Q: How does uninsured motorist coverage in Georgia work?
Being in a car accident is a scary experience no matter what the circumstances. You may have mounting medical bills with no way to pay for them, especially if your injuries keep you out of work for any period of time. It can be even worse if the at-fault driver is uninsured. Normally, the at-fault driver's liability insurance is responsible for bodily injury damages and property damage the policyholder caused to others. Uninsured motorist coverage in Georgia works by replacing the liability insurance of an uninsured at-fault driver.
Are there different types of uninsured motorist coverage?
There are two types of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage:
- Bodily injury: This can cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages for you and your passengers.
- Property damage: This covers damages to your vehicle, but may also cover your house, fence, and personal items (cell phone, laptop).
Each policy has limits to UM coverage. Insurers must offer at least $25,000 in bodily injury to one person, $50,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 in property damage per accident. Drivers may be able to choose higher coverage, so if you were in an accident, make sure you review your policy so you know exactly what coverage is on your policy. If drivers do not want UM coverage, they must reject it in writing.
When can uninsured motorist coverage help me?
Uninsured motorist coverage can help in a number of circumstances, beyond simply being in an accident with someone who does not carry insurance.
- The other driver is uninsured: If you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, there would be no liability insurance from which to recover damages. If you have UM coverage, your insurance will pay for your medical bills and vehicle repairs.
- The driver is underinsured: In addition to uninsured motorist coverage, your policy may also contain underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. If the at-fault driver's liability coverage does not fully cover your damages, your UIM coverage may cover the difference.
- You are in a pedestrian accident: If you are hit by a vehicle driven by an uninsured motorist, you can claim compensation for lost wages and medical bills through your UM coverage.
- You are a passenger in another car: Your UM coverage covers you and your family members if you are a passenger in another car during an accident, and the at-fault driver is uninsured.
- You are the victim of a hit and run: If you are the victim of a hit and run, your UM coverage will cover you in place of the hit and run driver's liability insurance.
Will my health insurance cover me after an accident?
Some drivers assume that their health insurance will cover all of their medical-related damages after a wreck, though this is not always the case. Your health insurance can cover your medical bills after an accident, though you are still responsible for your co-pays and deductible. Depending on your coverage, this can create thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Further, health insurance does not cover lost wages and property damage, while UM coverage does. Thus, filing a claim with your own uninsured motorist coverage can cover medical bills you accumulate, help replace your lost wages, compensate you for property damage, and provide other coverage that your health insurance does not.
Get Help after an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist in Georgia
Consulting with a personal injury attorney in Atlanta should be your next step if you have been injured in an accident and plan to pursue compensation, whether the other driver is insured or not. Contact the Law Office of Jason Schultz, P.C. at 404-474-0804 to schedule a FREE consultation on your case.