Have You Been Injured by an Uninsured Driver?
Car insurance covers an injury victim’s medical costs after a traffic crash, but if a motorist who doesn’t have auto insurance injures you, what can you do? If a negligent driver with no insurance injures you, you may need to be advised and represented by a Dalton traffic accident lawyer.
Georgia is an at-fault state for car insurance, so when an accident happens, the at-fault driver has liability for the other driver’s losses and damages. The victims injured in the accident recover their compensation by bringing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Under the at-fault system, before a negligent driver’s car insurance company will compensate you for your medical expenses, you have to prove which driver was responsible for the accident, and that’s when you may need the services and advice of an accident attorney.
What Auto Insurance is Required in Georgia?
In the State of Georgia, every driver is required by law to carry car insurance, but the Insurance Information Institute reports that nearly twelve percent of the drivers in this state – about one in eight – are uninsured and don’t have the legally required minimum insurance coverage, which is:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury coverage
- $50,000 total per collision for bodily injury coverage
- $25,000 per collision for property damage coverage
Georgia law doesn’t require drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage, but without it, you could be out of luck if you’re injured in a collision that’s not your fault. You might have to pay your own medical expenses out of pocket.
Should You Purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Brain and spinal cord injuries, injuries that require amputation, and other severe injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital bills, nursing, long-term rehabilitation, and lost wages. For some families, accidents caused by uninsured drivers lead to financial hardship.
You can avoid these situations by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage. Georgia law requires all automobile insurance companies in this state to offer their policyholders the same amount of uninsured motorist coverage that policyholders have for liability coverage.
Although it’s not required, you should add uninsured motorist coverage to your policy. It may keep you from having to pay your own medical bills after an accident with an uninsured driver.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Provide?
Depending on your policy’s details, your uninsured motorist coverage may include:
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: This coverage pays your medical bills for the injuries you suffer in an accident with an uninsured driver. Some policies extend the coverage to any passengers you transport who are injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
- Uninsured motorist property damage: This is coverage to pay for damage to your vehicle if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver.
Uninsured motorist coverage also protects you if you’re not in a car and you’re injured by an uninsured motorist while you’re walking or bicycling.
What About Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Like uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage is not required in Georgia, but purchasing it is a smart idea.
You may only file an underinsured motorist claim after an accident if you have completely exhausted an underinsured driver’s auto insurance and your medical bills have exceeded that driver’s policy limits.
If you add underinsured motorist coverage to your policy, it is sometimes bundled together with uninsured motorist coverage. Talk to your car insurance agent to find out more and to get the best rates for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
What Should You Do After An Accident?
If you’re involved in a traffic accident, there won’t be a Dalton traffic accident lawyer there to advise you, so you must take steps to protect yourself legally. The first priority after a traffic accident is summoning medical and police assistance.
The next step is exchanging insurance and personal contact information. Get as many details as you can from the other motorist, and call that motorist’s insurance company as quickly as possible to verify that you’ve been told the truth.
Where Do You File Your Claim After an Auto Accident?
If the driver who injures you is insured, you may bring a claim against that driver’s insurance policy to compensate you for your pending and future medical costs, your current and projected future lost wages, your personal pain and suffering, and your related losses and damages.
If the driver who injures you is not insured, you’ll have to submit a claim to your own car insurance company, provided that you’ve purchased uninsured motorist coverage.
If your injury claim is denied – by the other driver’s insurance company, or in the case of an uninsured driver, your own insurance company – you must contact a Dalton traffic accident attorney as quickly as possible to help you obtain the compensation you need.
What Else Should You Know About Traffic Accidents in Georgia?
Georgia’s deadline or “statute of limitations” for bringing a personal injury claim arising from a traffic crash is two years from the date of the collision. Exceptions are quite limited, and practically speaking, if you’re injured in a crash, you can’t wait two years to speak with a lawyer.
Over a period of time, evidence can disappear or be altered, lost, or contaminated, and the memories of the witnesses will fade. Your personal injury lawyer will need to scrutinize the evidence and question the witnesses as soon as possible after the accident.
Most injury claims based on traffic accidents are resolved out-of-court with no need for a trial. But if liability for the accident is in dispute, or if no reasonable settlement is offered in the private negotiations, your accident attorney will take your injury claim to court, explain to a jury how your injury happened, and ask the jury to order payment of the compensation you need.
Cowan Law Firm Fights for Traffic Accident Injury Victims
A Georgia personal injury attorney at Cowan Law Firm will fight to recover every dollar of compensation that you are entitled to by law. The Cowan Law Firm has over three decades of experience advocating for the injured victims of negligence in and near the Dalton area.
If you’re injured by a negligent or reckless driver, now or in the future, call the offices of Cowan Law Firm at once for a no-obligation, no-cost case evaluation. You’ll receive personalized legal advice and learn how the law applies to your own situation. You will owe no lawyer’s fee to Cowan Law Firm unless and until our legal team recovers your compensation.
If you are injured anywhere in North Georgia due to another driver’s recklessness or negligence – whether or not that driver was insured – after you’ve been treated for your injury or injuries, call Cowan Law Firm at 706-420-2949, and let us fight for your compensation and your rights.