The state of Georgia requires all drivers to have auto insurance. In fact, you can’t register a vehicle without minimum liability coverage. While this is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t cover every eventuality.
For example, insurance could lapse soon after registration or renewal, effectively allowing someone to drive uninsured. An individual’s driver’s license would be suspended eventually, but there is still potential for someone to drive with a valid license and no insurance. Alternatively, a driver may carry the legally required level of insurance but be underinsured for the amount of damage inflicted in a car accident.
Drivers without insurance or without adequate coverage aren’t necessarily looking to cause trouble. Insurance can be expensive, and accidents are called accidents for a reason; they can happen to anyone.
Whether through negligence, a simple mistake or inability to afford ongoing payments, drivers may allow their insurance coverage to lapse. In 2012, an estimated 11.7 percent of Georgia drivers didn’t have coverage.
Insurance companies are required to report each customer’s insurance status to the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS). Ideally, such updates occur as soon as there is a change in status. This allows law enforcement officers to check the GEICS database for verification in the event of an accident. Having an identification card isn’t enough.
If you’re in an accident, it’s wise to write down the other person’s insurance information for yourself. However, calling in the police will let you know the at-fault driver’s true insurance status. If he or she is uninsured and you have Uninsured Motorist coverage on your own policy, you can still receive some direct compensation. Even so, insurance companies can sometimes be difficult to negotiate with by yourself.
An auto accident attorney from Staley Law Firm has experience in dealing with insurance companies and can greatly support you after a traumatic incident. We help with claim forms, identifying witnesses and much more. If the other driver is uninsured, our attorneys will help you understand your rights and assist in determining possible legal steps to pursue.
The minimum liability coverage that Georgia requires is 25/50/25. That means $25,000 bodily injury coverage for one person, $50,000 injury coverage for multiple people and $25,000 for property damage. Unfortunately, those are rather low amounts and rarely adequate.
Hospital and ongoing medical bills for one seriously injured person would exceed the minimums in no time. For instance, brain injuries or spinal injuries could take years of recovery, and if your whole family was in the car with you, the minimum limit of $50,000 would hardly be enough. Repairing your car or other property damage could also easily go beyond the minimum of $25,000. In short, someone with only minimum liability insurance is probably underinsured.
Here, too, your own policy may include special coverage, which can provide additional compensation. Yet now you’ll have two insurance companies to deal with, each wanting to pay as little as possible. If the accident should happen to involve a commercial truck, there are even more parties involved. Having an experienced attorney to represent you helps ensure that you receive the payments you deserve.
Staley Law Firm Specialists
You can rely on the experienced team from Staley Law Firm if you need an auto accident attorney. We’re dedicated to every element of your case, providing personalized attention, determining liable parties, negotiating with medical or insurance personnel and procuring the maximum settlement you deserve, even in court. Contact an attorney at Staley Law Firm today. We can help.