Cleveland Car Accident Attorneys: What’s UM Coverage? October 24, 2012.

What would happen if you got into an accident with an uninsured driver? In case you think the odds of such a thing happening are slim, since every state, including Ohio, requires drivers to carry insurance, consider this: the Insurance Research Council has estimated that about one in seven drivers is uninsured in the United States.

That being said, frequent drivers or people with a long commute may wish to consider adding uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to their policy even though Ohio doesn’t require it.

What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Adding uninsured motorist coverage to your policy costs a little extra, but it covers you financially if you’re involved in a collision with an uninsured driver, since it’s unlikely that he or she would be able to pay your medical bills and other expenses. If you’re involved in a car accident, and the other driver is considered at fault but does not have car insurance, UM will help cover injuries and sometimes vehicle damage. It also covers injuries incurred as a pedestrian.

Without UM coverage, you will be liable for your expenses, which could run into the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances.

Types of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

UM coverage comes in two forms: property damage and bodily injury. Property damage coverage may not be necessary if you already have collision coverage.

Bodily injury coverage is often a good idea even if you have medical insurance, since it pays for lost wages and covers the driver, passenger, or a pedestrian.

How Having Uninsured Motorist Coverage Affects Your Personal Injury Claim

If you’re injured by another driver, you can file a personal injury claim, but your chances of being compensated are slim. The uninsured motorist probably doesn’t have insurance because he or she can’t afford it. If that person can’t afford insurance, it’s doubtful that he or she will be able to cover your hospital bills or lost wages.

If you’re unable to recover compensation for damages from the liable party, then you could be left paying for everything — including medical expenses and a new car — on your own.

Questions About Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If you have questions about your uninsured motorist coverage, or if you were the victim of a car accident, contact the car accident attorneys at Mellino Law for a free case evaluation.