As you are driving to work this morning or driving home tonight, take a look around and notice everyone you are sharing the road with. There is a great chance 3 or 4 people you can see don’t have insurance. If they make a mistake and get in an accident with you, injuring you, they probably aren’t going to be able to pay you for their actions.
One in Seven Georgia Motorists Uninsured
No one really knows exactly how many people are on the road uninsured. It’s not like you have to have a special license plate if you don’t have insurance. But there are ways to extrapolate estimates out of traffic ticket numbers.
Pennsylvania based Insurance Research Council did just that and found that in Georgia, about 16% of drivers are uninsured.
That means there’s a good chance if you are involved in a car accident it’s going to be with someone that doesn’t have insurance. So how do you get paid?
Get Paid with Uninsured Drivers
The problem of uninsured or under insured drivers has been around since the invention of the automobile. Because of that, systems have been created to help people when they are injured by drivers that have no car insurance.
But, as you might imagine, the systems in place to help people injured by uninsured motorists are complicated. Before I even get into the potential claim resources I want to encourage you to talk to a personal injury lawyer (more specifically, I want to encourage you to talk to us). We deal with these systems every day. We know their shortcomings and their loopholes. We know how to use these systems to your advantage.
With that being said, let’s get to the systems.
PIP – Personal Injury Protection
Personal injury protection is a system set up by car insurance companies so that you can insure yourself against uninsured drivers. It’s an add on to your own insurance policy where your insurance company agrees to pay you up to your policy limits for medical bills, hospital bills, and funeral expenses up to your policy limits. Some policies also include allowances for lost wages.
If you don’t have personal injury protection you should get it. Think about whether the extra insurance premium is worth it when you are driving on the highway the next time. One out of every six cars you see is an uninsured motorist (you are the seventh).
UM/IM – Uninsured and Under Insured Motorist Coverage
UM/IM is an add on coverage you can get with your policy too. It’s different than PIP though. It only covers out of pocket expenses you incurred because of the accident.
In most cases this is the amount of your deductible. But it can also apply to other expenses you pay that your insurance company wouldn’t usually cover but that the at fault driver would pick up if they had insurance.
Once again, this is an add on policy for you. This insurance covers, as the name implies, repairs to your car up to the total value of the car, excluding the deductible.
So, for example, if you get in an accident and your car is totaled, this insurance would pay you for the value of your car, minus the deductible, if the other driver didn’t have car insurance.
It’s Complicated – Get Help
If it sounds complicated it’s because it is. And let’s be honest, even your own insurance company isn’t looking out for you. If you are in an accident with a driver that isn’t insured and they are on the hook for it, they are going to do their best to pay you as little as possible. It’s just the nature of the insurance business.
Why chance losing thousands of dollars? Call us today to set up an appointment to come and talk to us.
Tyler Moffitt is a Georgia personal injury lawyer with Moffitt Law, LLC. Offices in Lagrange Georgia and Columbus Georgia