What to Do When Hit By an Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist
Being hit by another car is always a stressful situation that can quickly throw your life into a tailspin. However, things get even more complicated when the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. Fortunately, you may still have options for compensation even if the other driver is not insured or does not have sufficient insurance coverage.
Attorney Walter Gabriel represents car accident victims in Atlanta, Georgia, and surrounding areas, including Dunwoody and Alexandria. The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC, handles all types of car accidents, including those that involve uninsured and underinsured motorists. If you’ve been in an accident, understand your options with his support, and reach out today for someone to advocate for your rights.
Required Insurance Coverage in Georgia
All drivers who operate motor vehicles on public roads and highways in Georgia are legally required to have insurance coverage that meets the state’s minimum limits. The purpose of mandatory insurance coverage is to ensure that every driver is able to pay for any damages and injuries they cause to other parties on the road. According to the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, the minimum insurance coverage requirements in Georgia are:
$50,000 per incident and $25,000 per person (bodily injury liability); and
$25,000 per incident (property damage liability).
Drivers in Georgia also have the option of purchasing physical damage insurance, which pays for damages to the motorist’s own vehicle. Physical damage insurance has two components:
Comprehensive coverage, which covers all events other than vehicle collisions (vandalism, theft, etc.; and,
Collision coverage, which covers vehicle collisions.
However, neither comprehensive nor collision coverage is mandatory in the state of Georgia, which means many drivers do not have it as part of their auto insurance. At the same time, drivers can also decide to buy more insurance coverage if they decide. People usually buy more coverage when they have more expensive vehicles, live in places with common accidents (such as big cities), or if they simply want to protect passengers more.
Georgia Is a Fault Insurance State
Georgia, like most U.S. states, is a fault insurance state. That means that when a car accident occurs, the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating the other party (the victim) for any damages. This compensation usually comes from the at-fault driver’s insurance company if they have insurance coverage.
There are some exceptions to this rule, such as when both drivers share fault in the accident. In that case, the compensation would be split between the parties in proportion to their share of the fault. Georgia adopted a modified comparative negligence rule, which can decrease recoverable damages based on each party’s respective percentage of fault. However, the victim is not entitled to any compensation if their fault is deemed at 50% or higher.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Provision
Uninsured or underinsured motorist provision is an optional coverage that insurance companies offer to drivers in Georgia. This provision protects you in the event of an accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver. If you have uninsured coverage, your insurance company will compensate you for any damages that the at-fault driver would have paid if they had insurance coverage. With underinsured coverage, you can obtain additional compensation if the at-fault driver’s insurance policy is insufficient to cover your damages.
Steps to Take if You Were Hit by an Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist
If you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist in Georgia, you have three options for compensation.
The first option is to file a claim with your own insurance company if you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, this may not be an option if you—like many motorists in Georgia—do not have this coverage as part of your insurance policy.
The second option is to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. This is only recommended if the other driver has significant assets that you can go after. A consultation with an attorney may be necessary to determine whether or not filing a lawsuit is appropriate.
The third option is to file a claim against another party. Sometimes, there may be several at-fault parties. This may be another driver, a government entity, the at-fault driver’s employer, and others. Consider speaking with an attorney to investigate your accident and identify liable parties.
Attorney Walter Gabriel can assist you with pursuing the compensation to which you are entitled through any available sources.
Advocating for You After an Accident
Being hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be a stressful and frustrating situation. If you are not sure about your next steps after the accident, seek legal guidance from an attorney at The Law Firm of Walter Gabriel, LLC. Attorney Walter Gabriel—serving Atlanta, Georgia, and the surrounding areas of Dunwoody and Alexandria with passionate care—can help you explore your options for compensation to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits available. Reach out today to receive a case evaluation.