Drivers in the state of Georgia are required to have car insurance. Each motorist is required to have liability insurance that covers both bodily injury and property damage up to the amount of $25,000 per person. This is the minimum insurance coverage required by law, though you should consider having higher limits. In addition, there are other types of insurance you should consider adding to your policy, including Uninsured Motorist coverage (“UM coverage”).
Studies indicate that up to 25% of cars on the road have no liability insurance in place. If you are ever involved in an accident and the at-fault driver is uninsured, you have the option of filing an uninsured motorist claim if you chose to have this coverage added to your insurance policy. The process of filing an uninsured motorist claim is very similar to filing a claim after any car accident, with one exception. If the at-fault driver has insurance, you would file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company; but if the at-fault party is uninsured, the claim would be filed with your own insurance company, which essentially then acts as if it insured the at-fault driver.
As soon as the claim has been filed, an adjuster will be assigned to your case and you will be asked to make a statement regarding the accident. BUT YOU MUST REMEMBER: at this point your own insurer is just as much your adversary as if he works directly for the at-fault driver. You may be asked to prove negligence by providing the adjuster with as much information as possible, including photographs of the scene, statements from witnesses, and a police report if you have it. If you suffered injuries as a result of the accident, you will likely be asked to provide proof of your medical expenses and lost wages. Remember, the adjuster’s goal in all this is to pay you as little as possible. For all these reasons, if you have suffered any sort of physical injury, it is safer to hire a personal injury attorney, and let him handle the communications with the UM insurance adjuster.
If you cannot reach a settlement with the adjuster, your only option then will be to file suit against the uninsured driver, and have your suit served on both that driver and your insurance company.
Keep in mind you can only file a claim with your insurance company if you have already elected to add UM coverage to your policy. If you do not have this coverage, you can theoretically sue the uninsured driver to recover compensation for your medical expenses, property damages, and lost wages. However, many victims find uninsured drivers do not have any assets or cash, which makes it difficult to collect the judgment if you do win the lawsuit.
Because of the difficulty of recovering compensation directly from an uninsured driver, it’s always recommended you add UM coverage to your insurance plan to protect yourself and your property. Georgia law requires that you be offered the opportunity to purchase UM coverage in the same amount as your liability coverage. At Frank Harris Law, we always recommend that you purchase UM coverage. It is actually quite inexpensive, and with all the uninsured drivers on the road, you never know when you may need the extra protection that UM coverage provides.
Remember, insurance companies cannot be relied on to look out for your best interests. If you have been involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, you will need a tough personal injury attorney to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Contact Frank Harris, a personal injury attorney in Georgia, on the web at www.FrankHarrisLaw.com for the legal help you need to recover the compensation you deserve. Call 678-483-8655 or email info@FrankHarrisLaw.com to schedule a consultation today.