Every driver in Fayetteville, Georgia is supposed to carry auto insurance with minimum amounts of coverage. But, not everyone on the road follows the law. The hefty fines and other penalties sometimes don’t deter drivers from paying for this required coverage. When individuals don’t have insurance, it can have an array of negative consequences for both the driver and anyone that the driver hits. Thankfully, you still have options to recover money for your damages and injuries. You need to speak with a Fayetteville uninsured motorist accident lawyer to learn more about your options.
John Foy & Associates understands just how unfair it is to be involved in an accident with someone who doesn’t care enough about the other drivers on the road to even carry the required insurance. We want to help. You still have other options when the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance, and we can help you explore those options. Our team has over 20 years of experience helping victims get money damages after an accident, and we can help you, too. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What is an uninsured motorist accident?
Georgia law requires that you carry certain levels of insurance coverage. Specifically, every driver should have the following liability coverages:
- Bodily injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage: $25,000 per accident
This coverage applies when a driver causes or contributes to an accident that leads to property damage and physical injuries for someone else. The injured person can use that insurance money to apply to virtually any damage that they suffered because of the accident.
An uninsured motorist accident occurs when an at-fault driver simply doesn’t have the insurance coverage that they are required to have. When they don’t have insurance, that means that they often must pay the damages caused by their actions out of pocket. Unfortunately, many people just don’t have the money to pay for the extensive medical bills, property damage, and other losses that many people experience after a car accident.
What are my options after being hit by an uninsured driver?
If the other driver was at fault, you have the option of starting a lawsuit against the other person directly. But, because there is no insurance company involved, the other driver will have to hire their own attorney to defend them. And many people don’t have the funds to do that. Instead, they might try to defend the lawsuit themselves or not defend it at all. Getting a judgment is sometimes easier in those situations. But, you are limited in what you can do with that judgment.
In a normal case, the insurance company would simply pay the money that you won at trial. When someone doesn’t have insurance, you might need to get more creative about collecting the money you are owed. Once you have a judgment, you might be able to use the following tactics to get funds:
- Work out a payment plan with the at-fault driver
- Garnish their wages
- Garnish their bank account
- Seize property, including vehicles and personal property
- Put a lien on their real estate
While you certainly have other options to get paid, they are often much more time consuming than getting a check from the insurance company. In some cases, the at-fault driver may not own anything or even have a job, making collecting virtually impossible. Your attorney will be able to help you decide which options will give you the most return for the effort.
In some cases, you might also have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your own insurance. Getting money that way may be faster and easier in many circumstances.
How does uninsured motorist coverage work?
Uninsured motorist coverage applies when you are involved in a car accident where the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. Instead of looking to their insurance to pay you for your losses as you usually would, you use your own insurance coverage to pay you for your claim.
Uninsured motorist coverage is a separate type of insurance that you must have before the incident occurs. Some people may have coverage and don’t realize it because you must decline coverage in writing in Georgia.
This type of insurance is also usually accompanied by underinsured motorist coverage. This insurance applies when the other driver has insurance but doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for all of your losses after an accident. Underinsured insurance picks up the difference between the other driver’s insurance and your total amount of coverage.
How do I make a claim for uninsured motorist coverage?
You will usually know pretty quickly if the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. They will often tell you right after the accident when you ask for their insurance information. If they don’t volunteer that information to you, then they may share it with a police officer who investigates your accident.
As soon as you realize the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you should make a claim with your own insurance company. Every insurance company has a notice period that you must use. If you don’t make a claim within this period, then you might be able to use your coverage. You can check your policy for more information on limitations.
In some cases, your own insurance company may deny your claim for various reasons. Unfortunately, even your own insurance company may not want to pay for your claim, so they can save money. In those situations, having an attorney examine your policy and communicate with the insurance company may be a good idea. John Foy & Associates can help you deal with your insurance company or an at-fault driver in these cases as well.
Talk to a Fayetteville Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer for Free
Don’t give up just because the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance! Explore your other options with a member of our team. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.