It’s never a good idea to drive without insurance. Even if you never cause an accident, your driver’s license can be suspended if you’re caught driving without insurance. If you do cause a crash, that suspension can be extended indefinitely. But what if you’re uninsured and injured in an accident caused by another driver?
Let our expertise in accident, and personal injury cases work to your advantage.
At Slater & Zurz LLP, we have over forty years of experience handling personal injury accident claims. We’ve successfully represented clients injured in crashes involving personal cars and trucks; motorcycles; and commercial, industrial, and heavy-duty trucks. Let us put our expertise
to work for you!
If either the at-fault driver or the other vehicle’s owner was insured at the time of the accident, your lack of insurance shouldn’t prevent you from recovering compensation for your injuries. You can seek payment from the insurance company that covered the other driver and/or the other vehicle’s owner. If the other driver was performing an errand or other task for his or her employer at the time of the crash, the at-fault driver may have been covered under his or her employer’s insurance policy. If you were working or performing a task for your employer at the time of the crash, you may be covered under the uninsured or underinsured motorist provisions of your employer’s policy if the other driver or vehicle was
uninsured or underinsured.
Unfortunately, if there’s no insurance coverage, you may not be able to collect unless the other driver or the other vehicle’s owner has sufficient assets—money, real estate, or other property of value—to pay all or part of what you are legally entitled to recover. An experienced accident and personal injury attorney should be able to determine the approximate value of the other driver’s or vehicle owner’s assets, hopefully enabling you to recover compensation.
One other source of compensation, even if you have no insurance, is the state, political subdivision (city or county), or private company responsible for maintaining the road or highway on which your accident occurred. Defects in the road and/or construction projects can render the road unreasonably dangerous for travel, resulting in liability on the part of the entity responsible for maintaining the road.
The natural presence of snow and ice on the roadway generally does not constitute a defect entitling you to compensation, because any driver should be alert to slick roads in winter weather. However, unmarked, substantial irregularities in the road or shoulder; trees, vegetation, or other obstructions concealing stop signs, hazard signs, or approaching traffic; and/or unmarked hazards associated with construction projects can cause serious accidents, and the persons or entities responsible for any of those hazards can be compelled to compensate you for your injuries.
Consult a full-service personal injury law firm if there’s any chance that you were injured in an accident.
At Slater & Zurz LLP, we will evaluate your claim free of charge. If you have a potentially winnable claim, here are some of the ways in which we can help you:
- Investigate and determine all the facts concerning the accident, using experts when necessary.
- Identify all insurance policies that may cover your claim.
- Investigate and discover any significant assets owned by the at-fault driver or the other vehicle’s owner, particularly when either is uninsured or underinsured—i.e., lacking sufficient insurance to fully compensate you for all your losses.
- Consult with medical, vocational, and other experts to assess the full measure of your injuries and damages.
- Negotiate with any insurance companies and self-insured entities that may have an obligation to cover the accident, and try to secure appropriate payment for your injuries, medical bills, lost earnings, and other damages.
- Take your case to trial if necessary.
If your claim is tough, we can handle it—all free of charge unless we win or successfully settle your claim!
You may still receive compensation for your injuries even if you were somewhat at fault, as long as the other driver was primarily at fault. Don’t be deterred if an investigating law enforcement officer indicates that there was at fault on your part. An experienced accident and personal injury attorney can determine your likely right to compensation notwithstanding your contributory fault. Because your injuries may last a lifetime, you owe it to yourself to find out whether and how much you may be entitled to receive. Isn’t that worth a phone call?
Don’t settle for the cost to repair your car if you “may have been” injured.
Not all car accidents warrant the help of an attorney, particularly when no injuries are involved. Many people can settle garden-variety “fender benders,” involving nothing more than damage to a vehicle, on their own. Typically, at-fault drivers and their insurers will pay property damage claims backed up by two or three reasonable repair estimates when liability is clear.
However, you should never accept a settlement for your property damage if there is any possibility that you may have been injured! You should see a doctor and contact a reputable personal injury law firm if there is any doubt as to whether you were injured.
If you experience any lingering pain after the accident, if you were pregnant at the time of the crash, if you have a pre-existing condition that may have become worse as a result of the accident, or if you have any other reason to suspect that you sustained an injury in the accident, you should see a doctor and contact a Columbus personal injury attorney unless the doctor gives you a clean bill of health. Some injuries don’t result in any symptoms immediately. If you settle an accident claim for only what it will cost to fix your vehicle, you can’t get a “do-over” later if symptoms of injury arise after you’ve signed papers releasing the other driver or an insurance company from further liability.
Car accidents can be life-altering, frustrating, and complicated.
A car crash can be life-altering. You may have to contend with some level of pain for the rest of your life. You may not be able to continue to perform your current job duties or care for family members who depend on you. You may be confined to a wheelchair, requiring significant
renovations to your home so that you can access the kitchen and bathroom areas, or enter and leave the house without assistance. You may even require around-the-clock care for a significant period of time.
The frustration of figuring out what to do after a crash can cause severe anxiety. Your priorities may change dramatically, and it may seem as though your life has been put on hold. The confusion surrounding what to do first and whom to call is an overwhelming task for most victims. This is why it’s critical to contact a skilled personal injury and accident attorney to better understand the legal and financial implications of your case. At Slater & Zurz LLP, we offer a free consultation at which we will explain the legal aspects of your claim, let you know the strengths of your case, and alert you to any potential drawbacks.
Having handled thousands of personal injury accident claims, we know which experts to contact to fully evaluate your claim. Let us handle the specific legal aspects of your claim while you work on navigating the new realities of your life.
If you have evidence concerning your claim, you can jump-start the process by sharing what you have.
We don’t recommend that you try to negotiate with the other driver’s or owner’s insurance company or lawyer before you speak with an attorney who’s representing you. We can gather most of the following information from leads supplied by the investigating law enforcement agency, and information from your doctors if you don’t have it. It’s better to contact an attorney as soon as possible, even without corroborating documentation, than to delay seeking legal advice until you’re able to gather more evidence on your own.
- Summary of the accident. This may be in the law enforcement accident report, but a more complete summary with any relevant additional details that you recall could be extremely helpful. Remember: the officer creating the report is trying to ascertain facts that will lead to a solution—not necessarily the facts that most strongly support your claim.
- Insurance information of the other party or parties involved. This information may also appear in the accident report, but what a law enforcement officer may write in the report may not be all that can be discovered. For example, a 16-year-old driving his or her own car may not have any personal insurance but may be covered under one or more family policies that are not mentioned in the accident report.
- Witness information and statements. Witness information and statements may also be included in the accident report. If you spoke to any witnesses—particularly any not mentioned in the accident report—their contact info and any statements you may have acquired from them could be helpful.
- Police report/Investigation report. This report is a good starting point but often may not tell the whole story. An experienced personal injury accident attorney can investigate further and fill in the blanks with solid, potentially game-changing details.
- Pictures of your car, or the accident scene. If you, a passenger, a relative, or a friend took pictures of the scene or of your vehicle, these may be helpful. This is especially true if you plan to repair your car before your claim is resolved.
- Medical records. An experienced attorney can get your medical records once you sign a release. However, if you have copies of medical records indicating where and by whom you were treated when you were treated, and/or any diagnostic information, these records can be a good starting point for investigating the medical consequences of your accident.
Although there are some consequences of driving without insurance, those consequences can be mitigated.
Your driver’s license can be suspended for driving without insurance. You may then be required to pay a substantial reinstatement fee to restore your driving privileges after the suspension is lifted. You will likely be required to purchase high-risk insurance, which is much more costly than ordinary motor vehicle insurance; if you fail to pay the premiums on time, your license may again be suspended. During the suspension, obtaining driving rights to and from work may be possible.
Although these consequences are harsh, they pale in comparison to the amount of compensation you may lose if you decline to pursue the damages for your injuries caused by someone else. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you navigate through this process.
If you cause an accident without insurance, your license can be suspended indefinitely if you are sued and lost. The suspension can be lifted if you pay the other party his or her damages, enter an agreement to pay those damages to the injured party over time, or if you discharge the debt to that party in bankruptcy. To determine your best path forward, you should consult an experienced attorney with knowledge of Ohio’s financial responsibility laws, personal injury law, and the federal bankruptcy code.
Place Your Trust in an Established Law Firm with a Record of Success in Handling Personal Injury Cases
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you owe it to yourself to reach out to an established car accident law firm with a proven record of success in handling personal injury cases. An insurance company faced with the prospect of having to compensate you for your injuries is not likely to tell you if you have a strong case or advise you to consult with a lawyer before attempting to negotiate on your own.
At Slater & Zurz, we build relationships with our clients through honesty, commitment, perseverance, and trust. Like so many others who have placed their trust in us, you can count on us to fully assess your personal injury claim, answer your questions, and advise you concerning whether and how to proceed. Call or email our team’s dedicated Cleveland personal injury lawyers for a free consultation. We’re here to serve your legal needs with unwavering dedication and the drive to win.