Uninsured or Underinsured: What to Do After a Car Accident

Uninsured or Underinsured: What to Do After a Car Accident

When you’re involved in a car accident, it can be a very stressful occurrence.

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This scary moment can intensify when the driver responsible for your damages lacks car insurance. 

Although many states have regulations that require proper insurance, many drivers remain uninsured or underinsured. This can leave victims dealing with the heavy financial toll that a personal injury can cause. A personal injury lawyer in your community can help you understand what to do if involved in an accident. Read on for what steps to take next. 

Post-Accident Steps

Georgia requires all drivers to have liability Insurance before getting behind the wheel to drive. However, some drivers either don’t follow the law or unknowingly allow their coverage to lapse. Some elect to drive illegally without insurance or possess insufficient coverage for the damage they cause. If you’re involved in an accident with such drivers, call 911 for emergency assistance. 

Even if you have no visible injuries, avoid leaving the accident scene without notifying the police. This could be a crime in some states. Next, document the accident extensively by capturing images of vehicle damage, and gathering witness testimonies and contacts while making sure to collect the other driver’s contact information.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

When an at-fault driver lacks insurance, uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage could be your safety net. UIM coverage is provided by many insurance companies for injuries sustained. However, UIM might not cover vehicle damage unless supplemented with ‘Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage.’ 

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In instances where the at-fault driver has insurance, but the coverage is insufficient, underinsured motorist coverage could be available. Although optional, this coverage helps supplement the other driver’s coverage for your losses. When dealing with either type of insurance, initiate the claim process as soon as possible, within 30 days of the accident.

Other Coverage Options

Without uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, other coverage options, such as collision coverage for vehicle damage or personal injury protection for injuries, may be viable choices. However, without coverage, you may be responsible for all repair costs, medical bills, and potential car rental fees. In such cases, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party.

Personal Injury Protection or MedPay Coverage

In states without mandatory no-fault rules, like Georgia, which is a fault-based insurance state, drivers can purchase personal injury protection (PIP) or ‘Medical Payments’ (MedPay) coverage to cover medical bills following an accident with an uninsured driver. 

With PIP and MedPay, claims can be made as you incur medical bills. If you’re unsure what options are available to you, speak with a seasoned personal injury attorney. 

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is another viable optional insurance that pays for vehicle repair if the other driver is uninsured or when you are at fault. However, it doesn’t cover injuries and can be limited by the extent of your coverage. Review your coverage policies to ensure you have adequate coverage when you need it.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver

Suing an uninsured driver is possible with the assistance of an experienced attorney. However, collecting the payment can be difficult as the driver may not have enough assets. Speak with a professional accident lawyer about your options. 

Security for the Future

Navigating an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver can be challenging. However, these situations provide an opportunity for you to reevaluate your insurance coverage. Maintaining comprehensive coverage, including uninsured/underinsured motorist, collision, and personal injury protection, could save you when you need it most. 

Also, understanding the coverage details can give you confidence that you and your legal team will know how to respond after an accident. An adept attorney can hold insured, uninsured, or underinsured motorists responsible for the damages they cause. Many personal injury attorneys get paid contingently, meaning they don’t get paid until you’ve recovered compensation.  

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