Georgia is a fault accident state, which means that drivers must pay for the damages of any victims in car accidents they cause. To uphold this financial responsibility, Georgia law requires drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. Unfortunately, not all drivers carry this mandatory coverage.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may wonder what your legal options are. While you may not be able to file a claim against the driver’s insurance policy, you still have the option to recover compensation with a personal injury attorney.
UM/UIM Insurance in Georgia
Under Georgia law, at-fault drivers must carry insurance to pay for the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that their victims sustain. All drivers must carry the following minimum amounts of liability insurance.
$25,000 for bodily injury or death per person per accident
$50,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident
$25,000 for property damage per accident
Drivers can choose to purchase higher amounts of insurance if they choose. In addition to liability insurance, Georgia drivers can choose to purchase uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance coverage. This policy pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages in case the at-fault driver either does not have insurance or does not have sufficient insurance.
Georgia does not require drivers to carry UM/UIM insurance, but it does require drivers to opt out of this coverage in writing. You may have UM/UIM insurance built into your insurance policy. As soon as possible after your accident, bring your insurance details to an attorney for review.
What to Do After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
The moments after an accident with an uninsured driver can be scary, but they are important for your future UM/UIM claim. Take the following steps to preserve evidence and receive the help you need.
Call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. Collect the officer’s information to find the report at a later date.
Seek medical attention and save all records related to your injuries and treatment. Always seek medical care, even if you do not feel hurt.
Exchange information with the other driver. Keep your interactions brief. The driver may try to convince you not to report the accident; if he or she does, politely deny this request.
Ask witnesses for their contact information. These individuals could provide valuable testimony in your future claim.
Contact a lawyer to represent you in your UM/UIM claim. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and conduct an in-depth investigation into your accident, helping prove your right to compensation.
Not all drivers have UM/UIM insurance. If you do not have this coverage, you could pursue compensation if you have other forms of coverage, such as collision coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Alternatively, you could file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, many uninsured drivers do not have the financial ability to pay for your damages out of pocket, and you may be unable to recover compensation through the lawsuit process.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, speak to a Georgia car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will explain your legal options and strategize your next steps to recover maximum compensation.