Depending on the facts of your situation, you might be able to recover some damages even if the liable party has no insurance. It is bad enough to get hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, but it can be devastating to learn that the person who hurt you is uninsured. You do not have to give up if this happens to you.
Types of Damages Recoverable in Personal Injury Claims
The defendant has the same legal liability regardless of whether he has insurance. The American Bar Association (ABA) says that after you prove that the defendant is liable, you can go after your losses caused by the defendant’s negligence.
Personal injury money damages can include things like:
- Medical expenses, which include both the current and future costs of the treatment you needed for your injuries
- Lost wages, salary, or other forms of regular income that you lost because you got hurt, were undergoing medical treatment, or were recuperating
- Pain and suffering to account for the physical discomfort and emotional distress you experienced
These are only a few categories of damages that could be relevant to your injury claim. The amount of compensation you can seek will depend on the facts of your case, not on whether the defendant has insurance.
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Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
Georgia law does not require drivers to buy uninsured (UM) or underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage on their automobile insurance policies, but it can be worth it if you get hit by someone who does not have car insurance.
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage can help pay some of your losses, up to the amount of your policy limits, if the person who caused the accident was uninsured. UM coverage will also help if you were the victim of a hit-and-run driver.
Umbrella Liability Insurance
Let’s say that you got hurt in a collision that was someone else’s fault. Even if the at-fault driver did not have the automobile liability coverage the state requires, they might have another type of insurance that could pay for their negligence.
Many homeowner’s insurance policies have optional riders called “umbrella” liability policies. These policies cover a wide variety of accidents. As long as the crash was one of the circumstances the umbrella policy covers, you could recover compensation from the rider. Umbrella liability policies usually have much higher policy limits than standard automobile insurance.
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Medical Payments Coverage
You might have medical payments, also called “med-pay” coverage on your car insurance policy. While this coverage does not pay other types of losses, getting your medical expenses paid up to the limits of your med-pay coverage can protect you from having a stack of medical bills that you cannot afford otherwise.
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The Defendant’s Personal Assets
Although Georgia law requires all drivers to carry automobile liability insurance, uninsured motorists do not get off scot-free for the harm they cause. People are still responsible for money damages, whether they have car insurance or not.
Your personal injury attorney can explore the assets that the at-fault party has. After that, we can fight to get a court judgment that orders the defendant to pay you a specific amount of money.
The Court May Garnish the Other Driver’s Wages
It is possible to garnish bank accounts and wages to collect the money a person owes from a court order. Sometimes, the court will authorize the plaintiff to seize certain assets and sell them to satisfy the judgment in part or in whole.
You should not have to suffer the financial consequences while the defendant sits on valuable assets that could help pay for the harm they caused. These methods can also be a way to go after compensation when the court awards you more money than the amount of the defendant’s liability insurance.
Possible Employer Liability for an Employee’s Actions
You might be able to hold the defendant’s employer responsible for your losses if the defendant was on the job at the time of the accident.
For example, if a package delivery company did not perform adequate background and criminal records checks on job applicants, they might be liable for resulting harm to third parties. If the defendant had previous convictions for driving under the influence and collided with you because he was driving drunk, the employer might be at least partially liable.
How to Get Help for Your Case
Please do not wait too long to reach out to us. You only have two years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the harm you suffered that was someone else’s fault, according to OCGA §9-3-33.
Negotiating with the defendant or filing an insurance claim does not satisfy this requirement. If you do not file a case in court before the deadline, you will lose the right to go after money damages, and the defendant will not owe you a penny.
Call Kaine Law to Get Started
You can call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. At Kaine Law, we focus on helping people who get hurt because of the carelessness of others. Find out how we can help you today.