Drivers in Georgia are legally required to have auto insurance for their vehicles. Even though this is the law, many motorists still drive around without it. And when an uninsured driver causes an accident, it means they don’t have an insurance policy there to cover the injuries and other damages of those hurt in the collision.
Getting into a wreck with an uninsured driver can feel hopeless, especially when you worry about covering medical bills and repairs yourself. However, you can still recover the FULL costs of your damages with help from an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Austell from John Foy & Associates.
If the Other Driver Is Uninsured, Should I Still Call the Police?
Yes, without question. Under Georgia law, you must report an accident to police right away if anyone is injured, anyone is killed, or if property damage is more than $500. Besides pulling over to a safe location and getting any necessary immediate medical attention, calling the police is the first step you should take after an accident.
You might feel like you shouldn’t since it’s not uncommon for uninsured drivers to say they don’t want to involve local police. But call them anyway. This is to protect yourself. The police report officers will create for the accident will show you did what you were legally required to do and verify the accident occurred.
Without a police report, you have no conclusive proof of the accident, and the uninsured driver could leave the scene without having to pay for the damage they’ve caused. Even if they have no insurance, there are ways a lawyer can help you seek financial recovery anyway. So, you need a record of the accident actually happening.
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Protect Yourself from False Blame After a Car Accident
Uninsured drivers are also notorious for blaming the car accident on someone else or trying to avoid responsibility for it. For this reason, you should also take steps to protect yourself from false blame and gather proof after an uninsured motorist accident. This includes taking steps like:
- Not accepting any blame. If the uninsured driver yells or tries to blame you for the accident, stay calm. You don’t need to apologize, explain yourself, or respond to their actions. Never accept blame for the accident, even if you’re trying to be polite. When police arrive, be ready to explain what happened before, during, and after the accident.
- Taking pictures. Use your phone camera to take pictures of the scene, including vehicle damage, injuries to you and any passengers in your vehicle, and anything else you might think is important to the case. If the other driver starts acting aggressive, you might even try secretly filming their behavior as proof.
- Speaking with witnesses. Many times, there’s at least another person who saw some part of the accident happen. Talk to them, ask what they saw, and get their name and contact information.
- Seeing a doctor. If you haven’t already by this point, see a doctor after the accident. Even if you feel your injuries are minor and don’t need treatment, they could worsen over time or be more severe than you realize.
Seeing a doctor will create a record of your injuries. You should also take pictures of your injuries over time, especially if they get worse in the hours, days, and months after the accident.
Lastly, but most importantly, contact an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Austell as soon as you can. Without professional legal help, it’s almost impossible to seek financial recovery for damages from an accident where the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
How Much Insurance Are Motorists Required to Carry in Georgia?
It is a requirement for all Georgia drivers to carry insurance. Car owners must carry and maintain insurance coverage of at least:
- $25,000 in bodily injury insurance per victim
- $50,000 in total bodily injury insurance
- $25,000 in property insurance
Keep in mind, these are minimum coverages. Damages from a serious car accident can be much more than these minimum amounts.
Sometimes, a driver will have car insurance, but it will be less than the minimum requirements. In this case, they’re considered an underinsured motorist, and the methods for collecting money are similar to those for an uninsured motorist.
Can I Still Get Money If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
Yes, but the methods for collecting that money are different than if you were in a motorist accident with an insured driver. Since the driver has no insurance policy to pull from to cover your damages, they can be ordered to pay the money through ways like:
- Your own car insurance policy’s Uninsured Motorist/Under-Insured Motorist (UM/UIM) All Georgia citizens are required to carry a minimum of this liability insurance, which pays for damages if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, doesn’t have enough insurance, or can’t be identified (such as in a hit-and-run). This insurance may help cover some of your damages
- A court order that requires the uninsured driver to pay your damages out of pocket
- Other insurance policies that could apply to the accident
- A lien placed on the uninsured or underinsured driver’s car, home, or other assets
Working with an uninsured motorist accident attorney in Austell as soon as possible after the crash can greatly increase your chances of recovering money from the uninsured driver. The process for recovering money in this situation can be complex, and there’s no better time to have legal help on your side.
How Long do I Have to File an Uninsured Motorist Claim in Georgia?
In general, you have two years to file a lawsuit after an injury in Georgia. But in an uninsured case, there is no time to waste. Since you’ll likely be filing under your own car insurance policy, you can start getting financial help right away.
Still, even though you’re working with your own company, speaking with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Austell can help you maximize your claim. Also, if it is discovered the other driver has significant assets, a lawyer can help you sue the other driver directly.
Will My Insurance Premiums Go Up?
There are many factors that go into that decision, including your policy, the law, and your own driving record. Under Ga. Code § 33-9-40, your premiums are not supposed to go up if you were not at fault for a crash.
However, it is possible that an insurer might remove a discount, such as a safe driver discount, to achieve the same effect as raising your premiums. If this happens to you, we recommend speaking with your insurance agent for details.
Talk to an Austell Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, our Austell uninsured motorist accident attorneys have spent the last two decades helping injured victims. We have a strong history of winning money for our clients in this situation, and we know how to win cases.
Our lawyers are determined to hold responsible drivers who choose to get on the road without insurance coverage – and to prevent you from having to pay for it. For a FREE consultation to go over your case and look at your options with one of our lawyers, contact us today.