By Darryl I. Lasky, Esq.
Whether a car accident is your fault or not, here are some tips for being readily prepared for any situation that may arise while you are behind the wheel of an automobile. You never know when this information will come in handy. As an attorney who deals primarily with car accident cases, the number one issue that arises in almost all cases is lack of coverage or inadequate coverage.
Under Georgia law, every car is required to carry at least $25,000.00 limits of liability on their car insurance policy. The liability portion of a car insurance policy is used to compensate someone that has been injured when you or the driver of your car is at fault and caused the injury. The limits of the liability portion of your policy determine the maximum amount available for a third party to recover if the accident is your fault. However, there are many instances where the statutory amount ($25,000.00) is not enough to cover the injury sustained by the non-fault party.
For example, if you break both of your legs in a car accident, then it is likely that your medical bills will be more than $25,000.00 total, which raises the question where does the extra money come from? Well, the answer is very complicated, but this article will attempt to explain how to better prepare oneself and your family before and after a car accident.
Before the Accident: The number one tip is to make sure you have adequate coverage
What is “adequate” coverage?
Obviously, everyone has a different budget for what they can afford when it comes to car insurance. However, there are a few coverages that should be on EVERY policy, no matter the budget. Knowing your policy can help you better understand what protections you can take advantage of in the event of a motor vehicle accident for you or a loved one. Review your policy on a bi-annual basis.
Number 1: UNINSURED MOTORIST This is the most important addition you can have to your auto insurance policy. UM for short, this coverage protects you and your family in the event that the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to cover the full value of your claim (medical bills/lost wages/pain and suffering) and/or, in the event the at-fault driver is unidentifiable i.e. hit and run, or the at-fault driver does not have insurance at all (which happens way more than you might think). There are 2 types of UM coverage in Georgia. You should always purchase the “Add-On” coverage since the total amount of your UM coverage will be added to any amount of liability coverage the at-fault party may have for your claim.
Number 2: MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE Medical payments coverage will cover a certain amount of your medical bills no matter who is at-fault. This helps avoid a large deductible or can really assist folks without health insurance.