It’s a frustrating fact, especially since the state requires all drivers to carry auto insurance.
The most recent statistics from the Insurance Research Council in 2019 show that 12.4% of Georgia’s drivers are uninsured. If you are in an accident, you may, unfortunately, have to contend with an at-fault driver without insurance. In this scenario, knowing your options can greatly help you avoid financial fallout from the accident.
Steps to Take After an Uninsured Motorist Crashes Into You
Every driver should know what to do after an accident, regardless of whether or not the other driver has insurance.
What to Do at the Accident Scene
First, you should call 911 to report the crash so the police can make a report. You should also get medical treatment to determine if you have any internal injuries.
Additionally, exchanging information with the other driver is required. Uninsured drivers will often beg you not to report the crash. Some may outright refuse to provide you with information. In this case, you should take a photo of the vehicle’s license plate and be prepared to describe the driver. Gathering this evidence and getting the contact information of any witnesses will be a tremendous asset.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Next, you should contact your insurance provider. Most providers have stipulations in the contract that you must report any accident to them, regardless of how minor it may be. Your insurance policy may include uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, but it is not mandated under the requirements of Georgia car insurance. In other words, it’s optional, and you may not have it.
Consult an Attorney
According to Stone Mountain car accident lawyers at The Pendergrass Law Firm, PC, you will need legal representation if you don’t have UM coverage in your auto insurance policy. You’ll find that most car accident attorneys will offer a free initial consultation where they can take a look at your case and offer legal advice.
With experience handling car accident cases, they can assess the likely outcome for your case and what compensation you may receive.
Holding the At-Fault Driver Accountable
With Georgia’s at-fault driving laws, the person who caused the accident is liable for compensating the accident victims. You can file a lawsuit to collect damages directly from the uninsured driver, even if they don’t have liability insurance. However, since most uninsured drivers don’t have valuable personal assets, they likely can’t pay, making it hard to recover what they owe to you.
Go to Small Claims Court
Small claims court may be another option, though it may not be sufficient if you have hefty medical bills for your injury. If the damage is only to your property, small claims court may be where you should take your case. Again, this option may not work if the uninsured driver can’t afford to pay you back.
Claim Against Another Liable Party
With the help of a car accident attorney, you may find that there’s another liable party. It could be another vehicle involved in the crash, or it could be a third party that perhaps hired the at-fault driver and didn’t provide proper insurance coverage.
Either way, recovering compensation can be more challenging if your accident was caused by an uninsured driver. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you’ll get the best possible outcome and be able to move forward.