Every driver on the road in Georgia is required to have insurance. While most citizens abide by the state law and have auto insurance coverage, not everyone does. Across the state, around 12% of drivers in Georgia are uninsured, an average of about one in every eight cars on the road. Perhaps, more importantly, many more drivers in Alpharetta are underinsured, meaning that while they have insurance, their coverage is not robust enough to cover the costs of a car accident. If you are involved in a car accident with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured, their lack of insurance does not have any bearing on your legal rights, and you should speak to an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Alpharetta as soon as possible.
Here at The Weinstein Firm, we are ready to help you. Our experienced uninsured motorist accident lawyers are among the most knowledgeable in the Alpharetta area, and we are dedicated to the philosophy that everyone deserves strong and competent legal representation. Our mission is to become an ally and advocate for our clients, exploring every legal avenue available to us in order to help you get the compensation to which you are entitled, regardless of whether or not the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured. Our uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Alpharetta, Georgia are ready to help you.
If you have been in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, schedule a no-obligation consultation with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Alpharetta today.
What Should I Do If I Am in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist in Georgia?
The most important thing that you can do at the scene of any car accident is to be your own advocate. Assuming that you do not need emergency medical attention (and you should still be seen by a doctor as soon as possible), you should begin by taking steps to protect yourself and gather the information that you and your car accident lawyer can use to recover just compensation.
Contact Emergency Services
Sometimes, the other driver may wish to work it out between yourselves – especially if the other driver is uninsured. However, getting a police report for your car accident gives you a much stronger claim. If the accident is anything more than a trivial scrape or ding, call the police immediately.
Get Contact Information From the Other Driver
While at the scene, exchange contact information with the other driver. Exchange driver’s licenses so that you’re sure you get a real name. Offer insurance information, and exchange license plate numbers. Make sure to note the make, model, etc. of the car.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, they may lose their cool at the scene. They may attempt to blame you. Remain calm, never admit fault, never apologize, and never try to justify any part of the accident. Wait for the police to arrive.
Talk to any Witnesses at the Scene
If anyone else at the scene saw what happened, try to get contact information from them. Their perspective could be very valuable to you.
Photograph the Scene
Now that nearly everyone has a cell phone with a camera inside, it is easy to take photos of the accident scene before the police arrive. Make sure to get close up shots of the damage, injuries, the vehicles, any details like skid marks or property damage, and a general overview of the accident scene.
See a Doctor
We alluded to this earlier, but even if you don’t feel you are in need of emergency medical care, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Minor injuries could have major injuries lurking underneath, and if you need to be compensated for any injuries, the sooner you see a doctor, the better.
Finally, you should always seek out an uninsured motorist accident lawyer before too long. You are entitled to compensation to cover the full cost of your damages and any injuries, but you will need to have uninsured motorist accident attorneys working for you from the beginning – especially when the other driver lacks insurance.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover from an Uninsured Motorist Accident in Alpharetta, GA?
Regardless of whether the other driver has insurance or not, you are entitled to the same amount of financial recovery. If the other driver is at fault for the accident, you are entitled to recover the full cost of:
- Hospital visits and other medical bills
- Prescription medication costs
- Physical therapy and rehab
- Disabilities and reduced earning capacity
- Vehicle repairs
- Lost wages
How Will I Get Compensation If the Other Driver is Uninsured?
In most car accident cases, the insurance company handles paying out a settlement to compensate the victims for any damages and injuries. However, if the other driver does not have insurance or if their insurance is not sufficient, how will you get paid?
Here at The Weinstein Firm, we always encourage our clients to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance on your own policy. If you do, your own insurance coverage will pay for your damages and injuries when the other party cannot pay. If you have already been in an accident, it may be too late to add this coverage to your insurance policy. In this case, you will need to work with your uninsured motorist accident lawyer to recover your costs. There are several avenues that you and your uninsured motorist accident attorney can use to facilitate this process.
First of all, the other driver may not have auto insurance, but they may have other insurance policies that could cover a portion of the cost. If the accident involves more than two parties, one of the other parties may have insurance. Your own insurance company may cover a portion of the cost for you. Finally, the other driver may be ordered by the court to pay your costs out of their own pocket, and if they cannot afford to pay, they may be asked to sell some assets, face a wage garnishment, or other condition. The details of your accident and the driver’s situation will determine that course that your uninsured motorist accident attorney in Alpharetta, GA recommends.
We get it. No one wants to pursue legal action against another individual driver. However, can you really afford to take on tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt due to someone else’s irresponsibility? As uninsured motorist accident lawyers in Alpharetta, we say “probably not.” Our uninsured motorist accident attorneys will help you recover the money you need, and deserve.
What If the Insurance Company Offers a Small Settlement Because Their Client is Underinsured?
Sometimes, in early negotiations with an insurance company following an accident, the insurance company will claim the other driver is only insured for a small amount of money. As a result, the settlement they offer is similarly small – clearly not enough to cover your costs. If this is the limit of the driver’s coverage, should you take the offer?
No! Never agree to any insurance settlement offer without talking to your uninsured motorist accident lawyer first. This is true for any settlement offer, and doubly true if the settlement clearly doesn’t cover your costs. The first settlement an insurance company offers you is almost always a low-ball offer that will not be the full, fair and just settlement to which you are entitled. If you accept any settlement, however small or large, you will sign away your right to seek any further compensation. As uninsured motorist accident lawyers, we can tell you that it’s just not worth it.
When you work with an uninsured motorist accident attorney in Alpharetta, we will examine every part of the case, including your insurance coverage and the other driver’s, if they have any. We will find any sort of option or clause we can activate to cover a portion of your costs. We will seek out additional policies that may be used to cover the costs associated with the accident. At the end of the day, with the help of personal injury lawyers, you could find yourself recovering far more than the original settlement offer.
When Must I File a Claim for an Uninsured Motorist Car Accident in Alpharetta, Georgia?
The courts in Alpharetta, GA follow the same statutes of limitation set by Georgia state law and US federal law. Those laws allow for strict deadlines on auto accident claims. You have two years to file a claim for any car accident, including an uninsured motorist car accident in Alpharetta. In some cases, however, your claim only has weeks to be filed. Missing this deadline means potentially forfeiting your right to recover financially forever, so do not delay filing your claim. Contact an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Alpharetta, Georgia today.
Claims for Underinsured Motorist Accidents
Claims which are filed directly against the driver of a vehicle are treated a little differently under the law than a claim against that driver’s insurance company. Injured victims of auto accidents with an uninsured or underinsured motorist will be referred to as a first-party claim (as opposed to a third-party claim). In these sorts of claims, you and your uninsured motorist accident lawyer may eventually file a claim against your own insurance company, and the lawsuit becomes a suit about the insurance contract, rather than about the accident itself.
If you already have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, this coverage will likely already apply in areas where the at-fault driver’s insurance – if any – runs out. In this case, the at-fault driver is called “underinsured” and with the help of an uninsured motorist accident lawyer – or sometimes, all on your own – you can recover compensation from your own insurance company.
In order to file an underinsured motorist claim against your own insurance provider, you will first need to work with an uninsured motorist accident attorney to exhaust all other potential sources of compensation. For instance, if the at-fault driver had a $30,000 liability policy, and your underinsured motorist coverage has a limit of $100,000, then you will have to first recover a claim against the other driver’s $30,000 liability coverage before you can attempt to file a claim with your own insurance company. It can be a rather confusing process, so working with a Georgia uninsured motorist accident lawyer is highly recommended.
Insurance companies may claim to have their customers’ best interests at heart, but they have many reasons for undervaluing claims brought to them, and for refusing to pay claims. At the end of the day, insurance companies look out for “number one” – their own bottom line. Insurance companies will almost universally try to pay out as little as possible, keeping as much of their money as they possibly can. This is why they will always offer low-ball settlements and claim that it is the best they can do – and why you should always work with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer to ensure that you get the full compensation you deserve.
Speak with an Alpharetta, GA Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a car accident with a driver who was either uninsured or underinsured, you’re not going to be left out to dry. Reach out to the experienced uninsured motorist accident lawyers at The Weinstein Firm today. Contact us today and let us examine your case and your claim, and we will do everything that we possibly can to help you recover the maximum possible compensation for your car accident in Alpharetta, Georgia.