Motor vehicle accidents often result in injuries and death. This is why most states in the U.S., including Georgia, mandate drivers to carry personal liability insurance. In the event of a crash, the victim can make a claim against the fault driver’s insurance coverage. However, despite the law, most people drive their vehicles without insurance.
This is why insurance companies introduced uninsured motorist coverage. This article looks at whether drivers in Atlanta must have this policy or if they can do without it. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, our Atlanta car accident lawyers can help you. We provide excellent legal advice and representation.
Must Atlanta Drivers Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
As already mentioned, drivers in Georgia must have auto insurance and continuously maintain it to legally operate their vehicle. They must carry 25/50/25 personal liability insurance. It amounts to:
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
Additionally, Georgia law mandates drivers to carry proof of insurance in their vehicles always. A driver who can’t provide proof of insurance when asked by a law enforcement officer will face penalties. The state allows for physical and electronic proof of insurance.
As strict as Georgia is on personal insurance liability, it does not mandate drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage (UMC). The policy is what covers your losses in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver. Thus, even though it is not mandatory, you should get UMC.
In a nutshell, you need uninsured motorist coverage because:
- It helps you when the at-fault driver does not have any liability coverage
- It saves you from having to pay for your treatment or losses out of pocket when you’re not a fault
If you get hit by an insured driver but do not have insurance coverage, you can still get compensation. This is because Georgia does not have a “No Pay, No Play” law. Simply put, the fact that you lack the mandated coverage does not mean you cannot recover compensation in an accident that is not your fault. Find out more about this from our Atlanta accident attorneys.
Can I Sue an Uninsured Driver?
After spending your money paying for your hospital bills and other property damages, it’s only natural that you’d want compensation. The only way to get back the money spent is by filing a personal injury lawsuit. At the end of the action, the court will award you a judgment sum which the at-fault driver would have to pay.
The issue with lawsuits is that you can either recover your money or not. If the fault driver claims to be insolvent, you might not be unable to recover. But if they are solvent, they will either give you a lump sum payment or pay it in installment. It all depends on how much money the fault driver has. An Atlanta car accident lawyer will advise you on the best option to take.
Is There a Penalty for Driving Uninsured in Atlanta?
Yes, there is. If you get caught driving without insurance in Atlanta, you will face severe repercussions under Georgia law. Driving without insurance is a misdemeanor punishable with fines up to $1,000. For the first offense, you will lose your license for 60 days.
You face a minimum of 90 days license suspension for two or more offenses and face up to one year in jail. In most states, if a driver has their license suspended for lack of insurance, they can get it back after showing proof of insurance. But things are different in Georgia.
Under Georgia law, drivers whose license gets suspended cannot drive for the entire suspension period. When the period ends, you will pay a reinstatement fee of $200 for a first offense and $300 for a second offense. In addition, you need to get an SR-22 — a certificate that proves you meet the state’s minimum liability insurance requirement.
An SR-22 will stay on your record for three years. The downside of this certificate is that it will significantly raise your car insurance rates until the certificate is no longer valid. This is why it is better to have an insurance policy.
Contact Atlanta Premium Accident Lawyers for Help!
Suppose you are the victim of a car accident with an uninsured driver and covered your losses with uninsured motorist coverage. You can recover the money from the fault driver with the help of our expert auto accident attorneys at The Weinstein Firm. Contact us today for more information on how to get started. We offer free case reviews.