Have you ever been involved in a car accident in Georgia where the driver responsible didn’t have insurance? Getting compensated in such cases can be extremely critical. It is advised to immediately reach out to a competent uninsured motorist accident attorney to get things straight.
As per the data summoned by the Insurance Information Institute, every 1 in 8 drivers, or about 12.6 percent of motorists, in 2019 were uninsured, according to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC). In 2018 and 2019, the percentage of uninsured motorists fell below 12.6 percent and was at a nine-year high of 13.1 percent in 2017.
What If an Uninsured Motorist Causes a Car Accident in Georgia?
As it is public information, all drivers in the state must have vehicle insurance to lawfully drive on the road. Moreover, there are a few limitations for an obligation that must be maintained. If we look further into the specifics, a driver’s policy should cover damages at a level of at least $50,000 per occurrence and $25,000 per person. There should also be $25,000 with respect to property damage coverage per occurrence.
It is important to note that driving with insufficient coverage or without liability insurance is deemed to be a misdemeanor. Such misdemeanor is a punishable offense with fines up to $1000 and a maximum of a 12-month prison time. Research suggests that approximately 12% of Georgia’s drivers do not have their vehicles insured. This means that people still do not have insurance coverage, even after driving without adequate insurance is considered a misdemeanor.
However, there can be certain scenarios that can make such cases even more complex. For instance, the driver at fault may have enough coverage that meets the legal requirements, but such coverage may be insufficient to completely compensate your wounds.
It is advised to immediately reach out to a skilled personal injury attorney, as cases with hit-and-run scenarios are particularly crucial to deal with.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Uninsured Driver:
In the event of filing a lawsuit against the uninsured driver, one alternative is to file the claim against the individual directly. It is essential to note that certain states are no-fault, which means that you cannot sue the driver and have to use your own insurance. However, Georgia does not follow such requirements as it is not a no-fault state.
That being said, such cases proceed like any other property damage lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit. If the verdict is in your favor, you may be financially compensated in order to cover for the damages to your vehicle, medical and other health care expenses, any earnings forgone, and an additional amount pertaining to the suffering and trauma you had to go through.
If you are lucky, you may also be able to collect what is known as punitive damages. The precondition for such compensation is that the other driver must have behaved in an unreasonable and extremely reckless way, such as driving under influence. Note that this type of compensation is not easily awarded and requires a substantial amount of evidence of wrongdoing. The damages can significantly increase beyond your ordinary amount of compensation.
Benefits of Uninsured Motorist Coverage:
You may consider signing up for underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) or uninsured motorist coverage (UM). This is optional and is not required by state law. Moreover, note that you must have such insurance before you get involved in an accident.
Following policies provide a number of benefits such as:
- Drivers not having car insurance
- Drivers with insufficient insurance
- Uninsured, unidentified, or underinsured drivers that hit you while you are cycling or walking
- Unidentifiable hit and run drivers
Collisions and Medical Payments Insurance:
Another option that can facilitate you in such cases is collision insurance coverage. Collision is optional just like underinsured/uninsured coverage. It covers the replacement and repair cost for your car after the impact and is applicable despite who is deemed to be the culprit for the accident.
Challenges With Uninsured Motorist Claims:
You could have these policy options intact and readily at your disposal, and still face difficulties with your insurer after the incident. This is due to the fact that insurance companies rarely put first the interests of their policyholders. They try to find ways to settle the claim as cheaply and quickly as possible.
Are You a Victim of a Car Accident in Georgia?
Due to the statute of limitations, it is imperative that you act swiftly if you have been a victim of an accident involving an uninsured driver. Our team of professionals will help you steer the way through your car accident in Georgia.