Unfortunately, there are many uninsured motorists on the road, and finding yourself in an accident with an uninsured driver can be baffling and confusing. Remember to stay calm and gather as many details as you can from the situation. If the at-fault party is uninsured, your two main options are to file an insurance claim with your provider or file a lawsuit against the uninsured motorist.
Here are a few steps and tips to help you navigate a sticky accident situation with an uninsured at-fault driver:
Assess the situation and talk with the other driver
The very first step is to calmly and carefully assess the situation. Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries and assess your car damage. You can then approach the other driver to address the situation. Start by asking if they are okay and be sure to ask about their insurance situation.
Alert the Police
If you are dealing with an uninsured driver, calling the police is a necessary first step. Do not be shy about calling the police, even if the negligent party does not want to. The report the police will file will help you to cover your expenses later on and make the claims process easier.
Swap Information with the other driver
Be sure to exchange contact information with the other driver as soon as the accident occurs. You will need to know how to contact this person throughout the claims process.
Take pictures and gather details
Once everyone is safe and the police have been called, you can gather a few key details about the accident:
- The time and location of the accident
- Details about how the accident occurred from your perspective
- The make and model of both cars
- The name and badge number of the responding officer
- Damages to both vehicles
- Photographs of all vehicle damages
- Descriptions and photographs of bodily injuries
- Any nearby video surveillance of the accident
Is it Illegal to be uninsured?
In the state of Georgia, it is illegal not to hold a car insurance policy. Uninsured drivers can face fines of up to $1000 and up to 12 months behind bars in addition to having their license suspended for up to 90 days.
What does this mean for Georgia Drivers?
In the state of Georgia, if you find yourself in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you will need to prove that the other party is at fault before insurance will pay for your medical, auto, or lost wage bills. As a result, it is very important to collect information about the accident and the other driver in order to be compensated for your losses.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Many drivers hold uninsured motorist coverage, which is an optional add-on to many insurance plans. If an uninsured motorist causes damage to your vehicle, the uninsured motorist insurance helps cover the costs to repair your vehicle. Some states will require this kind of coverage as well, but if you have it be sure to file a claim as soon as you can.
What does motorist insurance usually cover in the state of Georgia?
Georgia law states that drivers must carry auto liability coverage in the following minimum amounts:
25,000 per accident for property damage
25,000 per person for bodily injuries
50,000 per accident for bodily injury
According to the Insurance Research Council, approximately 9-11 percent of Georgia drivers do not have any coverage or have coverage that does not meet these minimums. Many motorists who do carry auto insurance only carry these minimum amounts. If you are involved in a very serious car accident with injuries to multiple people and damage to multiple cars, it is likely that your losses and expenses will exceed these minimum limits.
Applying your uninsured motorist coverage
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company will most likely ask for proof of injuries and damages and then conduct an investigation. If you are having trouble with your claim or your insurance provider devalues your claim, you might want to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. These kinds of attorneys are very familiar with negotiating these kinds of claims with difficult insurance providers. If you are in an uninsured motorist accident, please call (678) 819-5200.