Many motorists see the wisdom in getting uninsured motorist insurance coverage. It allows them to get compensated if they are injured due to a negligent driver who has no insurance. The policy usually includes underinsured motorist coverage and this is even more important. It is estimated that 12 percent of drivers in Georgia are traveling on the roads without insurance. While this is concerning, you should know that many insured drivers carry just the minimum $25,000 liability coverage. If you get into a serious accident with an underinsured driver, your losses could be substantial. That’s why you need UM/UIM coverage.
Importance of UM/UIM Coverage in Georgia
UM/UIM insurance can make a significant difference in your ability to recover damages when you suffer severe injuries. Contrary to what some people believe, it does not only cover you when you are driving your vehicle. If you were a passenger in your car or someone else’s car, you will still be covered under your policy. The same applies if you were a pedestrian as long as the other driver had insufficient coverage or no coverage.
You shouldn’t underestimate how much this coverage can benefit you. Let’s say the at-fault driver only had the minimum amount of insurance. However, your injuries and property damage amounted to $75,000. If you have $50,000 in excess UM/UIM coverage on your vehicle, you could get all the compensation you are due. If you don’t have any coverage, you would have few options for recovering the excess damages.
Each policy is different. However, UM coverage will usually compensate you for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning capacity
After you’ve been involved in an accident, you should contact your agent to ensure you fully understand your policy. You may also need to contact a Georgia car accident attorney to ensure your insurer doesn’t take advantage of you.
Why Filing a UM Claim Should Not Affect Your Premium
Despite the clear benefits, some motorists are reluctant to file a UM/UIM insurance claim. This is because they fear their policy will be canceled or their premiums will increase. It is understandable why many victims of car accidents are afraid. The insurance industry has managed to scare people into not filing claims when they should. However, insurers can’t legally punish their clients for filing a claim following an accident for which they were not at fault. Doing so is in contravention of Georgia Code Title 33. Insurance § 33-9-40.
Some clients worry that the insurer will instead refuse to renew their policy when it comes to an end. If you made multiple claims during the period, this may be a valid concern. However, the laws surrounding this are complicated. It is best that you consult a Georgia car accident attorney to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Your lawyer will remind you of the need to notify your insurer about the accident as soon as possible. With some companies, calling your agent serves as notification but this is not always the case. This is one of the things you will need to double-check. If you don’t make the report in time, your coverage could be voided. You will need to comply with the company’s requests for information and statements. If you are worried you will say something that will jeopardize your claim, seek your attorney’s guidance.
Contact Athens DUI Lawyers to Get the Advice and Representation You Deserve
Even though your insurance carrier can’t legally punish you, they can still deny your claim. They are also likely to offer you a lot less than you asked for. It is standard practice to make a low initial offer, hoping you will accept it without a fight. Many accident victims who are unrepresented do so and try to move on with their lives as quickly as possible. However, victims who have an attorney usually get a better outcome.
You don’t want to battle against an insurance company on your own. While some claims processes go smoothly, many don’t. Car accident lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies and push for the best possible outcome. They will assist you in proving your injuries and getting the compensation you truly deserve. If your insurance company takes action against you illegally, they can also fight for your rights. If you’ve been injured in a Georgia car accident, schedule a consultation with Athens DUI Lawyers and let us help you. We will assist you in getting your life back on track.