Legally, every driver in Douglasville, Georgia is required to carry certain minimum amount of auto insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage in case they ever cause an auto accident. However, these minimum limits are often much lower than the overall cost of an auto accident on the victims; and in many cases, the drivers who are most likely to cause accidents are least likely to carry adequate auto insurance coverage, if they purchase coverage at all. So, if you end up in an auto accident with someone without auto insurance or with inadequate coverage, what do you do? Here, we’ll discuss the legal requirements of the state of Georgia and how you can protect yourself from a situation in which your injuries, time off work, and/or property damage are not covered by the at fault driver.
Fulton County, Georgia and Legal Auto Insurance Requirements
All Fulton County drivers should adhere to Georgia’s auto insurance laws with at least the minimum required coverage for bodily injury and property damage. This means that each driver needs to have at least $25,000 of coverage for the injury or death of one person in an accident (which includes themselves, their passengers, other drivers and passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and more). Each driver also needs to carry at least $50,000 in coverage for the injury or death of multiple individuals in a single accident. Finally, each driver should have at least $25,000 in coverage for any property damage that may occur from an auto accident in which they are the at fault driver.
Having said that, these legal minimums are not always enough to cover all of the damages and losses associated with your average Douglasville, GA auto accident. There are frequently expensive medical bills, ongoing treatment needs, time off of work, the possibility of lost future earning potential, and enough property damage to go far beyond these legal minimum requirements of auto insurance. It is up to each driver to both purchase additional insurance on their policies, going above and beyond the legal minimum requirement, and to purchase the optional UIM coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which is the best way to ensure that you don’t get left holding the bill.
The Consequences of Not Carrying Adequate Auto Insurance in Douglasville, GA
Drivers in Douglasville, Georgia who do not carry adequate auto insurance, according to the law, can face serious consequences when caught. Naturally, causing an auto accident is a good way to be caught in violation of these laws. The driver without proper insurance can end up paying significant fines, serving time in jail, and even losing their driver’s license.
The Value of Purchasing UIM Coverage in Fulton County, GA
While these consequences, when carried out against the at fault driver, may make you feel a little bit better, soothing your sense of justice, it doesn’t help much when it comes to paying your bills. This is where you will find it worthwhile to have your own backup plan in the form uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, or UIM coverage. This type of coverage is optional in Georgia, but it is extremely valuable when you find yourself in a situation where there is no other auto insurance policy available to cover the expenses associated with your auto accident injuries, or when there is simply not enough. When you look at the fact that more than 12% of drivers are operating their vehicles without any auto insurance at all, you can see a further reason for the decision to purchase UIM coverage.
What are Excess Coverage and Reduction Coverage in UIM Insurance?
There are two forms of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage available to drivers in Fulton County, Georgia. These are excess coverage and reduction coverage. Excess coverage, also known as add-on coverage, allows you to have insurance that is an addition to the at-fault driver’s coverage. For example, if the at fault driver has the minimum $25,000 of auto insurance coverage for a single victim, but you have excess UIM coverage at $50,000, then your total amount of coverage is $75,000.
Reduction coverage, on the other hand, allows you to have UIM coverage for the difference in limits between the at fault driver’s coverage and your own. For example, if the at fault driver has the minimum $25,000 of auto insurance coverage for a single victim, and you have reduction UIM coverage at $75,000, then your UIM coverage will be the difference between the two. Thus, $25,000 from the at-fault driver’s policy, subtracted from the $75,000 of your UIM reduction policy equals $50,000. This difference is added to the at fault driver’s coverage, giving you a total of $75,000 in coverage.
Making Sense of Your Available Coverage After a Douglasville Auto Accident
If all of this sounds a little confusing to you, you are not alone. To protect yourself and prepare for the unexpected, you can make sense of uninsured and underinsured auto insurance policies by contacting your insurance company to arrange for the best solution to meet your needs if such an accident should occur in the future. However, if you have already been in an auto accident with someone who is not insured or who does not have adequate insurance to cover all of your expenses, then the best thing you can do from here is to contact a skilled Fulton County car crash lawyer for advice. Call the attorneys at John B. Jackson & Associates for a free consultation of your claim and advice on how to move forward.