The state of Georgia does not require uninsured/underinsured (UM/UI) motorist coverage, but choosing to opt-out could put you at risk. If you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, your options for getting your damages paid will be minimal, and you may be stuck paying the bills yourself. We always look for other viable options to help clients in this situation, but sometimes there simply aren’t any. In this article, we’ll explain why UM/UI coverage is so crucial, all the circumstances where it may apply, and the different kinds of UM/UI insurance to choose from.
If you’ve already been in an accident, contacting a car accident lawyer is the best way to learn all the possibilities for covering your expenses. Attorney Ali Awad works on car accidents and other personal injury cases daily and knows all the intricacies of car insurance law in Georgia. When he founded the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, it quickly became one of the fastest-growing law firms in the country. Mr. Awad also shares down-to-earth legal knowledge with more than a million followers on social media. If you need advice about an accident or injury, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free, no-obligation consultation about your case.
What Happens to Uninsured Drivers in an Accident?
In most car accident cases, the main concern is establishing fault because the at-fault driver is expected to be responsible for damages caused by the crash. Because most people don’t have tens of thousands of dollars (and in some cases, even more) lying around, car insurance is required in Georgia. Specifically, drivers are required to carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability and $25,000 in property damage liability.
This requirement means that if you’re in an accident caused by another driver, you should be able to get at least $25,000 for your medical bills and other personal damages and $25,000 for your car repair. Most car repair bills don’t exceed $25,000, but healthcare can be pretty expensive, especially if the accident victim is seriously hurt. As a result, sometimes people may learn that the other driver doesn’t have enough coverage for all their damages. This is what we call an underinsured driver (more on that later).
But sometimes we find that the driver who hit our client didn’t have any insurance at all. This is illegal, and anyone caught driving without insurance will be fined, but sometimes people drive without insurance anyway. If one of them causes you to be hurt in a car crash, you will probably have difficulty collecting damages from the other driver. Yes, you can sue them directly, but in many cases, we find that this isn’t a good solution. If the other driver was uninsured because they couldn’t afford the insurance, they probably can’t afford whatever judgment might be found against them in a personal injury lawsuit, either. If you can’t collect on a potential award, putting your time, energy, and money for court costs into a lawsuit just isn’t worth it.
How Can You Recover Damages After an Accident With an Uninsured or Underinsured Driver?
The best option is to buy UM/UI insurance, so you will be covered if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. UM/UI policies start with $25,000 for bodily injury liability and $25,000 in property damage, but if you can afford more coverage, it may be a good idea for several reasons:
If you have a very serious accident, your medical bills may be considerably more than $25,000.
If you have a “stacking” UM/UI policy, your coverage will still apply if the other driver is underinsured relative to your damages. For example, if the at-fault motorist has $25,000 in coverage and you have $75,000 in medical bills, a “stacked” UM/UI policy for $50,000 would take care of the additional costs.
What Is the Difference Between Stacking and Non-stacking UM/UI Policies?
Non-stacking UM/UI policies ensure you have at least $25,000 (or any other amount over $25,000) in bodily injury or property damage liability coverage. If the at-fault driver had at least that amount, your UM/UI policy will not apply even if your damages exceed the other driver’s policy limits.
Stacking UM/UI policies give you extra coverage on top of whatever the at-fault motorist has, so you get the amount of your policy after their insurance has paid to its limit. These policies may have more expensive premiums, but they provide more coverage in an accident with an underinsured driver.
Who Can Use UM/UI Insurance?
When you purchase this kind of insurance, most policies will cover any relatives living in your home, anyone who drives your car with your permission, and any passenger in your car who might be hurt in an accident. This helps you avoid liability in various situations that could otherwise strain your relationship with a friend or family member.
What if a Pedestrian Is Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?
People walking, riding bicycles, or even taking public transportation can also use their UM/UI coverage when hurt by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The insured vehicle does not have to be involved in the crash.
If You Don’t Have UM/UI Coverage, Are You Out of Luck in an Uninsured Motorist Crash?
We will do everything we can to identify alternatives for coverage in your case. In a few situations, we may be able to locate other options, but sometimes, yes, you may be out of luck. If you purchased MedPay or Collision insurance, which take care of your medical bills or property damage rather than your liability to others, these policies will apply in uninsured motorist crashes. However, most people with MedPay and Collision coverage also have UM/UI insurance, so this is not always an option. Occasionally, we may find that a third party is liable, but this is also not common.
What Should You Do if You’re Not Sure What Insurance Coverage You Have?
It may be hard to remember exactly what kind of policies you purchased, especially if you’ve had them for a long time. Your insurance company representative can tell you what type of coverage and what amount you have. To learn your entire range of options, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation. If we accept your case, you won’t pay us anything until you receive a settlement.
Call the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm
The injury and accident attorneys at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm are top-rated and can help you get the compensation you need after an accident. If the medical bills are stacking up, call our experienced team of car accident lawyers to help you develop a winning legal strategy. Call us now at 833-254-2923 or find out how much your case is worth online.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.