As a Georgia
car accident lawyer, I get a lot of blank stares when I ask clients whether they have uninsured
motorist coverage and how much it is.
Uninsured motorist coverage?, they blink.
Certainly nothing about Georgia car insurance is easy for the layperson.
The whole system consists of a myriad of little, tricky rules, which can
get people quite confused.
I take great pains to try to explain things simply, whether to my
car accident clients, my
personal injury clients, or a jury. It’s the teacher in me, I think. The other day
one of my clients gave me a call to ask a question. I am handling one
case for her, and she has a lawyer handling another type of case for her,
too. She asked me to explain what was happening in her other case. She
said she had asked her other lawyer, and just couldn’t understand
what the lawyer was telling her. She thought she would call me because
she always understood what I said. What a compliment! It made my day to
think I was able to communicate well to her.
So, in simple terms, what on earth is this uninsured motorist coverage,
and why should you get it?
If you are reading this, the chances are extremely high that you are a
responsible type of person, and you have followed the law and bought car
insurance for your car in case of a car wreck. You know that if you do
cause a car wreck, the person you hit will be covered, and you won’t
have to worry about how you will manage to pay their medical bills. Probably
you are even the type of person who got some extra insurance, not just
the minimum $25,000 required by Georgia law.
Here is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play: Sure,
you were responsible and got insurance. But what if you get hit, and the other
not have insurance to cover
Uninsured motorist coverage is important in three principle situations:
(1) The driver who hit you has no insurance coverage.
O.C.G.A. 33-7-11(b)(1)(D)(i) and (v). Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the law like you do.
(2) You or someone in your car is seriously hurt in the car accident, and
although the other driver had insurance, it is not enough to cover all
of the medical bills and lost wages and damages for everyone who got hurt.
(3) The driver who hit you had insurance coverage, but for some reason
the insurance company won’t or can’t pay the damages. This
type of situation might occur when, for instance, the insurance company
goes out of business (O.C.G.A. 33-7-11(b)(1)(D)(iv)), or claims that it does not have to pay because the insured did not give
it timely notice that the accident had occurred.
Put into a simple statement: the reason to get uninsured motorist coverage
is to protect
you. You paid a lot of money to protect other people. But unless you get UM
coverage, you may get worse treatment than they will. Clearly that would
be unfair to you.