How to Deal with an Uninsured Driver
Being involved in an auto accident is frustrating enough, but it’s even worse when the other driver is uninsured. Now, because the driver failed to be responsible, you have to suffer as a result. However, if you were involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, there may be several options available to you to cover the property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you endured. An experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer from the Butler Law Firm can discuss your options during a free initial consultation.
Georgia’s Minimum Insurance Requirements
Georgia is a fault state, meaning that the driver who is found at fault for an accident is responsible for paying for the damages stemming from his or her negligence. Georgia law requires that every owner of a motor vehicle in the state maintain liability insurance to cover damages that he or she causes in the following amounts:
- Bodily injury liability – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability – $25,000 per accident
Insurance companies must offer motorists the right to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. A vehicle owner can reject this coverage, but the rejection must be in writing.
If a driver fails to maintain the minimum liability coverage, he or she can be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine up to $1,000 and a year in jail. He or she can also lose driving privileges for 60 to 90 days.
Options for Covering Your Damages
If an uninsured driver caused your car accident, you may have several options to cover your financial losses, such as:
Uninsured or Underinsured Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you are hit by a driver who does not have any liability insurance. It provides compensation for the damage to your vehicle and injuries to you and your passengers. It is part of your own insurance policy.
Underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event that you are hit by a driver who causes damages that exceed his or her liability limit.
You may have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that pays for your injuries and those of your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. You can make a claim under your PIP coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses, if applicable.
If you have “full coverage,” you can make a claim against the collision portion of your insurance policy. Your insurance company can take care of your damages and then pursue reimbursement from the at-fault party. You will have to pay your deductible, but the insurance company may be able to refund this amount to you later.
You may be able to cover your medical expenses by using your own health insurance.
Sue the At-Fault Driver
If you are injured because of the negligent actions of another driver, you have a right to sue the driver for the full amount of your financial damages. However, if the driver was not responsible enough to carry minimum liability coverage, he or she may not have sufficient assets to cover your damages. Talk to an experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer to determine if this option is worthwhile.
Look for Other Defendants
There may be other parties that may share in liability for the accident. For example, a third vehicle may have been involved. The driver may have been working at the time of the accident and the employer may be liable. An experienced Georgia auto accident lawyer can explore other options for recovery.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer from the Butler Law Firm may be able to help. Call for a free consultation.