After suffering a serious injury at another’s hands, you may need to file a claim with the insurance company. Choosing the right insurance company for your injury claim can be difficult.
However, understanding how the insurance claims process works, selecting the right coverage for yourself, and understanding what you expect from the insurer can help you protect your right to fair compensation.
How Insurance Claims Work in Ohio
Ohio is a fault state for car accidents and insurance purposes. This means when you are involved in an accident or injured in an incident of any kind, and the liable party is protected by an insurance company, you can file a claim with their insurance provider as opposed to your own.
In no-fault states, injury victims may be required to file claims with their insurance providers after being required to carry certain types and amounts of insurance coverage. However, just because you are filing a claim with the liable party’s insurer does not mean your insurance coverage is not important.
Selecting Your Insurance Coverage in Ohio
Under Ohio law, you are required to carry insurance coverage in specific circumstances. For example, before you operate a motor vehicle on the road, auto insurance coverage must protect the vehicle. Under the law, Ohio minimum types and amounts of auto insurance coverage are as follows, per the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV):
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury liability coverage
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
However, just because the state requires only these minimum amounts of coverage does not mean you should not increase the amount of coverage to protect yourself if you are liable for an accident. You should not increase these limits if you afford to do so.
You should consider adding additional types of coverage such as comprehensive, collision, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. If you were involved in a car accident and the liable party is under or uninsured, you can file a claim with your own auto insurance company to recoup some of these losses.
Auto insurance is just one type of insurance coverage you need. When you live in a fault state, making sure to carry the appropriate type of coverage, whether you need auto insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or health insurance, is important.
What to Expect From the Insurance Company After an Accident
Dealing with an insurance company after an accident of any kind may not be easy. No matter what type of insurer you are dealing with, insurance companies are for profit. Each time they pay out on a claim, they lose money. For this reason, you can expect an insurance company to take any opportunity it can find to reduce your benefits or deny your claim altogether.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
Insurance companies can respond to claims in several ways. Some may quickly make an insurance settlement offer. This can tempt claimants into accepting less than their claim is worth. Insurance companies do this because they may recognize how much the claim is worth and are hoping to avoid paying out more.
Another way insurance adjusters take advantage of claimants is by using their statements to make it appear as though they have accepted liability for the accident. Since Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence system, sharing fault can reduce the amount of compensation the injury victim is entitled to.
How Compensation Works with Insurance Companies and Personal Injury Claims
There are many preconceived notions about how compensation works with insurance companies in personal injury claims. However, insurance companies are regularly only required to cover damages up to the limits of the policyholder’s policy. If your damages exceed these limits, the only way to recover the remaining losses is by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Insurance companies only cover certain types of economic damages. These might include lost income, property damages, and medical expenses, but rarely other types of economic losses such as demonstrated capacity, loss of household services, or costs of increased insurance premiums. These losses, and your non-economic damages, will need to be sought after through a personal injury lawsuit.
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Reach out to our Columbus personal injury lawyer at The Fitch Law Firm to help with your personal injury claim.
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