The last thing any driver wants to hear is that their insurance premiums increased after an accident that was not their fault. Operating a vehicle without proper insurance in Georgia is illegal, but that doesn’t stop nearly 12% of Georgia motorists from hitting the roads without insurance. Uninsured drivers are more likely to cause accidents and leave victims with thousands of dollars in damages that the victims must pay for. When an uninsured driver’s assets cannot cover the costs of the damages they caused, victims can turn to their insurance company if they have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. However, these complex cases leave victims questioning if they should file a claim out of fear that their insurance rates will increase.
Our expert personal injury attorneys encourage Georgia motorists and our clients that this fear should not prevent them from getting UM insurance and using it. In Georgia, motorists are protected from having their insurance rates increased when they are not at fault in a multivehicle accident by O.C.G.A. § 33-9-40. This statute prevents insurance companies from using predatory tactics to discourage victims from filing UM claims that they rightfully should make. Other statues further protect victims from insurance companies refusing to renew or cancelling insurance policies after UM claims are made.
Insurers in Georgia are required to offer UM coverage equal to the liability insurance limits of their insured’s policy. The insured can choose UM coverage equal to their liability limits, a lesser amount or reject it altogether. It is the insurer’s responsibility to get the election in writing, signed by their insured.. Additionally, there are options of “stacking” UM coverage in the event the insured has multiple policies, even if the other vehicles owned by the insured were not involved in the accident and even if the other vehicles were insured by a different insurance company. When victims have been hit by an uninsured driver, the bottom line is that they have a right to use the full amount of coverage available, especially since this is coverage that was paid for by the victim. Failure to use insurance coverage that was paid for only victimizes the insured a second time.
Even if drivers have UM coverage and file a claim after an accident that was not their fault, that does not guarantee that your insurance company will pay the damages sufficiently, or at all. Insurance companies can deny claims that quickly make them an adverse party in your personal injury claim. Claims can be denied for reasons such as:
- Wrongfully placed liability on the victim
- Failure to provide notice of the collision within reasonable time
- Lack of evidence of medical expenses, lost wages, and damages
- Claims that the victim’s premium payments lapsed and coverage was lost
If victim’s claims are approved, insurance companies may still only partially pay the damages sustained in the accident. These low offers can be an act of bad faith, and leave victim’s paying out of pocket for damages they rightly have paid for in their insurance policies. Our seasoned personal injury attorneys can help victims choose the best options when dealing with uninsured drivers and their insurance companies. Let us provide comprehensive representation today by calling 844-810-4357.
Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.