It doesn’t matter where you live in this country, you’re legally required to carry car insurance. Even if you don’t care about protecting yourself or your property, you’re required to care about the damage you cause other people. Most people do the right thing and pay their car insurance premiums every month without fail. This is why it’s extremely frustrating when you find out the person who crashed into your car or SUV doesn’t have car insurance. A car wreck attorney in Carrollton runs into this problem more often than you may think.
The problem with these cases is that you really only have a couple of options. You can file a claim under your own uninsured motorist’s policy, or you can sue the other driver. In fact, you can do both and your Georgia personal injury lawyer would probably do both.
First, you’d see how much money you can get from your own uninsured motorist’s coverage. Then, you would sue the other driver for the remainder. This may not sound so bad. However, there are several drawbacks you need to consider. Here, we’ll talk about the problem you encounter when you get into an accident with an uninsured driver in Carrollton. If you still have questions after reading this article, feel free to reach out to our firm directly.
How Can You Find Out if a Driver Has Car Insurance?
Most people who get into an accident have no idea that the other person has no car insurance. In fact, some of our clients have been given insurance information only to find out that the policy had lapsed. Or they find out the card was fake. This is why we always remind people to call the police immediately after their car wreck. This way, the cops can check the other driver’s car insurance card there at the scene.
If the police find that the other driver doesn’t have car insurance, they’re going to issue them a ticket. They’ll also tow and impound their vehicle. They’ll put a note about this in the final version of their police report. When your attorney reads the report, they’ll see that the defendant had no car insurance. This is when you’ll have to decide how you want to move forward.
Will Your Uninsured Motorist’s Policy Cover Your Damages?
It’s always difficult to explain to accident victims how uninsured motorist’s coverage works. When people learn that their policy only offers, on average, $10,000 in coverage, they’re devastated. If you suffered any physical injuries at all, your medical bills will normally be more than that. You also have to worry about the money it costs to fix your car. Or, if your car was totaled, you’ll need to replace your vehicle. There certainly won’t be enough in coverage to do that.
The other problem with uninsured motorist’s coverage is that it doesn’t begin to cover things like lost wages, lost future income, or pain and suffering. If you expect to recover these types of damages, you’ll have no choice but to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
What Will Happen When Your Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Files Suit?
At some point, you’re going to have to decide whether you want to sue the other driver. Of course, your car wreck attorney in Carrollton will encourage you to do so. They understand this is the only way you can recover the compensation you deserve.
If you decide to move forward, the first thing you need to do is file your initial complaint. The defendant will receive a copy of this and will have thirty days to respond. If they don’t respond, your attorney will file a motion for default judgment. This will be granted, unless the defendant makes an appearance at some point.
If the defendant does answer the complaint, you’ll move forward toward trial. The court will require that the two parties attend mediation in an effort to settle the matter. But if you can’t resolve things that way, you’ll have no choice but to go to trial. If this happens, your attorney will demand that the defendant be ordered to pay your attorney fees. If you win at trial, you’ll receive a judgment against the defendant. Unfortunately, this judgment may not be worth much more than the paper it’s printed on.
The Defendant May Never Pay You a Dime
The problem with suing somebody who doesn’t have car insurance is that you may never see a dime. Just because you win at trial, that doesn’t mean the defendant will actually pay the judgment. It just means they’ll have a judgment against them. It will serve as a lien so, if they have property and try to sell it, they’ll have to pay the lien in full.
Sadly, most people who would risk driving without car insurance do not have the kind of money it takes to pay off a civil judgment. If the defendant had money, they would’ve paid for car insurance. This means that you may make a judgment that sits for twenty years without getting paid. This also means that your attorney won’t get paid either. Since your lawyer works on a contingency basis, they only get paid when the judgment is paid.
Meet with an Experienced Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away
If you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have car insurance, you will have a hard time recovering damages. This is because most drivers without car insurance don’t have all that much in the way of personal assets. The best thing to do is to call and speak with a Georgia personal injury lawyer right away. They can review your case and let you know how best to proceed.
Call today and speak with one of our helpful staff. They’ll work with you to find a date and time that works for you. Come into the office and take the time to sit down with someone who knows the law in Georgia. They’ll let you know how strong your case is and give you an idea of what it may be worth. Since the initial consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.