No one wants to think about being in an automobile accident in Georgia, but a little forethought can go a long way to helping you should you find yourself in such a situation. Automobile insurance comes into play in some Georgia vehicular accidents, especially when physical injuries occur and/or there is major damage to one of the vehicles involved. But what should you do if the other driver involved in your accident doesn’t have automobile insurance?
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), as of 2015, 12 percent of Georgia’s motorists were uninsured. This percentage falls just under the national average of 13 percent. Georgia has special laws regarding uninsured or underinsured motorists, which become relevant when you are involved in an accident in which the other driver doesn’t have automobile insurance.
Georgia’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Law
Under the terms of Georgia’s uninsured/underinsured motorists law, if you are involved in an accident in which the other driver is at fault but does not have insurance, you can use your own additional insurance coverage to pay for your costs. This is a complicated area that Butler Law Firm’s attorneys can assist you in understanding. The uninsured/underinsured motorists law in Georgia can apply if:
- You are involved in an accident in which the other driver does not have his or her own insurance
- You are hit by a vehicle while riding your bicycle or as a pedestrian
- You are hit by a driver who flees the scene of the accident and is not found
You are hit by a driver who has insurance but not enough to compensate injuries to everyone involved in the accident
Georgia’s uninsured/underinsured motorists law will cover not only you, as the driver of the other vehicle, but others involved in the accident including:
- Your spouse who lives with you
- Relatives of you or your spouse who live with you
- A guest who is a passenger in your car
- Anyone who is driving your insured vehicle with your consent
Types of Insurance Coverage Under Georgia’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Law
There are two types of coverage under the Georgia uninsured/underinsured motorists law. One is added-on insurance coverage. This is the recommended type of auto insurance for Georgia motorists to have because it can be added to any coverage that the other driver in the accident has (or does not have). For example, if you are hit by a driver who has $25,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage, and you have added-on uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage of $100,000, you are covered for $125,000 in damages.
“Traditional” or “reduced” coverage, is the other type of auto insurance in Georgia, and is not added-on to the other driver’s coverage, as the name indicates. If you are hit by a driver who has $25,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage, for example, and you have $25,000 of the same coverage, the maximum amount you can claim is $25,000.