Navigating the aftermath of a car accident is always challenging, but the situation becomes even more complex when the other driver is uninsured. In Georgia, encountering an uninsured driver is unfortunately not a rare occurrence. Despite state laws, many drivers operate their vehicles without adequate coverage, which can leave victims uncertain about their options and rights. Fortunately, an Atlanta car accident attorney can help if you’re struck by an uninsured driver.
Georgia’s Insurance Requirements
In Georgia, vehicle owners are legally required to carry liability insurance. This coverage is critical as it helps drivers abide by the state’s fault-based insurance system, which requires motorists who cause car accidents to pay for any damages that occur.
Georgia law states that drivers must carry liability insurance in the following minimum amounts:
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the policyholder
- $50,000 for total injuries or deaths in a single accident caused by the policyholder
- $25,000 for property damage that results from an accident caused by the policyholder
These amounts are designed to cover medical bills, property damages, and other costs incurred by other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and other injured parties. However, it is advisable to carry higher coverage limits to protect your assets; if you cause an accident and the victims’ damages are higher, you may be financially responsible for the remaining amount.
Penalties for Failing to Carry Insurance in Georgia
Driving without car insurance in Georgia can lead to severe penalties, such as suspension or revocation of vehicle registration, fines, and denial of registration renewal or reinstatement. The financial implications of causing an accident while uninsured are even more daunting; you may be on the hook for all of the victims’ damages, which can amount to significant sums.
How Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Can Help
While Georgia does not require motorists to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, it is an option that provides substantial protection. This coverage helps pay for damages in accidents if the at-fault driver is uninsured or does not have adequate insurance. It ensures that your damages are covered, up to the policy limit, protecting your right to financial compensation.
However, you must hold UIM coverage at the time of the accident. If you do not have this insurance already, consider investing in a policy to safeguard your financial interests. Alternatively, you may be able to turn to other forms of coverage to help pay for your damages, such as medical payments (MedPay) or personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. You could also file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver directly.
What to Do If You Are Hit by an Uninsured Driver
If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it is important to remain calm. Call 911 to report the accident to law enforcement and seek medical care immediately, even if you do not feel hurt. Obtain the other driver’s contact information. Then, contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney as soon as possible to determine your optimal course of action.
An attorney can help you navigate the process of filing an uninsured motorist claim and recover the compensation that you deserve. If you do not have this coverage, your lawyer can help you pursue alternative courses of action, such as filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. After seeking medical care, contact an attorney to discuss your options for financial recovery.