All drivers in Calhoun, Georgia are required to have insurance coverage. But, that doesn’t stop some from not carrying it at all. Others may not have enough to fully compensate you for your losses after a car accident, either. Car accidents are expensive because they lead to medical costs and life-changing injuries in some circumstances. Insurance is the most common way that individuals and families are able to pay for these significant damages when an accident occurs. When there is no insurance, there are other ways to get compensation, but you may need the help of an uninsured motorist accident lawyer to ensure you know what to do next.
The team at John Foy & Associates has been helping car accident victims for over two decades. We know how to deal with situations where insurance does and doesn’t apply. We can help you explore your options and get whatever you can to help you get back on your feet after an accident. We know just how hard it can be dealing with expenses and life changes after a crash, and we want to help. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Because Georgia is an “at-fault” state, the other driver is supposed to pay for your damages and injuries after an accident. That is one of the main reasons that drivers are required to have insurance. But, when they don’t have coverage, uninsured motorist insurance may apply.
This type of insurance coverage “kicks in” when you are in a collision with someone who doesn’t have insurance. It’s actually a coverage that is on your own insurance (that you pay for). In many cases, people have this type of coverage, and they don’t even realize it. In Georgia, insurance companies have to include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of their normal policy, and it’s only excluded if you sign something that states that you specifically don’t want the coverage. If you don’t recall signing something to refuse coverage, take a look at the declaration page of your insurance policy to see if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
When you have this type of insurance, your personal insurance company will do a preliminary investigation to determine two major things:
- The other driver was at fault (or at least partially at fault) for the crash
- They don’t have insurance that will cover the situation
Once they conclude that these factors are met, they will pay you for your losses related to the accident. One nice feature of this type of coverage is that they often pay-as-you-go instead of having to wait until you are completely (or mostly) recovered. When you use someone else’s insurance coverage, you usually have to wait a longer period of time for the insurance company to pay out.
A downside of uninsured motorist insurance, however, is that the limits are often pretty low. That means that you may run out of coverage before all of your losses and damages are addressed.
Some people in Calhoun will use their uninsured motorist coverage in combination with med pay insurance, which allows you to stretch your total insurance coverage a bit further in some circumstances. Med pay (short for “medical payments”) insurance addresses your medical expenses after an accident regardless of fault.
How Can an Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer Help My Situation?
If your own insurance company is helping you with your claim, you may wonder why you would ever need an attorney. Unfortunately, even your own insurance company can treat you unfairly in some situations. In those cases, having a lawyer help you get the coverage that is in your policy can be a good idea. Keep in mind that insurance companies want to make money–if they can find a way to deny your claim and avoid paying you benefits, they often will.
An uninsured motorist accident lawyer can help you:
- Review and understand requirements in your insurance contract
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Investigate the crash and your insurance claim
- Gather information such as medical records and lost wage data
- Present evidence to your insurance company about future losses that need to be addressed, such as future medical care and your work life in the future
Even if you get uninsured motorist coverage for your insurance company, it may not be enough to address all of your losses. You may need to consider other options for recovery against the other driver.
Keep in mind that you can still start a lawsuit in court against the other driver even if they don’t have insurance. They just have to pay the money that you win at trial personally. In many situations, an individual driver won’t have the resources to pay for that type of loss. An attorney will be able to review your case with you to determine whether starting a lawsuit against someone who doesn’t have insurance is a good idea for your situation.
How Long Do I Have to Start an Uninsured Motorist Claim?
The normal time period of two years to start a car accident lawsuit generally doesn’t apply to uninsured motorist claims. Your insurance company will dictate what type of notice is required to process your claim with them. That deadline should be included in your insurance policy, but these huge contracts are difficult to read and understand. The deadline may be buried somewhere that you are likely to overlook.
As a rule, it’s a good idea to let your insurance company know that you have been in an accident as soon as you can after it takes place. You should definitely have a conversation with them once you realize that the other driver doesn’t have insurance or has very little insurance.
If your insurance company refuses to pay your uninsured coverage, another deadline will apply to that situation. That deadline may also be included in your insurance policy, but not always. The standard limitation for contracts in Georgia may apply instead. That period is six years from the date of the breach of contract.
If you want to start a lawsuit against the driver individually, who doesn’t have insurance, the two-year statute of limitations will apply. But, talking to a lawyer soon after the crash will allow you more time to learn about your options and consider the best avenue for you to get the most compensation you can.
Talk to a Calhoun Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer for Free
If you have been in an accident and recently learned that the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you may not be sure what to do next. Let John Foy & Associates point you in the right direction. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form and get your FREE consultation today.