Dealing with Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers: Legal Considerations

Car accidents are traumatic experiences that can be very difficult to deal with, especially when an uninsured or underinsured driver is involved. If you were involved in a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver in Georgia, receiving compensation for your damages could be challenging.

Under Georgia law, drivers must carry liability insurance. Some drivers have only the minimum amount of insurance required by the law, which might not be enough to cover your injuries and other damages.

However, there are plenty of legal considerations that can help you protect your rights and interests. According to a car accident lawyer at T. Madden & Associates P. C., you can recover compensation even if the driver is uninsured or underinsured. 

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

When an uninsured driver is the culprit in your car accident, you might be able to receive compensation through your insurance policy’s uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Even though uninsured motorist coverage is not required by law in Georgia, it can be a good investment that can protect you in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you didn’t have uninsured motorist coverage, there are other steps you can take to secure compensation, such as taking legal action.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage

In some car accidents, you might deal with an insured driver who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to cover your injuries and other damages. 

Yet, you can still recover the necessary amount through your insurance policy’s underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. If you don’t have this type of coverage, taking legal action is the best way to secure compensation.

Taking Legal Action

Although UM and UIM coverage can help you deal with uninsured or underinsured drivers in Georgia, taking legal action against the at-fault driver is the best way to secure compensation for your injuries and other damages.

This is where you will need to contact a personal injury lawyer to help with your case. The good news is that most lawyers offer free consultations. During your consultation, they can provide additional legal options should your case encounter difficulties.

In some instances, uninsured drivers might not have the financial resources to pay a settlement. Yet, even in these situations, your lawyer can help you explore various legal options to recover compensation, such as:

  • Seeking payment through the driver’s assets
  • Pursuing legal action against other parties who may also be liable for the accident

Compensation Via The At-Fault Driver’s Assets

You can seek compensation using an uninsured or underinsured driver’s assets in Georgia. The compensation you can recover through these means must equal the value of your damages and other losses. Some assets that can be used include:

  • Real estate or bank accounts
  • Personal property, such as jewelry
  • Wages

The court can garnish the at-fault driver’s wages or place a lien on their property that requires them to pay the judgment before selling or transferring it. When a wage garnishment occurs, a part of the other driver’s wages will be withheld from them until the amount owed to you is fully paid.

Multiple Liable Parties

When the at-fault driver lacks the financial means to cover your accident-incurred expenses, your lawyer can help you identify other liable parties that might cover your damages.

In some instances, a driver’s employer can be held accountable for the accident if the at-fault driver was working when the accident occurred. This is called vicarious liability, which applies when employees cause accidents during work or while performing job-related duties.

If the underinsured or uninsured driver drove a vehicle owned by someone else during the accident, then the vehicle owner is liable for the damages you incurred. This is known as negligent entrustment.

In some instances, car accidents occur due to dangerous road conditions such as potholes or broken traffic lights. Even if you deal with a driver that lacks the necessary means to pay you for your damages, you can also seek compensation from government entities for their negligence in ensuring road safety.

There are also situations when car accidents occur due to malfunctions, where the manufacturer may be held liable for your damages. That said, a car accident lawyer can help you receive compensation in various ways when dealing with an uninsured or underinsured driver in Georgia. Contact one and take legal action!

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