In the state of Georgia, drivers must carry minimum auto liability insurance. Many motorists feel the minimum will prove sufficient if there is a crash with injuries, and many others carry no insurance at all.
How would you handle a crash situation in which you were the victim and the driver who caused the crash was uninsured?
Act quickly after a collision
If you are in a collision and the other driver does not want to share contact information with you, or worse yet, drives away from the crash scene, take down as much information as you can as quickly as possible. At the very least, write down the make, model and color of the other car. Take down the license number if you can. Take pictures of the collision site, the damage to your vehicle and the other car, if possible. Most important, call law enforcement, even if the damage appears to be minor, and even if the other driver asks you not to. A police report will be essential when you file a claim for compensation, or in the event you have to sue the other driver.
The value of UM coverage
In Georgia, the minimum amount of insurance a driver can carry is $25,000 bodily injury liability for an injury to one person, $50,000 for injuries to multiple people and another $25,000 for property damage liability. Considering the cost of medical care, especially with a hospital stay, those insurance minimums will not go very far. This is why you should protect yourself and your finances by carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, often called UM.
Going to court
If you have no UM coverage and the at-fault driver has no insurance, the only other way for you to possibly obtain compensation is to take the other motorist to court. However, even if you win, this will probably be an exercise in futility. If the other driver cannot afford to purchase automobile insurance, it is unlikely he or she will be able to pay a judgment.
Making a decision
You may do all you can to document a car crash and collect information, but monetary success often depends on whether the at-fault driver has sufficient insurance. Given the possibility that there could be little to no insurance coverage, a decision to add UM to your own policy should be an easy one to make.