Accidents With Uninsured Drivers in Marietta, GA
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Motor vehicle accidents are never easy. But a collision with an uninsured driver is significantly more complicated.
If you or a loved one were hurt by an uninsured or underinsured in Marietta, let us help you hold the liable party accountable and recover the compensation you deserve.
Call The Champion Firm at 404-596-8044 for a free consultation.
Why Work With The Champion Firm?
Our experienced and aggressive representation in cases against uninsured and underinsured motorists can make the difference in securing everything you need.
The Champion Firm Difference:
- $70,000,000+ in personal injury settlements and verdicts.
- We never pressure you to settle. We’re prepared to bring your case to court.
- The Champion Firm provides prompt updates and is always available to answer questions
Accidents with Uninsured Drivers
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 12.4% of drivers in Georgia are uninsured.
Even though all drivers must carry liability insurance coverage, many ignore this requirement and drive without insurance. Therefore, car accidents involving uninsured drivers can be complex for injury victims.
Without insurance, you may have serious concerns about recovering the compensation that is rightfully yours.
Georgia Insurance Laws
Under Georgia law, drivers must carry specific auto insurance coverage before driving. The minimum amounts required include:
- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Although drivers in Georgia are only required to carry liability insurance coverage, other types of coverage can provide you with additional protection. Uninsured motorist coverage can protect you if you are in an accident with another driver who has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover all of your damages.
There are two types of uninsured motorist coverage: difference-in-limits and excess. Difference-in-limits coverages means that your available uninsured motorist coverage is the difference between the liability limits and your uninsured motorist limits. For example, if the at-fault driver has $25,000 in liability coverage, but you have $100,000 in difference-limits uninsured motorist coverage, you would have $75,000 in available uninsured motorist coverage.
The other type of coverage is excess coverage, meaning it applies to the liability limits. In this example, an excess policy would provide $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage, in addition to the $25,000 in liability coverage from the at-fault driver.
The default rule is that uninsured motorist coverage is available on your policy, that the limits are equal to your liability limits and excess coverage. For example, if you purchased $100,000 in insurance liability coverage, your uninsured motorist coverage is presumed to be $100,000 that is excess coverage. However, you can either opt-out of purchasing uninsured motorist coverage entirely, you can purchase uninsured motorist coverage that is lower than your liability limits, or you can select difference in limits coverage.
Who’s Covered By Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Georgia’s uninsured coverage law lays out two classifications of people covered by a UIM insurance policy.
The first class of people covered are those named in the policy, their spouses, and relatives that reside in the same household.
The other classification protects those in that car with the policyholder’s permission and any passengers.
Additional Coverage Scenarios
It’s important to point out that UIM coverage does not solely apply to situations where the insured is in a vehicle at the time of an accident. For example, if you are a pedestrian, a cyclist, or even sitting in your own home and are struck by an uninsured or underinsured driver, your UM coverage should apply.
What to Expect From Your Insurance Claim
You may think that filing a claim with your own insurance company is straightforward. After all, you are their customer. We get this common question from clients: if it is my own insurance company, why do I even need a lawyer? The truth is that any insurance company—whether it is your own insurer or the at-fault driver’s insurer—will want to pay you as little as possible.
In fact, in our experience, we have found that it is frequently more difficult for our clients to secure compensation from their own insurers. This is partly due to the way Georgia’s insurance bad faith laws are set up. Other procedures must be followed when dealing with an uninsured motorist claim that makes it different from a pure liability insurance claim. The failure to follow the proper procedures could result in you losing out on the ability to pursue your case.
As a result, you need to have an aggressive lawyer dedicated to your interests to go up against the insurance company.
Proving An Uninsured Driver Was At-Fault
If you hope for your claim to succeed after being hit by an uninsured driver, you must show that the four elements of negligence have been met. These include:
- Duty of care
- Breach of care
You need to establish that the uninsured driver, or another liable party, owed you a duty of care. Show that they breached that obligation and that their actions directly or indirectly caused you to suffer.
Uninsured drivers may also be irresponsible or reckless drivers. Some of the common car accidents involving uninsured drivers include:
- Following too closely
- Road rage
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Failure to yield
- Failure to stop
- Making illegal turns
It may be hard to imagine, but uninsured drivers may not always be the cause of your accident. You may be involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver in Marietta, GA, that was caused by:
- Hazardous roads
- A malfunctioning car part
- Inclement weather
Recovering Compensation From Uninsured Motorists
There are multiple ways to recover the maximum compensation for injuries and damages in a car accident. If another driver has no insurance or is unknown (like a hit and run driver), you may have to start by dealing with your own insurance company in an uninsured motorist claim. But if the other driver does have insurance, but it is not enough to cover all your damages, you may not be adequately compensated and may need to look to your own insurer for coverage.
When another driver has insurance, the insurance company is only required to pay up to the coverage limits. This means that if the other driver only has $25,000 in liability coverage, but your total damages are $100,000, then there is no liability insurance for $75,000 of your damages. If uninsured motorist coverage is available, you can look to that coverage to cover the uninsured damages.
While what you can realistically expect in this situation can vary based on the driver’s other assets, you can seek recovery for all your:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of household services
- Medical expenses and equipment
Marietta, GA Uninsured Driver FAQ
We understand how many unanswered questions you may have about filing a claim or lawsuit against an uninsured driver. If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to contact The Champion Firm to discuss your concerns.
What is Insurance Stacking?
In Georgia, stacking refers to adding up multiple uninsured motorist policies. There may be multiple uninsured motorist policies available to you. For example, some insurers, such as State Farm, issue a separate auto insurance policy for each vehicle in the home. In addition, you may be entitled to coverage under other uninsured motorist policies besides your own. You may have coverage through a relative who resides with you or a policy covering a vehicle you are riding in as a passenger.
What if My Insurer Claims I Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Suppose an insurance company claims that you do not have uninsured motorist coverage or that your uninsured motorist coverage is less than your liability limits. In that case, we will need to require proof from the insurance company that you selected or rejected the uninsured motorist coverage that they offered.
If the insurance company does not have this proof, your uninsured motorist coverage should mirror your liability coverage.
Can I Sue the At-Fault Driver If There’s No Insurance?
If the person at fault does not have auto insurance, that does not mean that they cannot be held accountable. While your options to get a sufficient judgment in a lawsuit against an uninsured driver depends on the situation, it may be better to pursue a claim with your insurance company if you opted into uninsured motorist coverage.
What Insurance Add-ons Can Help After a Car Accident?
If you want to protect yourself from uninsured drivers in Marietta, GA, some additions you might want to consider include:
- Gap insurance
- Rental car coverage
Should You Talk To The Insurance Company?
It is never a good idea to speak with the insurance company (even your own) until you have a legal professional representing you. The insurance company will likely try to reduce your settlement or deny your claim altogether.
They may do this by manipulating any statement you give them to make it appear that you are at fault or not seriously injured. You can protect yourself and your injury settlement by having your attorney speak with the insurance company on your behalf.
It is important to note, though, that you generally do have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurer. While you can refuse to speak to the other driver’s insurer, you generally have to talk to your own insurer and give them a statement. But you should only do this after speaking with an experienced attorney and having representation.
Speak to a Lawyer About Your Uninsured Accident Claim
Accidents with uninsured drivers in Marietta, GA, can be incredibly complex. But you have the right to recover compensation for the injuries you suffered at no fault of your own. Get help from a dedicated lawyer with The Champion Firm.