Attorney Ben Price – The reality of many auto accident cases is that there is often not enough insurance coverage to cover the damages for injuries. Most drivers in Georgia carry the minimum liability limit of $25,000 per person, per accident. If your medical bills and other damages are more than that, there simply won’t be enough coverage to adequately cover your claim. That’s why finding every possible source of other insurance that may cover the accident is such an important job for your personal injury attorney. Your attorney will sometimes be able to find other insurance coverage applying to your case that you didn’t even know existed.
A common example of unexpected coverage falls under the category of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM). Many people are unaware that they may be covered by UM policies of other relatives living in their home. It’s called “resident relative coverage,” and a policy may cover you even if you are not named on the policy and never made a payment on the premium.
In Georgia, UM coverage is very broad every policy written in this state has to include coverage for other relatives living in the insured person’s household, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 33-7-11. It means that if one person owns and insures a vehicle covered by an Uninsured Motorist policy, then other relatives living in that same household will also be covered under that same policy if they are injured in an accident.
Here is how it works: Patty is a 20-year-old adult with no auto insurance who is injured while riding as a passenger in a friend’s car. Patty has accrued $100,0000 in estimated damages. The at-fault driver only has $25,000 in liability insurance coverage, which falls far short of her total damages. Fortunately, Patty hires an attorney who knows what questions to ask, and learns Patty was living with her mother at the time of the accident. Turns out, her mother had her own auto insurance policy with $200,000 in UM/UIM coverage. Even though Patty is not named on that policy, and never paid a dime toward the premium on that policy, because Patty was living with her mother at the time of the accident she may be covered as a “resident relative.” Suddenly, Patty has enough insurance coverage to cover her damages. Patty didn’t even know the coverage existed, and would never have known the coverage existed, had she not hired an experienced personal injury attorney well versed in Georgia auto accident and insurance law.
Finding all avenues of insurance coverage is a complicated question that requires an expert personal injury attorney. Our personal injury attorneys represent auto accident and other injury victims throughout northeast Georgia with offices in Clarkesville, Georgia and Cleveland, Georgia. We also serve clients throughout southeast Georgia at our Savannah, Georgia, office location. If you have been injured in an accident, contact Jarrett & Price for a free consultation or call (912) 401-8880. An attorney WILL return your call.