Atlanta Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Attorneys
Filing an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim in Georgia
Although Georgia State laws require all drivers to carry minimum liability insurance, many people choose to drive without auto insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in eight motorists in the U.S. are uninsured. In Georgia, specifically, about 12.4 percent of drivers do not have any insurance, which means you have a relatively high chance of being involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
If you are injured by an uninsured driver, you won’t be able to file a claim against them for damages. However, if you have uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) insurance of your own, you could be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses.
Filing a UM/UIM claim in Georgia can be complicated. We encourage you to reach out to our Atlanta uninsured/underinsured motorist attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC for help. Our team has more than 75 years of combined experience and has recovered over $300 million in compensation for our clients. We are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and fight for every penny you are owed.
Georgia Car Insurance Requirements
The state of Georgia has enacted laws requiring every driver to carry minimum liability insurance. Motorists can choose to add supplemental coverage—such as collision, personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments (MedPay), or uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM)—but they must have the basic liability insurance requirements.
Georgia’s minimum liability insurance requirements are as follows:
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death per person
- $50,000 in bodily injury or death per accident (two or more people)
- $25,000 in property damage coverage
Remember, your liability insurance is meant to protect others in car accidents you cause. It does not provide any benefits to you if you are injured by another driver. Your supplemental coverage (if you have it) can assist with medical bills, lost wages, and other damages you suffer as a result of someone else’s coverage, but most accident victims must file claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, or if they flee the scene of the accident before you can get their information, you can turn to your UM/UIM coverage.
Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage Mandatory in Georgia?
Uninsured (and underinsured) motorist coverage is not mandatory in Georgia. However, your insurance company must offer you UM/UIM coverage, and you must reject this coverage in writing to not include it on your auto insurance policy. If you have not specifically rejected UM/UIM coverage in writing, you likely have it as part of your policy.
Our attorneys can review your auto insurance policy and determine if you are covered. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver, you may have several options when it comes to recovering compensation for your damages. Our team is here to help you fully understand all of your options and provide you with the information and representation you need to move forward.
What Does UM/UIM Insurance Cover?
In Georgia, uninsured and underinsured motorist covers both economic and non-economic damages after an accident.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income/wages
- Lost earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses
While uninsured motorist (UM) covers your costs when the at-fault driver does not have any insurance, underinsured motorist (UIM) is intended to make up the difference in coverage when the other driver does have insurance but not enough to cover the full cost of your damages.
What Is New & Traditional Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Georgia classifies underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage as “new” and “traditional.” With traditional UIM, the amount you can receive from your UIM policy is reduced (or “off-set”) by the other driver’s liability coverage amounts. For example, if you have $30,000 in UIM coverage, and the at-fault driver has the minimum $25,000 in liability, you can only receive the difference between the two amounts ($5,000) from your UIM policy.
New UIM is different in that it allows you to stack coverage. This means that you can receive the full amount of the other driver’s liability coverage in addition to the full amount of your UIM coverage. Using the same numbers from the previous example, you could recover $25,000 in the at-fault driver’s liability coverage, as well as $30,000 in UIM coverage, totaling $55,000.
If you are unsure what type of UIM insurance you have, you can review your policy or talk to your insurance company. We strongly recommend that you speak to an attorney at our firm if you are filing a UIM claim, as the type of coverage you have makes a big difference in your potential recovery.
Can You Sue an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist After an Accident?
While you are allowed to sue an uninsured/underinsured motorist after an accident, this is likely to be a dead end. Someone who cannot afford minimum liability insurance will likely lack the resources to pay a judgment or verdict. This means that even if you win your case, you may have trouble collecting the money you are owed.
However, this should not stop you from exploring all possible legal options. At Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC, we work directly with our clients to determine the best course of action, whether that’s filing an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim, suing the at-fault driver in court, or taking alternative actions. We can provide detailed information tailored to your unique situation during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Reach out to us today to get started.
How Our Firm Can Help
At Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC, we assist clients who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents, working tirelessly to recover the full compensation they are owed. Our Atlanta uninsured motorist attorneys can review your policy to determine if you have UM/UIM coverage, assist you in filing a claim, or work with your insurance company if your claim has been disputed or denied. If necessary, we can even help you bring a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
We are known for our aggressive approach to negotiation and litigation, as well as our long history of success in complex car accident cases. Whether you were injured by an uninsured motorist or involved in a hit-and-run accident, our team is ready to fight for you.
Truck Driver DUI: Wrongful Death $150 Million
Automobile Negligence: Products Liability $4.5 Million
Commercial Motor Vehicle Collision: Multiple Fractures $2.75 Million
Commercial Motor Vehicle Collision $2.75 Million
Automobile Negligence: Multiple Injuries $2.4 Million
Motor Vehicle Accident with Multiple Injuries $2.2 Million
Motor Vehicle Collision with Multiple Injuries $1.95 Million
Automobile Negligence: Herniated Disc $1.3 Million
Automobile Negligence: Multiple Fractures $1.2 Million
Motor Vehicle Collision with Lumbar Fusion $1.2 Million
The most efficient, professional and ethical law firm in Georgia.- Eileen G.
They have exceeded my expectations.- Shunte
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They have been so wonderful.
Mr. Hayes, Jessica and Alli have helped me with two cases in the past 3 years, and they have been so wonderful! The generosity and kindness of everyone at this practice are just great. I will always refer them to anyone that needs legal representation f”- Amanda S.
They have a client for life!!- Cherry H.
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