Auto insurance is mandatory for all drivers in Ohio. Mandatory liability insurance coverage in Ohio includes:
- $25,000 for injuries or death, per person
- $50,000 total for injuries or death to 2 people or more in any 1 accident
- $25,000 for property damage in an accident
There are two basic components to auto insurance coverage. These include liability coverage and physical damage coverage.
Your liability coverage covers you for any bodily injury and property damage that may occur in case of an accident. While optional, some policies can also include coverage for any injury and damage that may be incurred if the accident occurs with a driver that is either underinsured or uninsured.
What is Ohio’s At-Fault System?
Cincinnati, OH follows the “at-fault” approach when it comes to determining fault. This means that any damages that you seek if you have been in an accident will be based on your level of fault. Your bodily injury insurance coverage protects against any claims from people who may have been injured in an accident caused by you. Your policy will thus compensate them for any medical expenses, lost wages and any pain and suffering. The property damage liability coverage will pay for any damages that you cause to somebody else’s property. This includes damage to the vehicle in case of an accident as well to other property such as fences, walls, equipment etc.
Physical damage coverage includes collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. This can help you pay for any physical damage to your car that may be caused if you are in a collision with another car, a tree or any other object.
Liability coverage is mandatory for all drivers in Cincinnati but physical damage cover is optional. Collision insurance may be a requirement if you lease your car and the leasing company requires that you have this coverage.
The law requires all drivers to carry auto insurance coverage. Still, there are nearly 30% drivers in Ohio who have no auto insurance. Others may only have a minimum policy. If you are in an accident with a driver who has no insurance or who is underinsured, you may not really be protected unless your auto insurance policy includes coverage for uninsured drivers. Since that is not mandatory in Ohio, most people don’t have it. Also, what you might consider full coverage when you get it from your auto insurance company may not actually be full coverage at all. Most insurance companies leave a lot unsaid and issues tend to come up when you actually get into an accident and file a claim.
Keep in mind that you are not living in a “no-fault” state. In a no-fault state, if you are in a car accident, each driver simply collects compensation from their respective auto insurance companies. The amount they receive is based on the type of policy they have. This is done regardless of who was at fault. But in Cincinnati, we follow an “at-fault” system. This means that if you are at fault, you will be held accountable and your damages will be determined accordingly. In addition, Ohio follows the comparative negligence approach if both parties are at fault. In such a situation, the jury allocates fault and then determines the share of damages for each party. If the plaintiff is 20% at fault, then the defendant is 80% at fault. Each will pay their share of the other’s party’s damages.
It is mainly in these situations that dealing with auto insurance companies can become fairly tricky. Obviously, their goal is to ensure that they incur minimum financial losses. Therefore, they will try to pin the blame here and there; they may also try to pressurize you into settling. While this is not such a bad idea, you do need to make sure that the offer they make is sufficient to make up for the losses that you have incurred. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer in such cases is generally a good idea as they are more skilled at dealing with auto insurance companies.
Should I Tell My Auto Insurance Company If I Think I Am Partially At Fault?
It is important for you to understand that while you may think that the auto insurance company is there to protect you, do not under any circumstances, and accept your fault in a car accident – not to anyone, especially an insurance company. You may be partially responsible but you are still entitled to recover some damages as long as your fault level was less than 50%. If it was over 50% then you won’t be receiving any compensation anyway. But you are not the one to determine that therefore do not state to anyone that you were at fault, partially or otherwise.
In order to ensure you are properly covered, always make sure that you review your policy thoroughly. In theory, liability coverage should cover both the car owner and their family members. However, it is always a good idea to confirm such thing because sometimes policies cover only the driver. It is thus important to know these things and if you know that your vehicle will be driven by other family members, make sure the policy includes them as well. Coverage for family members is very important, especially if an unfortunate accident occurs. You should know that you and your family are both covered in such a situation.
Consult with a Cincinnati Car Accident Attorney About Your Case
If you have been in a car accident in Cincinnati and you are not sure how your auto insurance policy claim would work or what you should do next, call one of our attorneys at Chester Law Group. We are committed to providing you the best possible counsel and our legal team will ensure that you are able to recover any damages that you may have incurred. If you were partially responsible for the accident, do not rely on your insurance company alone to settle the case for you. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine how to approach the claim and how to ensure that you are still compensated. Car accident claims can be quite tricky. We understand that accidents can be traumatic and we are here to help you deal with the situation in a more efficient manner.