Uninsured Motorist Accident Claim Lawyers, GA
Representing Clients Hurt by a Driver With No Insurance
According to a 2021 study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), as many as 12.6% of all drivers in the United States were uninsured as of 2019. In Georgia, the percentage of uninsured motorists is 12.4%, which puts the Peach State in 23rd place in the nation for the number of drivers operating their motor vehicles without the state minimum insurance coverage. So what happens if you get in an accident where the at-fault driver carries no insurance? The attorneys at The Scott Pryor Law Group provide an overview of how uninsured motorist claims work in Georgia and why you should seek legal representation by calling The Scott Pryor Law Group at 678-325-3434 if you have been injured by an uninsured driver.
Are Georgia Drivers Required to Carry Minimum Liability Insurance Coverage?
In Georgia, every driver is required to carry state minimum liability coverage for their vehicles before being allowed to drive on public roads. In order for an insurance policy to meet state requirements, it must offer at least $25,000.00 in bodily injury coverage per person, at least $50,000.00 in bodily injury coverage per incident, and a minimum of $25,000.00 in property damage coverage.
Carrying only the state minimum coverage is a risky decision – in the event, a driver is at fault for an accident that results in damages exceeding the coverage limits of their insurance policies, the driver may be personally liable. For this reason, many insurance companies offer the option of adding higher coverage limits as well as UIM coverage, which can be helpful in case you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver. UIM coverage is not mandatory in Georgia, but it is highly recommended.
Are There Consequences for Driving Without Insurance Coverage in Georgia?
A person who chooses only to carry state minimum coverage may be underinsured but is technically not in violation of any laws. However, someone who chooses to drive without any type of insurance is breaking the law. In Georgia, driving without any type of insurance coverage may be considered a misdemeanor.
A misdemeanor conviction may result in fines varying from $200.00 to $1,000.00 and even a jail sentence of up to 12 months. In addition, it may also result in a license suspension of 60 to 90 days. Driving without insurance is taken very seriously in Georgia, even if the driver accidentally allowed their insurance policy to lapse and did not deliberately choose to drive uninsured. Besides legal complications, uninsured drivers may be exposing themselves to personal financial liability in case they are involved in a car accident.
What Kind of Damages Can UIM Coverage Pay?
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is an optional add-on to your standard auto insurance coverage, and it can play a crucial role as a source of compensation after an accident involving a driver without insurance. UIM coverage kicks in if you are injured or sustain property damage and the other driver’s coverage is insufficient, and it can also provide coverage for pedestrian accidents and hit-and-run accidents where the UIM policyholder is the victim.
Each insurance company’s UIM policy may vary, but in general, UIM covers damages caused by another driver with insufficient or nonexistent coverage. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property (such as your vehicle), pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
What Can I Do if an Uninsured Driver Hits My Car?
If you were injured or sustained property damages in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you have a few different options to try and recover compensation for your losses. The best case scenario in this situation would be simply to file a claim against your UIM insurance policy. You may also be able to file a claim if you have full coverage or collision coverage through your own insurance policy.
UIM, full coverage, and collision coverage are some of the types of policies that would allow the policyholder to receive payments for damages the same way another driver would receive if the policyholder had caused the accident. However, not every insurance company will readily accept these types of claims and may often deny legitimate claims or offer a low settlement amount.
What Are My Options if I Don’t Have Full Coverage?
If you do not have UIM or full coverage through your insurance carrier, it may be best to speak to a personal injury attorney to learn your options. Your attorney may assist you with the process of negotiating with your insurance company and may recommend taking your case to the courtroom. In some cases, your insurance company may decide to take the at-fault driver to court to get compensation for the damages they have paid you.
If you have sustained significant damages, you may be able to initiate a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party, which is usually the uninsured driver. However, this would require you to prove that the other driver was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries and damages. This is when the work of a skilled personal injury and car accident lawyer can make all the difference for your case. At the The Scott Pryor Law Group, our attorneys understand how overwhelming it can be to feel like you have to pay for all the damages and bills caused by someone else who recklessly chose not to abide by the laws and carry insurance. You may not know where to turn or where even to begin – but we can help you navigate your case and reach a favorable result. Contact The Scott Pryor Law Group at 678-325-3434 to get started.