If you have incurred injuries and or damages in an accident in Rockdale County that you did not cause, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. This should be easy when the party at fault carries insurance. However, if they are uninsured or their insurance does not cover the injuries and damages you incurred, you should consider consulting an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Conyers, Georgia.
If you have not yet determined whether the party at fault for your accident carries insurance, you should do it as soon as possible. At The Weinstein Firm, our uninsured motorist accident attorneys consider insurance investigations a priority, and we advise our clients to do the same.
According to a report by the Insurance Research Council published in October 2017, one in eight motorists are uninsured. Trends favor a rise in the number of uninsured motorists, and rates vary considerably from one state to another (between 4.5% in Maine and 26.7% in Florida).
Obtaining compensation from an uninsured or underinsured motorist is extremely difficult, if not impossible, and uninsured motorist accident lawyers who have tried can confirm it. Most of the time, you invest months, if not years, in a court trial, and even though you obtain a favorable verdict, the party at fault files for bankruptcy and you can never really recover your losses.
This does not mean you should give up. Instead, you should call an uninsured motorist accident lawyer as soon as possible to obtain an evaluation of your case and find out what your options are. At The Weinstein Firm, our uninsured motorist accident attorneys have helped numerous clients obtained compensation for their damages even though the party at fault was uninsured or underinsured, so we might be able to help you, too.
We do not charge anything for the case evaluation, and we offer contingency-based agreements to our clients. This means that, if you work with a The Weinstein Firm uninsured motorist accident attorney, you do not pay any fees until you receive compensation. You, therefore, have no reason not to call and schedule a consultation as soon as possible.
Why Is Insurance So Important and How Can an Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney Help?
In order to drive legally on Georgia roads, drivers need liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. The minimum coverage for bodily injury liability is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per event. The minimum coverage for property damage is $25,000 per event.
This type of insurance aims to cover the injuries and property damages the driver may cause to another party during a car accident. Otherwise put, this is the money you would have claimed had the driver that hit you been insured. Since they are not, you have to find another way to recover the money, and an uninsured motorist accident attorney can help.
The same personal injury lawyer can help you if the party at fault carried minimum insurance, but it is not enough to cover all the damages involved. This is a common occurrence when an accident results in damages to several vehicles and injuries to several persons. Here is what you can and should do in each case, preferably with the help of your uninsured motorist accident attorney:
If the driver at fault for the accident did not carry insurance at all, you could file a lawsuit against them in civil court. It will take a lot of time and effort, and unless the driver at fault has a rather good financial situation, you should not get your hopes too high. Of course, it does not hurt to discuss this option with your uninsured motorist accident lawyer and see what they advise in your particular case.
The other option is to carefully analyze your own insurance policies and, if they allow it, file a claim with your own insurance. This would be the easiest way to receive compensation for your damages, but it will depend on the available coverage and your insurer’s terms and conditions. If you want, one of our uninsured motorist accident attorneys can help you review them.
If the driver at fault for your accident has insurance, the obvious step is to file the claim against their insurance company and obtain any money you can. If it is not enough to cover your losses, you can sue the driver for the remaining amount, or check your own insurance policies with your uninsured motorist accident attorney and see if they can cover the rest of the damages.
Your success with this last option will depend on whether you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and what your policy’s terms and conditions are. Ever way, you will want the experience and dedication of a Conyers, Georgia uninsured motorist accident lawyer.
How Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Works
When you purchased your insurance, your insurance agent probably asked you whether you want to purchase uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, as well. The law requires them to, and it is in their best interest to sell as much coverage as possible.
Unless you remember rejecting their offer, chances are they included it in your insurance package. At The Weinstein Firm, our uninsured motorist accident attorneys have discovered that many of our clients have this type of insurance coverage, although they often do not remember getting it.
You can find out if you do by checking the “Declarations” page of your insurance policy, or by bringing your insurance papers for one of our auto accident lawyers to review. If you have it, you can benefit from it when you are hurt in a car accident and:
- The driver that hit you does not carry insurance
- The driver at fault has some insurance, but not enough to compensate all your losses or all the losses of everyone injured in the accident
- The driver at fault left the scene before anyone could identify them
- When the accident occurred, you were cycling or walking
As uninsured motorist accident lawyers can confirm, the coverage applies not only to you, but also to your spouse (as long as you live together), any children or stepchildren living with you and your spouse, anyone driving your vehicle with your consent, and anyone riding in your car as a passenger.
As most uninsured motorist accident attorneys know, there are two types of UM/UIM coverage: stacking and non-stacking. They follow different principles, so it is better to take a closer look at them with your Conyers, Georgia uninsured motorist accident lawyer.
Stacking UM/UIM insurance is also known as excess, additional, or add-on coverage. It adds to any insurance the driver at fault has or replaces it. Our uninsured motorist accident attorneys can help you figure out if you have it. Until they do, let’s say you have stacking UM/UIM coverage of $25,000.
If you incurred damages of $40,000 in the accident, but the driver responsible had liability coverage of only $25,000, you can stack your own coverage on top of theirs, and collect the total $40,000 you lost: $25,000 from the driver’s insurer and $15,000 from your own insurer.
However, do not forget that the insurance companies do not really care about your losses, and they will do everything in their power to avoid paying you or pay as little as possible. If you want to get any money from them, you will need solid evidence and an experienced uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Conyers, Georgia.
Non-Stacking UM/UIM insurance is known as “traditional” or “reduction” coverage. As your uninsured motorist accident lawyer may explain, you can only use this coverage if it exceeds the coverage of the driver at fault.
Thus, if the driver at fault has $25,000 personal insurance coverage, and the cost of your treatment, care, recovery, and pain and suffering reaches $40,000, you will only be able to recover the difference of $15,000 from your own insurer if your UM/UIM coverage is $40,000 or more.
In order to determine how much coverage you have available under the circumstances and make sure the insurance company approves your claim, you should consult an uninsured motorist accident attorney. When you do, they will most likely explain how the claim filing process works.
The Claim Filing Process and the Role of Your Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer
The process of filing an accident claim in Conyers is basically the same no matter if you file the claim against the insurer of the party at fault or your own insurer. The only difference would be that, when filing the claim with your own insurer, you have to explain and document any proceedings you have made, if any, with the insurer of the party at fault, and, preferably, include your own insurance information to show them you know your rights. Here are the steps you will need to follow with the help of an uninsured motorist accident attorney:
Prepare the Claim
At this point, you should already know how much your claim is worth and with whom you need to file it. If you do not, an uninsured motorist accident attorney can easily help you figure it out. The claim consists of two parts: the written presentation and the annexes, or, otherwise put, the story, and the evidence.
In both, you need to emphasize two important aspects: how the accident took place and what losses you sustained. As your uninsured motorist accident lawyer will explain, your claim can include the following damages:
- Car repair or replacement cost, if the car’s damage was beyond repair
- Repair or replacement of any other belongings damaged in the accident (phone, tablet, jewelry, eyeglasses, medical devices, and more)
- Medical care, treatment, and recovery (doctor bills, medical procedures, medicines, medical supplies, medical devices, home care, disability accommodations)
- Pain and suffering (physical and emotional pain, trauma, therapy)
- Lost wages and earning capacity (money you could not make because of your injury and money you will not be able to make because the accident left you disabled)
File the Claim
As mentioned above, you should file the claim within two years of the accident. If you do it yourself, make sure to get proof of receipt from the insurance company you filed it with. If your uninsured motorist accident lawyer does it, they will know to cover their back and yours.
Depending on how solid your claim is, the insurance company can deny it, request further information or documents, or make you a settlement offer. If they deny it, all you need to do is talk to your uninsured motorist accident attorney to file an appeal. If they request additional documents, your attorney will most likely send them without you needing to do anything else.
Negotiate Settlement or Appeal
At this point, you have probably received an answer from the insurance company, most likely a settlement offer. The decision of whether to accept it or go after more will be yours. However, since experienced uninsured motorist accident lawyers have seen their share of settlement offers and are able to assess a claim value and potentially better than the claimants themselves, you should consider listening to yours.
Accept Settlement or File a Lawsuit
Depending on your decision, your uninsured motorist accident lawyer will either negotiate the final details of the claim settlement or file a lawsuit. At The Weinstein Firm, our uninsured motorist accident attorneys usually manage to obtain excellent settlement offers for our clients, so they rarely need to go to court. However, we stop at nothing when it comes to ensuring our clients’ satisfaction, so you can rest assured we are with you every step of the way.
Receive Compensation and Pay Your Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney
Once you have accepted a settlement offer or you have received a favorable trial verdict, you will finally obtain the money you deserve, and you will receive fair compensation for everything you have suffered as an accident victim.
This is also the moment when our uninsured motorist accident lawyers collect the fee for their services. At The Weinstein Firm, we believe in delivering before charging, so we only charge for our services after we win.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer Now
Now that you know what your rights and options are and how to obtain the compensation you deserve, what are you waiting for? Call us now and schedule a free case evaluation with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Conyers, Georgia.