Car Accident Insurance Basics

Posted by Hunter Delashmit | Jun 17, 2023 | 0 Comments

When one is injured in a car accident, various types of insurance policies may be available to help the injured party recover:

Liability Insurance

Under O.C.G.A. § 33-34-4, all owners/operators of a motor vehicle are required to maintain this type of policy. Liability insurance is known as third-party insurance because it protects the insured when a claim for bodily injuries is asserted against the policyholder. In Georgia, the minimum liability policy limits are $25,000/$50,000. This means the most the liability insurer will pay out on a bodily injury claim made against this policy is $25,000 per person in an accident and $50,000 total per accident. What does one do if there are inadequate limits of insurance to cover their medical expenses and compensate the injured party for their pain and suffering? We turn next to a solution to this problem.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance/Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UM/UIM)

While this type of insurance is not required, it is wise to consider maintaining uninsured motorist coverage. UM/UIM insurance is known as first-party insurance because it protects the insured in the event that the insured is injured in an accident and the at-fault driver's liability limits are insufficient to cover the injured party's damages (whether because the at-fault driver's liability limits are inadequate or the at-fault driver possesses no liability insurance whatsoever). UM/UIM insurance also protects the insured in the event that the at-fault driver is unknown (i.e. hit-and-run). Importantly, in Georgia, insurance companies must obtain an explicit written rejection of this type of insurance from its policyholder. If the insurer does not possess this written rejection of coverage, then the policyholder is entitled to $25,000/$50,000 in UM/UIM limits by operation of law under O.C.G.A. § 33-7-11(a)(3). Furthermore, even if you do not have UM/UIM insurance, if you live in the same household as a relative who does and/or were driving or occupying a vehicle listed on a policy with UM/UIM coverage, you may be covered under someone else's policy.

Medical Payments Insurance (MedPay)

Under O.C.G.A. § 33-34-2(1), this type of insurance includes coverage in which the insurer agrees to reimburse the insured and others for medical expenses and funeral expenses incurred as a result of bodily injury or death caused by a car accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Coverage is available to the named insured, resident spouse, and any resident relative while occupying the covered motor vehicle, and to any other person legally occupying a covered motor vehicle. 

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Another type of insurance that can come into play is a workers' compensation policy maintained by the injured driver's employer. The employer's workers' compensation insurance is only implicated if the 

When one is injured in a car accident, various types of insurance policies may be available to help the injured party recover:

Liability Insurance

Under O.C.G.A. § 33-34-4, all owners/operators of a motor vehicle are required to maintain this type of policy. Liability insurance is known as third-party insurance because it protects the insured when a claim for bodily injuries is asserted against the policyholder. In Georgia, the minimum liability policy limits are $25,000/$50,000. This means the most the liability insurer will pay out on a bodily injury claim made against this policy is $25,000 per person in an accident and $50,000 total per accident. What does one do if there are inadequate limits of insurance to cover their medical expenses and compensate the injured party for their pain and suffering? We turn next to a solution to this problem.

Uninsured Motorist Insurance/Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UM/UIM)

While this type of insurance is not required, it is wise to consider maintaining uninsured motorist coverage. UM/UIM insurance is known as first-party insurance because it protects the insured in the event that the insured is injured in an accident and the at-fault driver's liability limits are insufficient to cover the injured party's damages (whether because the at-fault driver's liability limits are inadequate or the at-fault driver possesses no liability insurance whatsoever). UM/UIM insurance also protects the insured in the event that the at-fault driver is unknown (i.e. hit-and-run). Importantly, in Georgia, insurance companies must obtain an explicit written rejection of this type of insurance from its policyholder. If the insurer does not possess this written rejection of coverage, then the policyholder is entitled to $25,000/$50,000 in UM/UIM limits by operation of law under O.C.G.A. § 33-7-11(a)(3). Furthermore, even if you do not have UM/UIM insurance, if you live in the same household as a relative who does and/or were driving or occupying a vehicle listed on a policy with UM/UIM coverage, you may be covered under someone else's policy.

Medical Payments Insurance (MedPay)

Under O.C.G.A. § 33-34-2(1), this type of insurance includes coverage in which the insurer agrees to reimburse the insured and others for medical expenses and funeral expenses incurred as a result of bodily injury or death caused by a car accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Coverage is available to the named insured, resident spouse, and any resident relative while occupying the covered motor vehicle, and to any other person legally occupying a covered motor vehicle. 

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Another type of insurance that can come into play is a workers' compensation policy maintained by the injured driver's employer. The employer's workers' compensation insurance is only implicated if the injury arose out of and in the course of the injured driver's employment at the time of the accident.

Understanding the various types of insurance policies at play in claim for bodily injuries and the legal nuances associated with each is critical to recovering damages associated with your injury after a car accident. If you are injured in a car accident, consider retaining The Delashmit Firm, LLC.

Understanding the various types of insurance policies at play in claim for bodily injuries and the legal nuances associated with each is critical to recovering damages associated with your injury after a car accident. If you are injured in a car accident, consider retaining The Delashmit Firm, LLC.

About the Author

Hunter Delashmit

Hunter Delashmit is a seasoned trial attorney who lives in Cartersville, Georgia with his wife and their pit-husky mix, Dobby. After graduating from The University of Tennessee College of Law, Hunter has gained extensive experience through litigating cases in administrative, state, and federal co...

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