Many Americans who own something of great value make the decision to protect that investment with insurance. Whether it is a home, car or jewelry, the need for insurance is important. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily a standard practice among every consumer. For car owners, the United States sees 1 in every 8 drivers deciding to go without car insurance. Therefore, if you have been involved in a car accident, you can’t necessarily rely on the fact that whatever damage has been done will be covered by the negligent party.
Here is the scary part that many insured drivers don’t understand or even know: Drivers who do pay for insurance ultimately pay for those who don’t, and so they shell out a lot more. According to the Insurance Research Council, the total bill for U.S. drivers is nearly $12 billion annually, which doesn’t include the cost to taxpayers of taking uninsured motorists to court.
Unfortunately, the “uninsured motorist” epidemic is only getting worse. The insurance industry is predicting a nationwide rise in uninsured motorists. Since 2011, it has risen 13% and shows no sign of decreasing.
As you know, every state is different when it comes to driving and insurance laws. Thankfully in Georgia, you must have valid insurance to drive a vehicle. Unfortunately, 12 states and the District of Columbia now allow illegal immigrants to obtain a license. For those who don’t have insurance say it is because they cannot afford to purchase it on a regular basis. Some individuals will obtain insurance for a few months and then cancel it.
Georgia’s Minimum Insurance Limits
In Georgia, the required minimum car insurance coverage limits are:
- $25,000 for the injury of a single individual;
- $50,000 for the combined injuries of all persons involved in a single car accident; and
- $25,000 for property damage.
Note: these are only the legally required insurance coverage minimums. It’s recommended that you assess your own needs and obtain higher amounts of insurance coverage. If you are found liable for causing an accident, and the damages exceed the limits of your car insurance policy, you are then personally responsible for the difference.
Hit by an Uninsured Driver
Since we can’t choose who hits us, how do we protect ourselves from uninsured drivers?
In order to protect yourself from uninsured drivers, you must purchase uninsured motorist (UM) coverage on your own vehicle’s insurance policy. UM coverage is optional in Georgia and it provides protection for you and your passengers in the event that you or they are injured in a car accident by a driver who does not have any, and in some cases not enough, insurance to cover your injuries. UM insurance coverage also protects you from hit-and-run vehicles.
Although we cannot control the choices drivers make, we can certainly take responsibility for ourselves and what we own. If you find yourself in an accident that was caused by an uninsured driver, please contact our office for a free consultation. Don’t allow someone else’s irresponsibility further impact your life.
Kaine Law is a personal injury law firm representing injured accident victims in Georgia. With offices in Atlanta, Conyers, Lawrenceville and Stockbridge, Kaine Law’s personal injury attorneys specialize in representing injured motorcycle accident victims, injured car accident victims, injured dog bite victims and injured pedestrian accident victims. Kaine Law represents their injured accident victim clients using a contingency fee agreement which provides that there are no legal fees unless we win.