If you get into an accident with a truck driver, it’s reasonable to assume that they are covered by sufficient auto insurance to cover your damages. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. An uninsured or underinsured driver can leave you in a tough position, but it doesn’t mean you have no options. Here’s what happens if the at-fault party in your truck accident doesn’t have insurance.
The best thing you can do after a truck accident is to call an experienced personal injury lawyer. They can look at the specific details of your case and make suggestions based on your options. To schedule a FREE consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today.
When a Truck Driver Might Not Have Adequate Auto Insurance
Although it’s less common for a commercial truck driver to not have insurance compared to other drivers, it can still happen.
When a truck driver is found to be uninsured or underinsured, it’s typically because of reasons like:
- The driver is working as an independent contractor.
- The driver might be working for a company that doesn’t satisfy the government requirements for commercial vehicles.
- The trucking company is only carrying the minimum insurance coverage, and your damages exceed that coverage.
Truck Insurance Requirements in Georgia
The amount of auto insurance commercial trucks must have varies per state. In Georgia, trucks must usually have $750,000 or more in liability coverage. Intrastate trucking also requires liability coverage of $100,000 or more per person and $300,000 per accident.
While most companies will be smart enough to carry the required insurance coverages, those who perform more local transportation may not be as responsible with maintaining the right amount of insurance.
It can be a horrible feeling to get injured in a truck accident—which often leads to very serious medical expenses and other damages—then realize that the driver is not covered by sufficient auto insurance. Don’t assume you have no options, though. Contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to figure out what you can do.
Your Options if the At-fault Party Has No Truck Insurance
Your options in an uninsured or underinsured truck accident will depend on the liability laws in your state. If you live in a no-fault state, you would file a claim with your own auto insurance company for your damage, regardless of who was at fault.
In Georgia and all other “at-fault states,” the at-fault party in an injury accident is responsible for all damages. When an auto accident happens, the at-fault driver’s insurance company covers the costs. However, most drivers also have uninsured motorist coverage.
Using Uninsured Motorist Coverage
When you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, you can file a claim with your own insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage. Although this coverage is optional, you must opt-out by unchecking a box when you purchase insurance coverage. So, most drivers have uninsured motorist coverage without even knowing it.
Most policies in Georgia limit uninsured motorist coverage to:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
Since truck accidents can be very serious, this may not come close to covering all of your damages. However, it can help to lessen the burden as you seek further action. Filing a claim for uninsured motorist coverage should not affect your insurance rates, and it doesn’t prevent you from also bringing a claim against the at-fault driver.
Bringing a Claim Against the At-fault Party
Unfortunately, when the at-fault party in an auto accident is uninsured or does not have enough insurance, recovering the money you deserve is not easy. As soon as you find out the at-fault party is not insured, you should contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in your area. They can begin investigating immediately so you’ll know all of your options.
If the at-fault party is underinsured, you may still be able to seek compensation from their insurance company. Although their coverage will probably not be enough to cover all of your damages, you may be able to recover some to help.
You can also try suing the at-fault party for the compensation you deserve. The problem here is that often when a driver or company does not have the minimum insurance coverage, it’s because they don’t have a lot of assets, to begin with. That being said, you might be able to seek compensation from them through other means that you can discuss with your lawyer.
Filing a Claim with Another At-Fault Party
Sometimes, there is more than one at-fault party in a truck accident. If one party has insurance coverage, you can file a claim with their insurance company for a portion of your damages. In Georgia, the percentage of a party’s liability for damages will depend on their percentage of fault (Georgia Code § 51-12-33).
Don’t Give Up if the At-fault Party Has No Truck Insurance
Although it can feel really hopeless after you find out the at-fault party in your truck accident doesn’t have insurance, don’t assume there are no options. You may have more resources available to you than you think.
You’ll want to contact a trusted truck accident lawyer as soon as you can so they can help you explore all avenues. The bottom line is that you should not have to pay for the costs of an accident that you didn’t cause, especially if the accident was very serious (as truck accidents often are).
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer in Georgia for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we are committed to getting you the compensation you deserve. For over 20 years, we have been helping injury victims win the money they need to cover their costs and move on from their accidents. Let us give you a FREE consultation to discuss the details of your accident and how we can help.
To get started with your FREE consultation and case evaluation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.