Getting into a crash with an uninsured driver is possibly the most common situation of simple bad luck. Of course, the state of Georgia requires motorists to carry insurance. But a piece of paper or the lack thereof doesn’t stop people from getting into a car and driving.
After a crash with an uninsured driver, you might have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Alternatively, you might have the option to file a claim through your policy. Neither route is easy, and both require legal help from a local automobile accident attorney.
What Is It Like To File a UIM Claim?
Honestly, it’s pretty terrible to file a UIM claim. Georgia does require that car insurance policies include UIM coverage. There were major changes made to this back in 2008. Those changes back in 2008 ensured that policy providers would give additional protection in exchange for a higher premium than the coverage you would normally have. Basically, when you file a UIM claim, your rates are going to go up. For many drivers, that’s really unfair as they didn’t contribute to the crash, and now they’re going to have to live with fears of higher premiums because the other driver didn’t have insurance or had too little insurance.
Besides the issue of worrying about your rates in your premiums, most of the process is very much the same. Of course, you’ll need to call a police officer because they don’t have insurance and can’t exchange all the information necessary. At that time, the police officer will likely issue them a citation and take down their information.
You also need to get their name and driver’s license number if they have one and information from any witnesses. Then you’ll need to go through, contact your insurance, and make sure that you get any medical treatment you need.
The sticky situation with handling a UIM claim is that most consumers feel victimized twice over. What we mean to say is first, they are the victim of a car accident that was out of their control. Then they’re dealing with insurance adjusters that they know work for their insurance provider and are trying to devalue their claim.
What Proof Will I Need To Show That The Motorist Was Uninsured?
Possibly the only silver lining is that you don’t actually have to prove that motorist didn’t have insurance. What happens when you get into a crash is that your insurer will cross-reference the driver’s information with a huge database. That the same database that the Department of Transportation will use to determine if a driver has proper insurance.
So what happens is when the driver comes up, and they don’t have an active insurer, then your insurance provider confirms that that motorist doesn’t have coverage.
Will The Uninsured Driver Get In Trouble?
Yes, they will likely get in a bit of legal trouble but nothing too serious. Driving without proper vehicle insurance in Georgia is only a misdemeanor. While the law states that they can face up to $1,000 in fines and possibly 12 months of jail time, that’s not what usually happens.
Typically someone caught driving without insurance will have their license suspended for two or three months and have a few hundred dollars in fines. Additionally, the sooner they get insurance, the lower these penalties are. For example, if they sign up for an insurance policy the day after receiving this ticket and getting into this crash, it’s likely that they’ll receive leniency.
If I Don’t Have UIM Coverage How Do I Get Compensation?
If you have an insurance policy in Georgia, you have UIM to some extent. Uninsured motorist coverage is part of the Georgia insurance package, even with basic liability. It is a little confusing because, in other states, they clarify that drivers must acquire uninsured motorist coverage. Whereas in Georgia, the state requires insurance companies to offer and provide it unless the driver specifically rejects that type of coverage in writing.
The Weinstein Firm — Atlanta’s Car Accident Lawyers
How quickly should you contact a lawyer? If you’re not injured, it should be the first thing on your list. But for most people, that’s not the case. Contact us whenever you can. In the meantime, be careful with handling your insurance policy. In an accident with an uninsured driver, they’ll be looking for even more reasons to pin fault on you.
Call the Weinstein Firm to acquire support and access to resources. You can learn more about how to move forward or if you have a case at all.