Georgia Accident Laws and Having the Right Insurance
The results of having insufficient auto insurance coverage can be devastating to a family. If someone is injured in a car accident and is rendered unable to work, the medical bills begin to stack up and can easily result in bankruptcy. Unfortunately, it is estimated that one-third of all drivers on the road are uninsured motorists. That is why it is so important that you make sure you have the right kinds and amounts of coverage, including uninsured motorist coverage, to protect you and your family.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if the driver who causes the accident does not have enough insurance. It also protects you if the identity of the other driver is unknown, such as in a hit-and-run accident. More about this coverage below.
An insurance policy that meets the minimum legal limits of coverage might not be enough if you are involved in a serious auto accident. Georgia's current mandatory limits for liability coverage (pays the amount for which you are liable if you cause an accident) are as follows:
- $25K per person
- $50K per occurrence
- $25K per property damage
With skyrocketing medical costs, these amounts will frequently be insufficient to even cover medical bills if someone is seriously injured in a car accident. This is without even considering lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Uninsured (UM) or Underinsured Motorist coverage (UIM) is designed to protect you, the driver of the car, should you be involved in an automobile accident with a driver who does not carry bodily injury insurance, or a driver that has insufficient bodily injury insurance or a driver who flees the scene of the accident.
When a driver or passenger has UIM coverage, it will reimburse someone who is injured for medical bills, wages, loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering. UIM coverage pays for damages to you, your family and possibly passengers in your vehicle where damages could exceed the auto liability limits of the at-fault driver. The higher the amount of coverage you carry the more likely you will be covered when seeking compensation.
On January 1, 2009, a Georgia Law was passed, via Senate Bill 276, which introduced a new type of UIM coverage that is referred to as "stacked" UIM. The old style of coverage reduced the amount your policy would pay by the amount that would be paid out by the at-fault driver's insurance liability coverage. The new stacking option of UIM insurance does not deduct the amount of the at-fault driver's insurance from the amount of the liability insurance you would receive from your own company. There are a couple of other nice features of the new stacked UIM. It provides coverage even if the driver is injured while in a car that is not listed in the insurance policy.
While budget constraints are important, especially in today's economic climate, it is important that you have sufficient insurance coverage when it comes to your automobile insurance. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist you should seek the legal advice of a Georgia personal injury attorney. Our Georgia auto accident law firm has been representing victims of personal injury and wrongful death throughout Atlanta and North Georgia for over 35 years. We will fight for your best interest, as we have for thousands of others, as part of our ongoing goal of being regarded as the best auto accident lawyers in Georgia.
The Atlanta auto accident law firm of Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.