Anyone in Cartersville who owns a vehicle is required to purchase and maintain up-to-date auto insurance. Even though this is the law, and it protects the driver him or herself and other drivers on the road, around 12% of Georgia car owners still don’t have the proper amount of insurance.
It can be disheartening if you get into a car or truck accident with one of these drivers and find out they’re uninsured or underinsured. If you’re injured in an accident and/or have vehicle damage, you’ll be facing medical bills and repair costs at no fault of your own. You might worry about what you’ll do if the other driver doesn’t carry the auto insurance that would normally cover these costs. But thankfully, there are ways you can still seek financial recovery for your losses. To make sure you approach those options in the best way, you should speak with a Cartersville uninsured motorist accident lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, we have more than 20 years of professional experience helping accident victims get the money necessary to recover and move on with their lives. We only represent accident victims, so we’re here to help you through the process of recovering money after an accident with an uninsured (or underinsured) driver. To get started, let us give you a FREE consultation and case evaluation. We can talk through your situation and the options you have. Call 404-400-4000, or complete the form to your right to get started with that free consultation.
How Much Insurance Are Motorists Required to Carry in Cartersville?
In Cartersville and the whole state of Georgia, motorists must have auto insurance that covers at least:
- Bodily Injury Liability of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property Damage Liability of $25,000 per accident
Note that these are the minimum amounts for coverage, and many insurance agents may recommend higher liability amounts. Even simple accidents can easily breach the minimum liability limits. But if a driver has insurance but it is less than the state-required minimum, they are considered underinsured and will be penalized for it.
What if the Other Driver Has Insurance, But It’s Not Enough?
A driver who holds less than the required minimum of coverage for the State of Georgia is not quite as bad as getting into an accident with a completely uninsured driver, but it still leaves you without guaranteed coverage under their policy. Thankfully, your own auto insurance policy may be able to help fill in the gaps.
When any auto insurance company brings on a new policy holder, they are required to offer what’s called Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Insurance. This coverage is specifically meant to help cover some of your damages if you get into an accident with someone who is uninsured or doesn’t have enough insurance. You can opt out of this UM/UIM insurance, but you have to actively uncheck a box to do so, so, chances are, you have this coverage.
The minimum UM/UIM Insurance that must be offered is:
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage of $25,000 with a deductible of $250, $500, or $1000
If you have this coverage, it can help compensate for the other driver’s lack of coverage. You’ll need to file an uninsured motorist claim with your auto insurance company as soon as you can after the accident. (An uninsured motorist accident lawyer can help you with this.)
You’ll also want to call the police immediately after the accident to report it. This will create a police report of the accident, which is evidence your car insurance company may require when you file your claim. In addition, see a doctor as soon as possible for your injuries—even if they don’t seem extreme. A record of your treatment will help demonstrate your damages.
If the accident isn’t too severe, it may cover your costs. However, more serious accidents can easily exceed the coverage amounts. Plus, even your own insurance company may look for ways to pay out less than you deserve. Either way, the at-fault uninsured driver will be responsible for what’s left over.
What if the Uninsured Driver Doesn’t Have Enough Money to Pay For My Damages?
If the driver doesn’t have insurance or their insurance doesn’t cover enough of your damages—and your UM/UIM coverage doesn’t cover them all either—the driver will be responsible for costs if they were at fault for the accident.
To seek that money, you may take the driver to small claims court. However, it’s common that uninsured/underinsured drivers won’t have the required money available out of pocket. (It’s often one of the reasons they didn’t pay for auto insurance coverage in the first place.) So, you’ll want to consult a good personal injury lawyer who can determine whether you have a chance of winning the case. If not, it might not be worth pressing charges.
If the driver doesn’t have the money for all of your damages, there may be other ways you can pursue payment from them, such as personal assets or property. You’ll need an uninsured motorist accident lawyer on your side in this situation, as they will know the best course of action. Just don’t give up on getting the money you need for your damages until you’ve consulted a legal professional who has experience with uninsured or underinsured motorist claims.
Talk to a Cartersville Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer for Free
The aftermath of an accident with an uninsured motorist can feel helpless, but don’t give up hope until you’ve worked with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer who knows how to consider all the options. Under Georgia law, you are entitled to financial recovery for all of your damages if the other driver was at fault. Let us give you a FREE consultation to go over your options and talk about how we can help you. Call 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to your right today to speak with one of our attorneys and get your free consultation.