Georgia’s car insurance laws require that drivers carry a certain level of insurance coverage in the event that they are involved in a collision.
Auto insurance is designed to compensate for personal injury and/or property damage sustained in a collision. Depending on the coverage, insurance may cover:
- You or anyone else who drives your vehicle
- Passengers in your vehicle
- Driver and passengers in other vehicles involved in the crash
Filing a claim after a car crash can be confusing, which is why you may need the services of an Athens auto accident attorney. Brady M. Larrison of Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys understands Georgia auto insurance requirements and how they may impact your case.
In this article, we will explore Georgia minimum insurance requirements, as well as optional coverage you can add to your policy — and how you can file an auto insurance accident claim in Georgia to recover the compensation you’re eligible for.
What Are Georgia’s Auto Insurance Minimums?
Car insurance policies offer a wide range of options, which allows drivers to tailor their policies to provide the coverage they want and need. This does not mean that drivers can decide to decline coverage. Most states, including Georgia, require drivers to carry a certain amount of coverage to compensate car crash victims for property damage and personal injury.
Georgia’s minimum insurance requirements include:
Bodily Injury Liability
- $25,000 per person/$50,000 per occurrence
Property Damage Liability
- $25,000 per occurrence
Bodily injury compensates victims for injuries sustained in a car crash, while property damage compensates them for damage to the vehicle or other property.
Drivers must be able to offer proof of insurance, whether through a physical/digital card or by verifying details with the Georgia Drives E-Service portal.
What Auto Insurance is Optional Under Georgia Law?
Georgia car insurance laws also allow drivers to purchase additional coverage above the minimum requirements. This coverage includes:
Physical Damage Coverage
This coverage will pay for damage to your own vehicle. Most insurance companies offer two types of coverage. Some lenders require this type of coverage. The two types of physical damage coverage are:
- Comprehensive, which covers all types of damage including vandalism, fire, and theft.
- Collision, which covers damage sustained during a collision
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UIM/UM, compensates your losses if the at-fault driver does not have insurance coverage.
If you are financing or leasing your vehicle, this coverage can be helpful. Since vehicles depreciate so quickly, GAP coverage will pay the difference between the value of your vehicle and what you owe on the loan.
If you are involved in a collision and your car can’t be driven or if your vehicle breaks down, roadside assistance can be helpful. This coverage pays for your vehicle to be towed up to a certain distance or amount.
MedPay covers medical bills and/or funeral expenses for you and anyone in your vehicle up to the policy limit. This coverage is useful regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
Is Georgia an At-Fault State for Insurance?
Georgia is considered an “at-fault” state when it comes to determining financial responsibility for a car crash.
This means that the victims can file with the insurance company of the driver who caused the crash. On the other hand, they also have the option to file with their own insurance company, who will then pursue compensation from the insurance carrier of the other driver. In either scenario, the driver who caused the collision will reimburse the victim for their losses.
In order to process a claim, detailed records must be provided:
- Receipts/estimate sheets related to repairs
- All correspondence with the insurance company, including letters and emails
- Records of dates/times of phone calls and the name of the representative spoken with along with a summary of the conversation
- If a particular loss is denied, ask for the insurance company to provide the precise language in the policy that denies the claim
- Pictures of all property damage and bodily injury
Victims should be cooperative with the adjuster. However, it’s also important to understand that they have an incentive to settle claims for as little as possible.
If you or your loved one has suffered property damage and/or personal injury in a car crash, you need a Georgia car accident attorney who is familiar with these laws and can ensure that you get fair compensation for your losses.
What If Someone Drives Without Insurance in Georgia?
While Georgia car insurance laws require minimum coverage, there are still drivers who decide to decline coverage. In fact, approximately 12% of drivers in the state of Georgia do not have insurance.
If a driver is caught driving without insurance either through a traffic stop or a collision, they may face certain penalties, including:
- Suspension/revocation of vehicle registration
- Denial of renewal/reinstatement of vehicle registration
Uninsured drivers who are involved in a collision will be held personally and financially responsible for property damage and/or physical injuries sustained.
How Can You Claim Insurance in an Accident?
When you are involved in a car crash in Georgia, there are usually a few different options for seeking compensation. These include:
- Filing with your own insurance company, regardless of who is liable. This is known as a first-party claim and may be the best option if you have:
- collision coverage, to pay for vehicle/property damage
- personal injury protection, to pay for any physical injuries sustained in the accident.
- Filing with the other driver’s insurance company. This is known as a third-party claim. This is usually the best option if the other driver obviously caused the accident.
- Filing a lawsuit in civil court, especially if car accident settlement negotiations are not working out. It is important to note that the insurance company will still cover up to the policy limits and settlements can still occur at any time before the case gets to trial
Our Athens Car Accident Lawyer Can Help With Understanding How Much Insurance You Can Recover
If you or a loved one is involved in a car crash, you need an auto accident attorney who is highly knowledgeable of Georgia car insurance laws. Let Brady M. Larrison with Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys review your case.
Mr. Larrison understands Georgia auto insurance requirements. He also understands that insurance companies will try to settle claims for as little as possible and will work with you to ensure that you get fair compensation for your losses. He has worked as a plaintiff’s attorney in the Athens area for more than a decade and treats his clients like family.
Schedule your free case evaluation with Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys today.