It’s a normal day until suddenly, someone drives straight into you. Or maybe it was a more subtle bump from behind that now has you without a rear bumper and with a ton of shoulder pain. These issues are things that happen every day. It might feel like there’s not much that you can do, but surprisingly, there are options. But what happens with an uninsured motorist? Unfortunately, car accident attorneys in Atlanta see this all the time.
At the Scene
At the scene of the crash, you need to be sure that there’s little opportunity for them to leave. Contact the police as soon as you realize that the person doesn’t have insurance but attempt to downplay it. You really don’t want this person to take off before you have the chance to get some basic information from them.
However, you don’t want to make statements that could cause you problems later. Even saying things such as, “It’s fine, don’t worry about it,” could give someone the impression that they don’t owe you anything. You’ll also want to avoid making comments about what they should or should not have, regarding insurance.
GA Insurance Requirements
Georgia is an at-fault state, and it requires that it’s drivers carry minimum insurance. That minimum is $25,000 for bodily injury to one person and $50,000 for two people. Then there’s an additional minimum of $25,000 for property damage. These minimums help victims recover from a crash that they didn’t cause. They provide a clear safety net for most medical procedures and car repairs that are necessary because of the at-fault driver.
Uninsured Motorist Claims Process
Many people brush off uninsured motorist coverage, or UIM because they assume that everyone has met the minimum insurance requirements. Unfortunately, the national average for uninsured motorists is 13%. Meaning that it’s likely you’ll eventually be in a crash with a driver who has no insurance.
If you have UIM coverage, then you’ll begin the claims process as normal. You will need to provide information about the other car, such as the make, model, and driver’s ID number. However, if the crash was a hit and run, you’ll need to show the consistency in your claim with a police report.
With uninsured motorists, the police must become involved. That person will receive a citation for failing to meet GA state minimum insurance requirements. But they’ll also need to prove that they’ve obtained insurance shortly after if an uninsured motorist hits a person and doesn’t obtain insurance after it could put their license in jeopardy.
Then as your claim goes through, it will be very standard. You will need to give statements, have an appraiser review your car for damages, and submit medical records to confirm the extent of your injuries. During UIM claims, it’s particularly important to involve an attorney. Too often, car insurance companies will work hard to make the victim feel as if they’re lucky to receive anything at all.
Opening a Lawsuit Against the Uninsured Motorist
Another option is to open a civil case against the individual that was at fault. In Georgia, these tort cases are fairly standard, although there isn’t any guarantee that you’ll actually get anything. Many people who don’t have insurance feel that they can’t afford it and often don’t have assets to rely on for paying a court’s award.
So, if you do take your case towards a lawsuit, you may spend years collecting on the amount awarded to you. It’s not impossible, but it’s not the first choice for people involved in a crash that needs help to recover financially, quickly.
For those who relied on their UIM, they may also seek out a case against the uninsured motorist for the difference, which means that if your UIM only covered $25,000 of the $35,000 in damages, you can pursue the remaining $10,000. Again, there’s no guarantee, but for many people, the attempt is worth it. It helps them process the event, and likely they’ll receive their money after years of collections.
Contact an Atlanta, GA Car Accident Lawyer
After a crash, there are a lot of questions, but when someone drivers off or don’t have insurance, it’s so much worse. The Weinstein Firm can make it easy to understand what to expect and how to fight. In some cases, it might seem like you don’t have many options. Working with a car crash attorney in Atlanta can change how you view your claim.
Contact The Weinstein Firm to start discussing your options for getting compensation when you need it. Setup a consultation right away before there’s the chance for the insurance company to decide anything.