Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Necessary to Maximize an Auto Accident Settlement?
In the state of Georgia, drivers are required to carry some level of insurance for their vehicle. However, not all drivers follow the law. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 12 percent of Georgia’s drivers are uninsured. It is therefore in your best interests to have uninsured motorist coverage in the event you end up in an accident with someone who does not have insurance.
If you have been injured by a driver who does not have insurance, you may be concerned about obtaining compensation for your injuries. Our personal injury lawyers at Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC know the law when it comes to uninsured motorists. We can help you find relief when you otherwise might have thought it to be non-existent.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
The state of Georgia requires drivers to carry a minimum of $25,000 in insurance for bodily injury liability per person, as well as property damage liability of $50,000 per occurrence. However, not everyone follows the law, and so if you are injured by an uninsured motorist, your ability to obtain compensation may be severely limited.
The good news is that insurance companies allow individuals to purchase additional coverage to protect themselves against uninsured motorists. These policies allow victims to recover money from their own insurance companies if they are hurt in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
Uninsured motorist coverage can also protect you in the event you are injured by a driver who flees the scene of the accident, or if you are a pedestrian involved in an accident. If you are unsure of whether you have uninsured motorist coverage, consult your policy or ask your insurance company for confirmation.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist insurance. Here, you are protected if you are injured by a driver who has less insurance than the law deems necessary to cover a potential victim’s injuries.
Uninsured motorist coverage allows you to recover money from your own insurance company, in addition to the money covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance. This is called “stackable” insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage, however, is “non-stackable,” which means that it covers only the damage that exceeds what is covered by the other driver’s insurance policy.
Consider the driver who incurs $150,000 in damages resulting from a car accident. If the responsible driver only has the minimum insurance coverage required by law, then his insurance will only pay out $25,000 for the injury. However, if he had opted instead to purchase stackable coverage totaling $100,000 in coverage, then his or her insurance company would pay out the full $100,000.
What to Do After an Accident with a Possibly Uninsured Driver
After you have been in accident, it is important to remain calm. The amount of money you can recover depends, in part, on how you handle yourself in the immediate aftermath of the accident.
Contact the police and give them your location. Explain what happened to the best of your ability. The dispatcher will then send an officer and an ambulance to your location. Be sure to alert the dispatcher to any potential concerns, such as leaking fuel, which can pose a threat to those who are coming to help.
Next, if possible, try to get the other driver’s information. Even if you believe the other driver is uninsured, you should still try to obtain whatever information you can. If the other driver admits to being uninsured, make a note of that. You can also ask the police officer to add it to the crash report.
After you received the medical treatment you need, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer, who can help you file a claim with your insurance company. Your insurance company may try settling with you right away, but beware – this may not be the maximum amount you can claim.
The insurance company just wants to get your file off their desk. At Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC, our team of experienced car accident lawyers wants to help.
Injured By an Uninsured Motorist? We Can Help!
In the event of a car accident in the state of Georgia, a difficult situation is made even worse if the responsible driver is uninsured. If you have been injured by an uninsured driver, you may need help filing a personal injury claim with your insurance company.
You may not know that you are entitled to compensation for such things as medical bills, damage to your property, and lost wages. You may also not know that your claim can be denied if you wait too long to inform your insurance company that you want to exercise your uninsured motorist coverage.
At Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC, we can lead you through the process of filing an uninsured motorist claim with ease. We have years of experience helping people just like you get the best settlements possible. We know the questions to ask and the paperwork to file to get the job done right the first time, and in a timely manner.
Call today at (855) 329-7144, or use the contact form to your right, to set up a free consultation with our firm. You are under no obligation to retain. With no fees unless we win, and no pressure to sign a retainer right away, you have nothing to lose. Reach out to us today and let us get started!