Most of us follow the law and carry insurance on every car we own. Unfortunately, not everyone is so law-abiding. In Georgia, it’s estimated about 12% of drivers are uninsured.
Many others carry the bare minimum insurance required by law—often not enough to pay for the damages and injuries in an accident. But that doesn’t mean they can get away without paying. If you have been in an accident in Columbus and believe the other driver is uninsured, or under-insured, you have legal options.
At John Foy & Associates we’re here to help. We are one of the most respected uninsured motorist accident law firms in the state of Georgia, with over twenty years’ experience helping accident victims.
We believe in helping drivers like you get back on your feet, make the best possible recovery from your injury, and get your costs paid for by the responsible party—whether they have insurance or not. When you call us, we’ll sit down with you for a free consultation and help you understand your legal options.
Call us at 706-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
I Was Injured in a Car Accident in Columbus and the Driver Had No Insurance. What Should I Do?
No matter how your car accident happened, the first thing you should do is be your own best advocate. You can do this by taking steps from the beginning that help protect your rights, including:
- Call the police. Pursuing an accident claim is much harder if you do not have a police report. Don’t let the other driver convince you that “we can handle this ourselves.” Call the police and wait for them to arrive on the scene.
- Exchange info. Even if the other driver does not have insurance, exchange information with them. Take down their name and contact number and ask to see a driver’s license if possible. Otherwise, write down their license plate number.
- Stay calm. In many cases the other driver will raise their voice, blame you, or even break down in tears. Do your best to stay calm. Do not argue with them over who’s at fault.
- Get witnesses. If anyone saw the accident happen, talk to them and get their names and contact info.
- Take as many photos as possible. Having visual evidence of what happened at the scene makes it much easier to reconstruct your case later.
- See a doctor immediately. Many car accident victims make the mistake of trying to shrug off their injuries. You deserve medical attention. If you have any pain or injury, no matter how minor, see a doctor about it immediately.
Most importantly, do not make any recorded statement to an insurance company—including your own insurance company—until you have spoken to a lawyer. It’s perfectly fine to tell the insurance company you intend to speak to an attorney before you discuss what happened. Remember, insurance companies have an interest in paying you the least amount possible and they will look for any way to use your words against you.
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What Happens If the Other Driver Has No Insurance or Not Enough Insurance?
In Georgia, all drivers are required to carry auto insurance. This includes:
- Minimum $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- Minimum $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- Minimum $25,000 property damage liability
While these numbers sound ample, the reality is they do not cover the full extent of injuries or damage in many auto accidents. For example, if you require a surgery that costs you $50,000, the other driver’s insurance will only pay the first $25,000. The other $25,000 is not covered. The same is true of any other costs that go over the per-accident or per-person limits.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay the costs yourself. The driver who caused the accident is still responsible, even if they do not have insurance or their insurance is insufficient. The law says that they need to pay you the money owed either out of their pocket or out of assets they own.
Most uninsured drivers don’t have much money—that’s the reason they aren’t insured in the first place. But it may still be possible to get a financial recovery. To do so, you need legal representation.
The Insurance Company Says Their Client Is Only Insured for a Limited Amount. Should I Take the Settlement?
No, you should never take an insurance settlement for any car accident until you speak to a lawyer. Insurance companies have an army of attorneys helping them find ways to pay you less. If you take the amount they offer, you may be missing out on money you are justly owed—and once you sign their paperwork, you close the door on that money forever.
Your lawyer may be able to help you in several ways:
- There may be other insurance policies you can recover money from
- The full extent of your injuries may not be clear right away, and you may need more care than you originally believed
- Assembling stronger evidence from doctors or crash investigators may convince the insurance company that they owe more
What If the Driver Who Hit Me Is in Jail?
You can still recover money from a driver who is in jail. Often, uninsured drivers may not have a valid license, may not be legal residents, or may even have been driving under the influence. You can still file a personal injury claim and seek the full amount you need. In fact, the law establishes additional damages that an illegal driver may have to pay.
What Sorts of Damages Can I Recover in Columbus?
In the city of Columbus, the law allows you to get a full reimbursement for virtually any cost associated with your accident:
- Medical bills, doctor appointments and scans/tests
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy
- Car repairs
- Lost wages due to time missed at work
- Cash payments to offset any long-term or permanent injury
What If I Already Have Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist Coverage on My Own Insurance?
We suggest you still speak to a car accident attorney even if you believe your insurance will cover the damages caused by an uninsured motorist. This is for several reasons:
- There is a limit to how much your uninsured/under-insured motorist policy will cover
- Insurance companies will seek to pay you less than you deserve, no matter what kind of policy you have
When you call us, we will help you look over your policy and make sure you get the best settlement you can possibly receive. If it doesn’t cover all of your costs, we will help you understand your options. Never take an insurance settlement until you speak to a good lawyer.
Talk to a Columbus Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates, we believe in helping the victim. That’s why we charge nothing for your consultation, nothing out of pocket, and nothing ever unless we win you money. Find out how we can help your case.
Call us at 706-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.