If you have a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance, your injuries and vehicle damage might be paid by your own insurance policy, the uninsured driver personally, or some other source. If you are the one who doesn’t have insurance, you may face criminal penalties, a license suspension, and lawsuits.
In Georgia, all drivers must carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage. But there are many people on the road without insurance. Many more have only the minimum coverage, which may not be enough to pay for the damage in a major accident. If you are in an accident without insurance—or without enough insurance—it is important to get advice from a lawyer.
What if I’m the one without insurance?
Failing to have insurance is a misdemeanor crime in Georgia. Your license and registration can be suspended. In some cases, you may pay a stiff fine or be sent to jail.
If you don’t have insurance and the accident is your fault, you may be facing lawsuits from people who were injured in the accident. These lawsuits are civil cases that are separate from any criminal or DMV penalties you might have. Lawsuits can mean high legal fees and a court judgment ordering you to pay for the damage. In addition, you will have no insurance to pay for the damage to your own car.
If you don’t have insurance and you are involved in an accident, it’s important to talk to a lawyer. A lawyer can help you with traffic charges and explain your options. If you are not at fault, you may be able to make a claim against another driver’s insurance and get money to pay for your injuries and vehicle damage.
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, how will I get paid?
Georgia is a “fault state,” which means that if you get into an accident, the driver who is at fault is responsible for paying for everyone’s injuries and vehicle damage. You are entitled to recover all of your costs from the driver who was at fault, including your medical expenses, lost time from work, and damage to your vehicle.
When the driver who is at fault has insurance, the insurance company will pay, up to the limits of the policy. If your injuries cost more than that, we say that the other driver is “underinsured.”
If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, you still have the right to recover ALL your costs and damages. The way you might do this depends on the other driver’s financial situation and the type of insurance coverage you have. Options include:
- Recovering money from the other driver directly. Unfortunately, drivers who don’t get insurance usually also don’t have a lot of money.
- Placing a lien on the other driver’s assets, such as a house, car or boat. People who don’t have money in the bank sometimes have other things of value. A lien remains on the property until you are paid.
- Making a claim on the uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage of your own insurance policy. Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your injuries if you are in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage supplements the insurance money that you get from a driver who is uninsured. Both types of coverage are optionalin Georgia, so you will only have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if you have added it to your policy.
- Recovering money from third parties. Sometimes there is another person or entity at fault, such as a business or the government agency responsible for maintaining the road.
Uninsured motorist claims are much more complicated than car accident claims where there is plenty of insurance. It is difficult to recover money from an uninsured driver on your own. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver, it is critical to get help from a car accident lawyer in Atlanta Georgia as soon as possible after the accident.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our lawyers have spent decades helping people recover money in uninsured and underinsured motorist cases. We won’t ask you to pay us anything unless we win money for you. Let us give you a free, no obligation consultation to tell you if you have a claim and show you what we can do for you. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.