Every driver is required to have insurance in the state of Georgia. But, not having insurance doesn’t stop some drivers from being on the roads in Grayson. When those drivers cause accidents, collecting damages to account for your injuries and property damage can be challenging. Thankfully, many people carry their own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as part of their private insurance. But, just because it is supposed to cover you doesn’t mean it will. When disputes arise with your own insurance company, it may be time to call in an uninsured motorist lawyer in Grayson.
When an insurance company refuses to give you the benefits that you purchased for a questionable reason, the attorneys at John Foy & Associates can help. Your insurance coverage can mean the difference between being able to get the medical treatment you need and being unable to afford it—we know how important that is to you and your family. Our team can help. We never represent insurance companies because we want to help victims like you get back on their feet after an accident with an uninsured driver. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How do I know if I have uninsured motorist coverage?
Not everyone will have uninsured/underinsured (UIM) coverage. You must have purchased this optional coverage for it to apply. But, insurance companies are required to offer this type of coverage, so you may have it and not even realize it. Unfortunately, however, “full coverage” generally does not include uninsured motorist coverage.
Reviewing your auto insurance policy is a good place to start to determine if you have uninsured motorist coverage. But, those documents can be challenging to read and understand, and your insurance adjuster may not always have your interests as their top priority if you ask for an explanation. You may want to talk to an attorney about your coverage and what benefits you should be receiving after an accident in the City of Grayson.
Keep in mind that you must inform your insurance company as soon as possible about the accident. If you procrastinate, you run the risk of being denied coverage.
How does uninsured motorist coverage work?
The short answer is: it depends. Two types of uninsured motorist coverage are available in Georgia. Your insurance policy sets out what kind of coverage you have, but it generally will not explain how it works. You can use this quick overview to get a feel for each type of uninsured motorist coverage.
- Stackable Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage. This type of coverage “stacks” on top of any insurance that the other driver may have. It works well for situations where the other driver has some coverage, but not enough to address all of your damages. For example, if the other driver has $25,000 in coverage, then your $25,000 of UIM coverage will give you a total of $50,000 in insurance benefits. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance at all, then it works the same way as non-stackable coverage.
- Non-Stacking Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage. Under this type of coverage, you can only receive benefits up to the total amount of your insurance coverage; there is no stacking. Imagine the same scenario as above—you have $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage and the other driver has $25,000 in coverage. Under a non-stacking policy, you will get the $25,000 from the other driver, but you’ll get nothing else after that. This is because your total uninsured benefit won’t cover anything past $25,000. On the other hand, if you had $35,000 in uninsured coverage, then you could get the $10,000 from your own insurance policy, because the other driver’s $25,000 would leave you $10,000 short. Basically, the total amount that you can receive will never be more than your coverage amount.
Having stackable insurance coverage is helpful when the other driver has some insurance, but not enough for your damages. But, if the other driver has no coverage at all, then either policy will provide the same amount of benefits.
Can I still sue the other driver if they don’t have insurance?
You can always sue the other driver who caused your accident. In fact, you do this even if the other driver DOES have insurance. The difference is about who will actually pay for your damages. Under a normal situation, the other driver’s insurance company provides a defense to the other driver. They will also pay the damages from your accident if they determine that the other driver is at fault, too. But, when the other driver doesn’t have insurance, they are on their own. They have to come up with their own defense, and they have to make a payment to you by themselves.
However, in most cases a person who doesn’t have insurance cannot afford to pay for your injuries and damages, either. And they often can’t afford a lawyer. So it’s far more likely that the other driver will just decline to defend themselves against your lawsuit. That means that you can get a judgment against them and try to collect on it.
Collection can be challenging, but it is certainly not impossible. You may be able to garnish their wages or bank account or even take certain assets and sell them pay for your damages. You can end up getting the money you deserve—it’s just a lot easier and faster to have an insurance company pay for your damages instead.
Even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, your insurance company may want to sue them in court on your behalf. Then, your insurance company will use the money that they collect to “repay” themselves for the coverage they provided to you. If they get more money than what they paid to you, then that might come back to you as well. These situations are rare, but they do happen occasionally.
Talk to a Grayson Uninsured Motorist Lawyer
Your uninsured motorist coverage should help you pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages. If your insurance company is giving you a hard time about getting benefits, you may need to make the call to get help. Our team is ready, willing, and able to fight on your behalf. 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.