About Uninsured Motorist Accidents
As you are likely aware, Georgia law requires all drivers to carry insurance coverage in the following minimum amounts:
- Property damage coverage of up to $25,000 per accident
- Bodily injury coverage of up to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
The purpose of this law is to ensure that there is coverage available to cover the cost of repair or replacement to the vehicles involved as well as the medical expenses of anyone who is injured. However, these minimum coverage amounts don’t seem like much when you consider the cost of the average vehicle or how quickly medical bills can pile up.
So what do you do when the other driver doesn’t have insurance? Sometimes motorists have stopped paying their premiums and their automobile insurance isn’t valid. Sometimes, they never had vehicle insurance at all. If you purchased uninsured motorist coverage through your insurance company, you may be able to submit a claim. You may also have to sue the other driver in order to protect your rights, even if the other driver cannot pay your claim right now. Uninsured motorist claims can be very complicated and difficult to pursue. If you’ve been injured in an accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you should reach out to an Atlanta car accident law firm for help.
Optional Auto Insurance Coverage in Georgia
While Georgia law requires drivers to carry property damage and bodily injury liability insurance, these are not the only available types of coverage—and they are not the only types of coverage that you should consider purchasing. The following types of insurance coverage are optional in Georgia, but buying them is a good idea if you can afford the premiums:
- Medical Payments (Med Pay) Insurance – Med Pay provides “no-fault” coverage for your medical bills when you get injured in an accident. Health insurance often won’t cover these expenses, so paying for Med Pay helps ensure that you won’t face a mountain of medical bills if you are responsible for a collision.
- Collision and Comprehensive Insurance – Collision and comprehensive insurance cover the cost of repairing your vehicle when you can’t file a claim under another driver’s property damage policy. Collision insurance covers your repair bills when you cause an accident, while comprehensive insurance covers damage from other causes.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Insurance – UIM insurance allows you to seek compensation from your insurance company when another driver is liable for an accident but doesn’t have adequate (or any) insurance coverage. Filing a UIM claim is similar to filing a claim under the other driver’s policy, and you need proof of fault to collect payment from your insurer.
Georgia’s Insurance Law for Rideshare Companies (Uber and Lyft)
Under Georgia law, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are required to carry liability insurance that provides coverage to injured passengers and other drivers. The minimum insurance requirements for rideshare companies in Georgia are:
- $1,000,000 per accident when drivers are en route to pick up passengers or providing rides; and,
- $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident when drivers are logged in to ridesharing apps but not en route or providing rides.
Of course, Uber and Lyft drivers are still required to carry auto insurance coverage as well. As a result, in cases involving serious injuries, rideshare accident victims will often be able to pursue multiple claims for just compensation.
Georgia Dram Shop Liability Laws for Drunk Driving Accidents
Another lesser-known area of the law that can come into play in car accident cases is Georgia’s Dram Shop Act. The Dram Shop Act essentially allows car accident victims to hold bar owners liable for their injuries if their customers caused a drunk driving accident. The Dram Shop Act will only apply in one of the two following scenarios:
- The establishment served alcohol to someone under the age of 21 who then caused an accident; OR
- The establishment served alcohol to someone who was noticeably intoxicated who then caused an accident.
If the person who caused your accident had been out drinking immediately beforehand, you may be able to pursue a claim against the bar or restaurant.