Not enough insurance.
I haven’t seen the studies, but this just seems to be the biggest problem I keep running into.
You might not like a particular law, or the way a particular judge , insurance adjuster or lawyer looks at your lawsuit. But sooner or later, everyone usually does what is rational – because if they don’t, a jury will wind up deciding the case.
But there isn’t really a good fix for not enough insurance.
If you’ve been in a car accident, there are several types of insurance that might help you. For our purposes, though the most important are auto liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Liability coverage protects the other driver against your lawsuit; if the other driver doesn’t have coverage, or doesn’t have enough coverage, then the uninsured/underinsured coverage you have under your own policy takes over – IF you follow the policy conditions for recovery.
Let’s say that the other driver causes an accident. Let’s also say that everyone agrees that if your case goes to a jury, it’s worth $100,000.00.
What if the other driver carries only the Ohio minimum limits of $25,000.00 per person, $50,000.00 per accident? You might be okay – IF you have $100,000 in uninsured/underinsured coverage under your own auto policy.
But what if you only have $50,000.00 in uninsured/underinsured coverage? Or worse, what if you don’t have any uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage at all, and the other driver has no liability coverage? (Despite the fact that Ohio drivers are required to carry insurance, a lot of them don’t. Way too many, in fact.)
In that case, there is not much anyone can do.
And I am seeing more and more situations where nobody has enough insurance. For a bunch of reasons.
First is the fact that a lot of drivers don’t have enough money to pay the premiums for more than minimum limits policies. They just care about getting enough coverage to make sure that they won’t get their license taken if they get stopped. So they buy a policy that covers them for $25,000.00 per person, $50,000 per accident.
That is fine, until someone gets hurt real bad.
Second is the fact that, in a change that goes back to 2001, insurance companies don’t even have to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage any more. And they are so interested in getting the business, when someone asks for an auto policy the agent only quotes for a policy with liability coverage, rather than one providing the uninsured/underinsured.
And finally, even if you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it doesn’t cover everyone it used to. It used to be that the automobile owner’s policy provided coverage for everyone in the car. Now, it’s more likely to provide coverage only for the owner and his family.
The end result? I see more and more lawsuits where, 10 years ago, there would have been $100,000.00 in limits – maybe more. But today, there might be $25,000, or maybe less.
You cannot know until you talk to a lawyer. Chances are that, as you are reading this, you don’t know how much insurance coverage there really is for your injury.
My job as your lawyer is to make sure that I get every bit of coverage for you that I can. If you’re not sure whether there is enough insurance to cover your injuries, call me, Bill Strubbe, a Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney. My phone is 513-621-4775. There is no charge for talking to me.
Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK.
Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.