Like most states, Georgia has auto insurance requirements. While most drivers understand and fulfill this obligation by carrying adequate coverage, some do not. When an uninsured or underinsured driver causes an accident, getting the money for medical care and lost wages can feel like a nightmare for the victim.
If you were hurt in a crash where the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, an experienced Georgia uninsured motorist lawyer can help. They can review your policy to determine if you carry uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. An attorney can also help you pursue legal action against the at-fault driver.
Talk to a dedicated uninsured motorist lawyer at Butler Kahn about your case. We’ve helped many injured clients seek compensation to pay for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is an optional insurance policy that helps protect you if you’re in an accident caused by a driver without insurance. It covers medical expenses, property damage, and other losses when the at-fault driver cannot compensate you for these bills.
Your uninsured motorist protection extends to hit-and-run accidents where the responsible driver flees the scene or if you are a pedestrian or bicyclist struck by a car. Having UM coverage helps prevent you from bearing the financial burden of someone else’s negligence.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is another optional insurance policy that protects you when the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage isn’t enough for your damages. If you have extensive injuries or losses that exhaust the liable driver’s policy limits, your UIM coverage can bridge the gap for the remaining expenses.
Is UM/UIM Coverage Mandatory in Georgia?
While uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory in Georgia, insurance companies are required to offer it to policyholders. However, drivers must decline UM/UIM in writing. Opting to purchase this coverage is strongly recommended, as it provides an added layer of financial security if you encounter an uninsured or underinsured driver.
What Are Georgia’s Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance?
Georgia drivers must carry minimum liability insurance coverage of:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability per accident
These limits cover the harm you may cause to others in an accident. However, they do not protect you from uninsured or underinsured drivers. The state agency encourages you to add UM/UIM coverage through your insurance carrier.
What Levels of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Should I Carry?
Determining the appropriate levels of UM/UIM coverage depends on various factors, such as your financial situation and potential risks. While the minimum coverage may satisfy legal requirements, it might not be enough to protect you. It is suggested to carry UM/UIM protection to match your liability coverage. For example, if you have $50,000 in liability coverage, your UM/UIM coverage should also be $50,000.
Talk to your insurance agent to ensure you have adequate coverage to protect your interests in the event of an accident.
What Should I Do If I Have Been in an Accident with an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?
You might not know immediately that the at-fault driver does not have insurance or has insufficient insurance. But it is important to protect your physical and financial well-being as you would in any other car crash. Here are the steps you should consider taking:
- Call the police and report the accident – An official report is valuable when dealing with insurance claims and legal proceedings.
- Seek medical attention – Even if you don’t feel injured at the moment, you should get a medical evaluation as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
- Gather as much evidence as possible at the scene – Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, injuries, skid marks, traffic signals, and other relevant details. Get contact information from any witnesses who saw the accident happen.
- Notify your own insurance company about the accident – Do not offer details or comments about fault. Simply report the crash date, time, location, and other essential facts.
- Contact an experienced uninsured motorist lawyer in Georgia – A lawyer can evaluate your case, guide you through the process, and protect your rights and interests. They can help you understand what types of coverage you have and the amount you can be paid under those policies.
If the Other Driver Had No Insurance, Can I Still Recover Compensation?
If you’re injured by an uninsured driver, you may still be able to recover compensation. Your UM/UIM policy should provide coverage in these situations. Check to determine whether you opted to purchase this coverage.
But you could still have options even if you don’t have UM/UIM coverage. If the negligent driver is uninsured or underinsured, they still might have other assets. A Georgia uninsured motorist lawyer can help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your injuries, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses you may have incurred.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer to Help with My UM/UIM Claim?
Navigating an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim can be complex. Insurance companies may try to minimize your compensation or deny your claim altogether. Having a lawyer by your side ensures that you have an advocate who understands the intricacies of UM/UIM claims and can fight for your rights.
A skilled attorney will gather evidence, negotiate with insurance adjusters, and argue your case in court if necessary. They will work diligently to maximize your potential financial recovery and provide you with the support you need during this challenging time.
Our Georgia Uninsured Motorist Lawyers Are Ready to Help You
Butler Kahn has helped many Georgia accident victims after a crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist – and we are ready to help you. Let a Georgia uninsured motorist lawyer protect your rights and pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses from your insurance company or the at-fault driver. Contact our firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation.