If you get into a car accident in Georgia and you do not have insurance, you can face fines, license suspension, and other penalties. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-10, Georgia’s statute for general insurance laws, states that drivers should always carry proof of insurance in their vehicles.
What Consequences do I Face for Driving without Auto Insurance in Georgia?
Drivers who violate Georgia’s auto insurance laws may face a misdemeanor charge. You would either have to pay a fine of between $200 and $1,000 or face up to a year in prison. However, you may risk both fines and jail time.
You could also face a 60-day suspension of your driver’s license for your first offense, as specified in code O.C.G.A. § 40-5-70. Following offenses will get you a 90-day suspension. Moreover, you cannot register or renew your vehicle’s license plate if you do not have auto insurance, and unregistered vehicles will be impounded. You will also have to deal with any impounding fines.
It would be in your best interest to get an auto insurance policy as soon as possible to avoid dealing with these consequences.
Can I Still file a Claim for Compensation Even If I Am Uninsured?
Yes, you may still bring a liability insurance claim against the other driver if they are more at fault for the accident than you. If your claim is successful, you can recover damages that help repay your accident-related expenses.
You could also file a lawsuit if you do not get compensated appropriately in the insurance claim.
Does Driving While Uninsured Reduce the Damages I Can Receive?
Driving without insurance in Georgia does not affect the amount you can recover in your car accident claim or lawsuit. Instead, your compensation depends on the state’s comparative fault rules. Your recoverable damages may get deductions based on the amount of fault you share.
So, for instance, if the claims adjuster or judge finds you 30 percent liable for speeding during the accident, you would only receive 70 percent of the total amount. However, you cannot receive compensation if you are at more fault than the other driver.
Keep in mind that you can still face penalties for driving without insurance.
What Happens If I Am More Liable for the Car Accident?
In a typical scenario, the other driver would file a claim with your liability insurance provider. But if you get into a car accident in Georgia without insurance, they might go straight to filing a lawsuit against you. In some cases, the other driver may have a policy covering an accident with an uninsured driver.
A lawyer can help with your case if the other party tries to say you are more liable for the accident. However, your case may not even get that far if we can negotiate a settlement with the other party.
What Are the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Georgia?
Georgia only requires motorists to carry liability insurance at all times. Liability coverage pays for the costs that other people accrue in an accident that you cause. The state’s minimum requirements are:
- $25,000 for bodily injuries per person
- $50,000 for bodily injuries per incident
- $25,000 for property damages per incident
You do not have to increase the amount of coverage. However, the higher your coverage, the less likely you are to pay out-of-pocket for damages.
Do I Have Other Alternatives Besides Carrying Auto Insurance?
If you do not have an auto insurance policy, you could get a self-insured policy. Of course, you must be able to afford accident costs by yourself. According to O.C.G.A. § 33-34-5.1, you can apply for a certificate of self-insurance with Georgia’s Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). You can use it as proof of financial responsibility in case of a car accident.
But do note that the Commissioner can also revoke your self-insurance certificate based on several grounds. These include:
- Not paying undisputed claims
- Not filing quarterly reports with the Commissioner as required from self-insurers
- Not complying with court judgments
The Georgia Rules and Regulations outline these requirements under Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. r. 120-2-46-.07.
We Can Provide Legal Assistance
Did you suffer injuries and property damage because of a car accident caused by a negligent driver here in Georgia? You can still seek compensation even if you get into a car accident in Georgia and you do not have car insurance. An auto accident attorney from the office of George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can help you understand the laws in your case and guide you through the legal procedures involved.
The team has worked with clients throughout Georgia and South Carolina for over 40 years. Our practice areas range from auto accidents and veteran’s disability cases. You can call our office anytime at (888) 612-7001 or message us for a free consultation.