Despite Georgia law mandating that all drivers carry adequate insurance, hundreds of uninsured and underinsured motorists hit the road every day. Even a temporary lapse in coverage could lead to lack of benefits in the event of an accident. In the unfortunate circumstance that an uninsured motorist causes your car accident and injuries, you may find yourself at a loss as to how to recover your damages. Luckily, Georgia law has accounted for this exact situation. Here’s what to do after a wreck with an uninsured person.
Call the Police
Regardless of the other driver’s insurance status, call the police and report the collision if it caused injuries. It is the law to do so in Georgia. Calling the police will give you an official report of the crash, serve as proof that it happened as you say it did, and put the other driver on record as not carrying “adequate insurance,” which in Georgia is $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
Calling the police means that the other driver may receive a fine for driving without insurance and have his/her license suspended until he or she gets insurance. This can help prevent other drivers from dealing with the same situation as you. Keep in mind that Georgia is unique in that it makes carrying car insurance mandatory, but that it does not require an insurance card as proof of insurance. Not having proof of insurance is different from being uninsured.
Go to the Hospital
Insurance companies will analyze the actions you take directly following an auto accident. This includes whether you visited a hospital after your crash. If you notice injuries, request an ambulance while at the scene of the accident. Otherwise, go to the doctor as soon as you can after police give you permission to leave. Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, you could have hidden injuries or some with delayed effects. Prompt medical care can help your insurance claim by proving that the crash caused your injuries.
Call the Other Motorist’s Insurance Company
In Georgia, it is the at-fault driver’s responsibility to pay for all victims’ damages. It’s possible that the motorist has some insurance coverage, even if he or she doesn’t have the minimum amount. Ask the at-fault driver for his or her insurance information, even if the driver says the plan has lapsed or does not contain enough coverage. Call the insurer as soon as you can and get the truth for yourself. Get the driver’s full name, contact information, and license plate number as well. Call the insurer right away to avoid missing an important filing deadline.
Call Your Insurance Company
If the at-fault driver really doesn’t have any insurance, look to your own insurance carrier for coverage. You should also do this in the event of a hit-and-run accident. Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance is optional in Georgia. Call your insurer and find out if you have this coverage. If so, your insurance company will cover your damages even if the uninsured driver was at fault.
Contact an Attorney
If you don’t have UM insurance, or your insurance isn’t enough to cover all your damages, contact a personal injury attorney. An attorney can look for other ways to recover damages, such as through a claim against the at-fault driver, a product manufacturer, and/or another party. A civil lawsuit could end in compensation for damages even if the other motorist doesn’t have insurance.