If you have suffered injuries or property damage in a car crash in Atlanta, GA, a good Atlanta car accident attorney can help you recover compensatory damages. However, there are many things to consider before you can file a claim for compensation.
A vital consideration in car accidents is the auto insurance laws. Georgia has a number of laws that govern auto insurance. If you meet these requirements as a driver, your chances of success in recovering damages in a car crash are higher. On the other hand, being a driver who doesn’t meet insurance requirements reflects poorly on you and may hurt your chances of success in a car crash claim.
Here is a quick rundown of the important auto insurance laws as they apply to Georgia drivers.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements
Georgia has certain minimum auto insurance requirements for all vehicle owners who are licensed in the state. So as a driver in Atlanta, GA, you must carry:
- Minimum auto insurance of $25,000 per person for injury or death in an accident where you are liable
- Minimum auto insurance of $50,000 per accident when more than one persons are injured or die due to your fault
- Minimum $25,000 auto insurance to cover for property damage per accident
When it comes to auto insurance, you can choose basic coverage or have it augmented with many additional options. The extra options cover you for a broader range of damages.
The basic coverage helps you pay off the other drivers who may have been injured or suffered losses in a car accident you caused. Your basic coverage will pay for their medical bills, property damage, and related costs.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and MedPay
The basic coverage detailed above helps you cover the costs of injuries caused to other drivers. However, if you want coverage for your own injuries and losses, you will need additional options. The most common coverage to shield you from your own losses is PIP and MedPay.
PIP comes with fairly broad coverage. It covers you for medical costs as well as lost wages and other damages. As per Georgia laws, PIP covers not only you but also any passengers traveling in the car with you at the time of the accident.
If you are not sure that you want to be covered for lost wages and other fringe damages, you can limit yourself to MedPay. As the name suggests, this type of coverage primarily applies to the medical costs of crash-related injuries. MedPay covers you, any passengers in your vehicle as well as a pedestrian who may have been hit by your vehicle.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage
If you suffer injuries and other losses in a crash caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver, you can’t seek damages from the liable driver’s insurer. You then have two options. You can file a civil lawsuit and try to get damages through a court. This is a time-consuming process and you may still not recover compensation if the liable driver is not financially viable.
Alternatively, you can have additional coverage to protect you from such an eventuality. UIM coverage does precisely this. With UIM coverage, you are able to have your losses covered by your own insurer if your vehicle is hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
It is important to note that UIM is optional coverage. However, you must put it in writing that you don’t want UIM in order not to opt for it.
Georgia is a Fault State
When it comes to auto insurance, states are typically designated as no-fault or fault. Georgia is a fault state. This means that when another driver causes an accident, you can directly seek damages from the insurer of the other driver. This is known as a third party claim.
Hiring a Reliable Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer
In a fault state like Georgia, most car crash claims are brought against the liable driver. This means that you have to go up against the insurer of the other driver or if the case goes to a court, against the lawyers of the liable party. On your own, it can be quite daunting to pursue your case in the face of all this.
This is where Ted A. Greve & Associates can help you. Our Atlanta auto accident lawyers help you file a claim in time and then counter any objections raised by the insurers or other lawyers. In doing so, we seek to ensure that you get fair compensation for your crash-related losses. Contact us to discuss your case in a free preliminary evaluation.