Accidents with Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
A serious wreck can cause you plenty of complications. The financial impact can be dire. Specifically, one can incur tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in medical bills. Oftentimes, the at-fault driver either has no automobile insurance, or his existing policy is insufficient to cover the injured party’s expenses.
The Insurance Information Institute estimated that 11.7% all Georgia drivers were uninsured in 2012. If an uninsured or underinsured driver causes a crash and injures you, you will need to explore alternatives to merely filing a liability claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
The Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC has decades of experience in handling both liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist claims. We pride ourselves in finding all possible avenues to ensure just compensation is paid to our clients. Our firm will investigate the possibility of additional insurance via UM/UIM and by utilizing Georgia’s “Resident Relative” statute. This enables you to receive a greater total compensation for your injuries and, specifically, to receive enough compensation to cover all your medical expenses.
What are my options if the at-fault driver had no insurance?
Georgia is an at-fault state and requires that drivers carry liability coverage to pay for another party’s damages if the policyholder causes a wreck. Georgia law requires a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person and a minimum of $50,000 per accident.
Unfortunately in some cases, at-fault drivers do not have any insurance coverage at all. While that at-fault driver may face legal consequences for his failure to carry insurance, this does not help the injured party pay his medical expenses incurred because of the wreck. However, you do have options.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage:
Uninsured Motorist coverage is not legally required in Georgia. It is an additional form of insurance coverage that one pays extra to obtain. The minimum coverage you can obtain in Georgia is $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. Your own UM coverage will compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering incurred because of a wreck when you are not at fault. Check your automobile policy to see if you have this coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage:
“MedPay”, which is also an optional form of coverage, has no deductible or co-payments, and it covers your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident. MedPay pays directly to your medical providers upon submission of medical bills, or your law firm can request that your MedPay check be sent directly to the care and custody of the firm.
Collision coverage is not required in Georgia. Collision coverage covers the costs to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident, regardless of fault. Collision coverage does notpay towards medical bills; it only covers property damage.
Private Health Insurance:
You can use your own private health insurance to pay for medical care after a car wreck. Keep in mind that, in Georgia, you are required to use your MedPay coverage first before using your health insurance benefits. Furthermore, if your health insurance plan is an “ERISA” plan (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), you will be obligated to reimburse your health insurance company out of the settlement proceeds of your claim for whatever benefits it has paid.
In the event that the insurance company does not make a sufficient offer to settle your case, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. And, even if the at-fault driver has no insurance at all, you can still file suit against him in order to achieve a settlement with the uninsured motorist insurer.
Get Legal Help from The Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC
Unfortunately, you cannot control if a serious accident occurs, or if you incur significant injuries as a result, but you can choose what to do next. Contact an experienced litigation attorney who will protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC. Remember: our personal injury case consultations are always free!