Driver Causes Fifteen Wrecks Revealing the Value of UM/UIM Insurance


January 29, 2013

When motorists in Georgia discuss insurance coverage with their insurance agent, the issue of whether to take optional uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage as well as the amount of actual coverage is an important issue to consider. Many drivers elect to save a few dollars by declining UM/UIM coverage. If you are on the fence about the value of UM/UIM coverage, the knowledge that there are drivers like Michael O. Snider may provide guidance when making your decision. Snider, a 70-year-old man, allegedly caused 15 wrecks while driving drunk through both Gwinnett County and DeKalb County this week according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The carnage resulting from Snider's antics ended in the tragic death of one person and critical injury to another. Snider was driving an F-250 truck when he caused a series of hit and run accidents across the two greater Atlanta metro area counties. Snider caused five car wrecks in DeKalb County before causing ten more in Gwinnett County. The fatal accident occurred when Snider slammed into the rear of a car and forced the car forward beneath the undercarriage of a flatbed truck.

Snider is charged with vehicular homicide, DUI, reckless driving, unsafe following distance, serious injury by vehicle, and he is being held without bail. Given the carnage from this accident, it is reasonable to presume that there will be a glut of lawsuits against Snider for personal injury, wrongful death and property damage. Because he was operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and committed hit and run, it is also reasonable to presume that the injured drivers and family of the fatality victim may seek punitive damages.

The minimum requirements for auto insurance in Georgia include the following:

• $25,000 per victim for bodily injury

• $50,000 per accident for bodily injury to 2 or more injury victims

• $25,000 per accident for property damage

In an accident like this one or a multi-car pileup, the insurance coverage available from a negligent driver's insurance may quickly be exhausted leaving many victims in this series of collisions to receive little or no compensation. While it is unclear whether Snider was subject to a prior driver's license suspension for drunken driving, he may have no coverage at all if he lacked a driver's license. Even if he had a valid driver's license and carried the minimum required coverage under Georgia law, the minimums would be inadequate in situations like this type of accident.

At the Atlanta personal injury law firm of Montlick and Associates, we believe those who suffer serious injury in car accidents caused by negligent or reckless drivers should be fully compensated for their injuries. UM/UIM coverage can provide a valuable resource for obtaining the compensation you need when drivers are uninsured or underinsured.

Montlick and Associates is available to provide effective legal representation to 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.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.