Car accidents can be traumatic if you are involved in them. They can be even more traumatic if it is a catastrophic accident that may leave you temporarily or permanently disabled. Either way, these types of accidents carry hefty medical bills, financial burden, as well as pain and suffering. But what happens when the other driver’s policy limits don’t cover your medical bills?
If this happens to you, you should consult an Atlanta, GA car wreck attorney right away.
Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Requirements in Georgia
Operating a car is a major responsibility. Just like carrying health insurance to keep you healthy, you need to carry car insurance to keep you safe. There are several types of coverages that you can purchase, however, the state of Georgia requires that you carry at least the minimum coverage if you are going to be on their roads.
Bodily Injury Liability- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability- $25,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Liability- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist Property Damage- $25,000 with a deductible of $250, $500, or $1000
Underinsured motorist coverages are generally grouped in with the uninsured motorist categories. These coverages can be declined because you are not required to carry them in Georgia. It is recommended that they are included in your policy for further protection for yourself.
An important thing to keep in mind when you are out on the road is that the other drivers probably only have the minimum coverage as well, unless it is required by a lienholder on the car. This means that if the accident is of a catastrophic nature and your injuries are severe, the other driver’s policy limits may not be enough to cover your medical expenses and claims.
Options After an Accident
Regardless of the situation you encounter after an accident, the first thing you need to do is obtain counsel from an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney.
Your attorney will have handled cases like yours and has done so for many years. They know what to expect not only from your insurance agency, but the agency of the other driver as well. Your attorney will require that your medical professional compile all of your accrued bills for treatment as well as an estimate of future care and rehabilitation.
With these expenses in hand, they will have an idea of how much the claim should be for. After looking at your car insurance limits and the limits of the other driver, the attorney may have to entertain the idea of a lawsuit against the other driver for personal injury.
Hopefully, your injury is not going to extend past the realm of their bodily injury limits, but if it does and you carry uninsured motorist bodily liability, the remaining portion of your claim should come from your own insurance company.
Exceeding the Other Driver’s Policy Limits
After all of the insurance companies have paid out their portions of the damage from the accident, and you and your attorney find that it is not enough to pay the entire claim a decision will have to be made on suing the other driver in a personal injury lawsuit.
Sometimes it is a moot point to try to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant because they may not have any assets or properties that will pay out the remaining claim. All of the information about the defendant will have to be uncovered in order to decide if pursuing further legal action against them is even a viable option to receive compensation.
It is possible that the other driver has insurance policies that could be cashed out to pay for a settlement or properties that they could sell to pay off the remaining amount of the claim. Your attorney will request this type of information from the defendant as well as doing their own research into the person.
The state of Georgia is a wage garnishment state that follows the federal regulations for garnishment. What this means is that if the defendant has a job, you can file a suit in court to have a judge approve that their wages are garnished. This garnishment can be up to 25% of their disposable income.
Wage garnishment isn’t a quick solution to the problem, but it will still hold the defendant accountable and help you receive compensation.
Don’t Be Intimidated, Get an Atlanta Car Wreck Lawyer on Your Side
Just like you are entitled to have legal counsel, so is the defendant. It may be their strategy to try to prove that you were the one who was more to blame in the accident than their client. Don’t be alarmed though. You have a personal injury law firm in Atlanta on your side who knows all the tricks of the defense. They can navigate around the tricks and reveal your truth.