to the limit of your policy. Could this be quite useful? Absolutely! But some people may ask – what about my health insurance? Most health insurance policies have a clause that requires all other valid and collectible policies to be paid first if a car accident is the cause. So UM would qualify here. And if you don’t have health insurance, this coverage can be even more useful.
  • Medical Payments – I have always called Med Pay the hero of insurance. It is no-fault coverage that pays medical bills for you and all passengers in your vehicle (up to the policy limit). It can be used immediately after an accident and since there is no need to prove fault, medical bills are paid quickly. It’s also relatively cheap coverage considering what it provides.

For your property damage:

  • Uninsured Motorists Property Damage (UMPD) – similar to the above, UMPD pays for property damage to your vehicle if an uninsured or underinsured driver drives it. Three levels of coverage are common: $7,500, $10,000 and $25,000, subject to a $250 deductible.
  • Collision – if you don’t have UMPD, but have collision, this is another option. It pays to fix your vehicle, subject to the deductible.

Keep in mind that in order for UM and UMPD to be paid, the driver and/or vehicle owner must be identified and proven to have no insurance or not enough to pay the bodily injury/damage in full. The insurance company won’t just write a check without proof.

After the insurance company has paid the claim, they will try to take action against the responsible party to recover payment on your behalf.

A final option

While not ideal, one option as a last resort is to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. You would seek this option if you do not have the coverage mentioned above. While you can potentially win the suit, payback can be slow depending on the resources the defaulting party has to draw from (perhaps few assets). A payment plan may need to be set up or a wage garnishment from each paycheck taken.

Don’t let an uninsured driver ruin your life. In the event of a car accident, you want to make sure your car insurance is the best it can be. Call us at (937) 592-4871 or fill out the form below. We are here to help you!




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