Realizing that the driver who hit you did not have insurance is daunting, especially if you were injured and are facing significant medical bills. However, if you were struck by an uninsured driver, you are not out of luck for receiving compensation for your expenses.
You can pursue them with a personal injury lawsuit or file a claim with your own insurer. It is also possible that they are not the only responsible party, and a government agency or another driver might be the one who owes you compensation.
Georgia’s Insurance Requirements
All states have requirements for the amount of insurance every licensed driver must have. In Georgia, according to the Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire (OCI), each driver must carry at minimum protection for:
- Bodily injury per person: $25,000
- Bodily injury per incident: $50,000
- Property damage per incident: $25,000
Insurance is not just to protect your health by helping pay for your own injuries but also protects your financial well-being by helping pay for others’. Without insurance, a driver deemed responsible for a crash may have to pay that $25,000 for injuries out of their own pocket.
Unfortunately, some drivers decide that risking a huge bill is worth not paying a monthly premium. This short-sighted perspective can leave accident victims like you with fewer options to pursue reimbursement.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-214-2001
If You’re In an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the rate of motorists without insurance in Georgia in 2019 was 12.4 percent. That ranks the state in the top half of the nation for uninsured drivers. In a big city like Atlanta, you therefore may be in a car accident without insurance from the other driver, and that driver could be in big trouble with the law.
However, what matters to you is how your expenses are handled. While a criminal conviction can help provide closure and solidify the other driver’s fault, it will not necessarily provide you with the monetary compensation you need to treat your injuries and adjust to life after the accident. Moreover, sadly, some negligent drivers escape criminal punishment.
Without insurance, the likely path to receiving compensation is through a personal injury lawsuit. In this situation, talking to a personal injury lawyer from our firm can help shed light on your options.
The Process of a Personal Injury Suit
A lawsuit revolves around demonstrating negligence, which has four main elements:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
By operating a vehicle on the road, the driver owed you a duty of care to operate that vehicle properly. They acted in a way that breached that duty of care, such as by driving drunk or speeding. That breach caused your injuries and, as a result, you are entitled to damages.
Possible Available Damages After a Car Accident
Damages in a personal injury case are more than just paying for the immediate aftermath of your accident. They can include:
- Past and future medical bills: These expenses could pertain to surgeries, hospital stays, medications, doctor’s appointment copays, and medical devices.
- Property damage: You might need to repair or replace your vehicle.
- Lost wages: You might have had to take several days off work.
- Future lost earning potential: You can claim losses if you won’t be able to return to your previous job.
- Pain and suffering: This damage accounts for the physical pain you’re enduring.
- Mental anguish: It’s possible that the accident has taken a toll on your mental health.
- Loss of consortium: If you lost your spouse in the accident, this form of compensation can help you make this new life transition.
Although the onus is on our team to help you demonstrate negligence, a civil suit allows you to fight for damages that are tailored to your needs. In that case, OCGA §9-3-33 permits claimants generally two years to file a lawsuit. Complying with this deadline is crucial, as it determines whether or not you ultimately forfeit your right to compensation.
Additional Sources of Damages
Car accidents can be caused by multiple factors. Even if an uninsured driver played a major role in your crash, others also may be partly liable, and we can pursue them and their insurance for damages as well. Other possible responsible parties could be:
- Other drivers
- Defective equipment
- City, county, or state government
You can also receive help through your own insurance if you purchased additional coverage, like uninsured motorist insurance or collision coverage.
Call Kaine Law to Learn More About Your Options
At Kaine Law, our team of car accident injury lawyers has decades of experience, and we want to put that to work for you. If you were injured in Atlanta in a car accident with a driver with no insurance, contact our firm today.
Not only is our initial consultation free, but we also have a no-fee guarantee—unless you receive your settlement, we don’t get paid. Call today to learn more.