Bodily injury (BI) and underinsured motorist (UM) insurance can both be used to secure compensation after a car accident. These types of insurance apply differently, depending on the facts of your case.
If the at-fault driver in your case carries liability insurance, BI could cover the costs of your injuries. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or flees the scene, you may need to turn to UM insurance. The primary difference between these coverages is that BI is held by another driver, while UM is your own policy.
What Is BI Insurance Coverage?
BI is a component of liability insurance. All drivers in Georgia are required to carry liability insurance. This kind of insurance covers other drivers injured in an accident. For instance, if an at-fault driver caused your car accident and injured you, their liability insurance plan could provide you with compensation. Georgia mandates the carrying of this insurance to reduce the occurrences of lawsuits.
BI isn’t the only type of coverage provided by liability insurance. Your property damages – like a totaled vehicle – can also be covered. These are state-mandated minimum limits of liability coverage in Georgia:
- BI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
- Property damage: $25,000 per accident
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What Is UM Insurance Coverage?
Imagine that you’re out for a drive when you’re struck by a driver who was disobeying roadway laws. You both pull over to exchange insurance information. During this exchange, the at-fault driver informs you that they aren’t carrying any type of liability insurance.
UM insurance is useful in situations like this. Instead of relying on the other driver’s non-existent BI insurance, you can turn to your own UM coverage for compensation. UM covers the losses that BI and liability insurance typically cover after an accident.
Do I Need to Carry UM Insurance?
No, UM is not mandatory for motorists in Georgia. However, it’s a good idea to carry this type of insurance. In crashes involving uninsured motorists, or in a hit and run, UM can protect you from having to pay your expenses out of pocket.
This type of insurance is useful even in crashes caused by drivers who are carrying insurance. Sometimes, the minimum limits of liability insurance aren’t enough to cover your expenses. The at-fault driver’s insurer usually won’t pay you more than the applicable coverage limits. In these cases, UM can offer you additional coverage.
Insurance policies usually provide a distinction between uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage:
- Uninsured motorist insurance applies to cases where the at-fault driver has no insurance or flees the scene of the accident.
- Underinsured motorist insurance applies to cases where the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough liability insurance.
If you’re confused about the limits of your insurance policy, consider speaking with a lawyer or your insurer. It’s good to know what your policy will and will not cover.
I Was Injured in a Car Accident – Which Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Compensation and its interaction with various insurance plans is confusing. It can be difficult to guess which types of damages you’re eligible to receive compensation for after a car accident. Luckily, most car accident claims involve a similar set of damages, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
Speaking with a lawyer can clarify which types of damages you can pursue after an accident. They’ll review your case and help you understand your best path forward.
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Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
No. Most car accidents are settled through liability insurance claims, which don’t require the involvement of a legal team. However, this process isn’t always straightforward. Insurers who provide liability insurance may be difficult to deal with. It’s not uncommon for them to suggest that you were at fault and try to reduce the value of your claim.
Hiring a lawyer can offer you peace of mind. If they’ve worked on car accident cases in the past, they’ll be familiar with standard insurance practices. They can offer you these types of services:
- Managing all communications with insurers
- Advising you on what you should or shouldn’t say to insurers
- Filing your claim
- Negotiating for the best settlement possible
- Filing a lawsuit, if needed
Are Lawyers Expensive?
Many people assume that hiring a lawyer will only add to your car accident expenses. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that:
- They don’t charge anything up front.
- They’ll review your case for free.
- They only get paid if you win your case.
- Said payment will come as a percentage of your final settlement.
The existence of contingency fees means that hiring a car accident lawyer can be completely risk-free. All you need to do is find a firm you like, and then sign on as a client.
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Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, we’re familiar with Georgia’s network of overlapping insurance laws. We can use this familiarity to support you – we can provide quick answers to all your car insurance questions, whether they’re related to BI or UM.
If you were recently in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact our firm. We’ve secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients over the years. We care about the residents of Georgia and want to fight for the compensation they deserve. We’re committed to standing up for those in need. Call our offices today to get started.
Call or text (404) 888-8888 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form