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Auto insurance (or proof of financial responsibility) is mandatory for all drivers in Ohio. It is illegal to drive a vehicle in the state without proper insurance coverage (financial responsibility). But even if you have no insurance at the time of a car accident, you may still be able to file a claim if another party was at fault for the accident.
Since Ohio is an at-fault state, financial responsibility for an accident lies with the driver who caused it. Drivers must carry liability insurance to cover damages related to bodily injury and property damage for accidents they cause. If you’re uninsured, you won’t have this coverage and could be vulnerable to lawsuits if you were at fault for the accident. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can also put a security suspension for damages on your driving record if at fault. It remains there until you make a payment agreement or pay the damages in full or until a judgment shows the uninsured driver was not at fault for the crash.
As an uninsured driver, you won’t have optional no-fault coverage like medical payments or collision, and won’t have uninsured motorist coverage that protects you from other uninsured drivers. These types of coverage could otherwise provide compensation to motorists who caused an accident, as well as motorists who were in accidents with uninsured drivers.
Because of Ohio’s fault-based insurance laws, the other driver is liable for damages he or she caused, even to uninsured drivers. If the other driver was at fault, you can file a claim with his or her liability insurance. The other party may file a Crash Report with the BMV regardless of which party is at fault. So penalties may still apply for not having insurance, unless you can prove financial responsibility, but you may be able to recover compensation for damages.
The claim should proceed like any other claim. You must establish the other driver is at fault. You must prove you suffered damages and provide evidence of the value of your damages. You’ll have to follow any protocol required to successfully recover damages. An attorney can help with this process. If unable to reach a fair settlement, you may pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
How an Attorney Can Help an Uninsured Driver Injured in a Crash
An attorney is critical if you suffered serious injuries in the car accident. It’s important to address the financial, physical and emotional losses in a claim settlement. Complex issues might arise if you have no insurance at the time of your car accident, so don’t delay learning more about your legal rights.