Before Georgia began requiring that every motorist have liability (or “at-fault”) insurance coverage, a small accident could have huge economic repercussions for those injured. Currently, every vehicle on Georgia public roads has to have a minimum of $25,000.00 in liability insurance coverage. So, if you are in a car crash where the other driver is at fault, their insurance company steps in to pay you for your losses, including: property damage, and bodily injury. As your attorney, we submit your claim to the at-fault insurer, and send a demand for “special” damages (i.e., medical bills, lost wages), and “general” damages (i.e., pain and suffering, decreased capacity to labor).
But what happens if the other driver doesn’t have liability insurance (an “uninsured” motorist), or if their coverage isn’t enough to compensate you for your general and special damages? This scenario happens hundreds of times a week all over Georgia. While the other driver will be cited for driving without insurance, that does not help you recover your medical and other expenses if you are injured.
That is where Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage comes in. This is a no-fault coverage that you can purchase to ensure a greater chance of recovering money to cover your losses. It is so important, in fact, that if you elect to reject UM Coverage, you have to sign a waiver specifically rejecting this very crucial coverage in writing. If you or your family member is in an accident and the other driver is found at fault, it is still critical that you report it to your insurer. Many insurance companies will not recognize “UM” claims that are not reported within thirty days of the date of loss, so time is of the essence.
Another important way to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of a car accident with injuries, is to purchase Medical Payment or “MedPay” coverage from your insurer. This coverage allows you to submit your medical bills and receive either direct reimbursement, or have your insurer pay the bills directly to the provider. This can be critical while waiting for a settlement or other resolution to your bodily injury claim.
If you have any questions about whether you have sufficient coverage to protect you and your family on the roads, give us a call.