Many drivers have a false sense of security when traveling in motor vehicles. They know that Ohio state law requires that everyone must carry liability insurance, and they may assume that they can file a simple claim after a collision.
Unfortunately, many people learn the hard way that insurance claims are not particularly easy to navigate. Even when insurance professionals are cooperative, the coverage available may not be nearly enough based on the financial losses someone incurs after a collision.
Policy limits determine the amount of help available
Motorists have the option of investing in as much insurance as they believe is appropriate. So long as their policy conforms to Ohio state standards, they can add as much supplemental coverage as they want. However, their policy limits represent the absolute maximum amount that insurance will pay after a collision.
Currently, the state only requires liability coverage. Many drivers only purchase what the law requires. They may have $25,000 in property damage coverage. That may be enough to repair minor vehicle damage but might fall short of the cost of replacing a vehicle that is no longer safe to drive. The law also requires bodily injury liability coverage. Motors typically have at least $25,000 of coverage if they hurt one person and $50,000 worth of coverage for situations in which two or more people suffer injuries. Incidents in which multiple people suffer injuries or where the injuries caused by a crash are particularly severe may lead to lawsuits.
Unless someone carries extra insurance that exceeds the basic requirements, the available bodily injury coverage may not be enough to cover hospital bills, let alone lost wages and other secondary expenses generated by someone’s injuries. In some cases, drivers carry coverage on their personal policies, including underinsured motorist coverage, that can supplement what they received from liability coverage. Still, many people would prefer to seek compensation directly from the party at fault for the crash, as making a claim against their own policy would likely need to increase premiums in the future.
Understanding the limits of liability insurance coverage can make a big difference for those recovering from crash-related injuries. Seeking legal guidance proactively can help a crash victim to better understand their rights and options under the law accordingly.