Review your car insurance policy and consider increasing your coverage to ensure that you and your loved ones would have access to sufficient benefits if an unthinkable car accident should happen.
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) December 27, 2011
All Georgia motorists should take a few moments as 2011 ends and 2012 begins to make sure they have the right kind of car insurance to protect them during the coming year, Atlanta car accident lawyer Bruce Millar said today.
“Lots of people make unrealistic resolutions this time of year, but here’s one that’s easy to keep: Review your car insurance policy and consider increasing your coverage to ensure that you and your loved ones would have access to sufficient benefits if an unthinkable car accident should happen,” Millar said.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM / UIM) is a particularly crucial yet often misunderstood part of one’s automobile insurance policy, the Atlanta personal injury lawyer said. A UM/UIM policy will provide compensation for the damages a person suffers in a car crash even if the at-fault driver has no insurance or not enough.
This type of coverage is even more valuable since Georgia amended its laws in 2008 to allow injured motorists to purchase “add-on” or “stackable” UM / UIM coverage on top of the at-fault driver’s liability limits, Millar said. The cost of add-on UM / UIM coverage is usually only a few dollars more than the “traditional” (non-stackable) under-insurance coverage, and is well worth the small additional cost.
For example, suppose a person suffers $140,000 in damages in an Atlanta car accident, and the at-fault driver carries only $50,000 in liability coverage. If the person had purchased a stackable or add-on UM / UIM policy with $100,000 limits, they would be able to recover $50,000 from the at-fault driver plus another $90,000 from their own insurance provider for a total of $140,000.
However, it is still possible to reject “add-on” UM / UIM coverage on a Georgia car insurance policy — something Millar strongly cautioned against.
For instance, if the person in the above scenario had rejected the add-on coverage, they would be limited to a $50,000 recovery under their UM / UIM policy plus $50,000 from the at-fault driver — $40,000 less than their total damages. A person who had rejected UM/UIM coverage altogether would recover only the $50,000 from the other motorist.
“I have seen too many unfortunate cases where a seriously injured motorist is barred from making a full financial recovery simply because there isn’t enough insurance available,” Millar said. “Stackable, also known as ‘add-on‘ UM / UIM coverage, is very inexpensive, meaning you can avoid being seriously underinsured for just a few dollars a year in most cases.”
In addition to making sure to carry stackable UM / UIM coverage, the start of the new year is also a good time to reconsider the limits of liability coverage, Millar said.
Georgia law requires minimum liability limits of only $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, plus $25,000 in property damage coverage — amounts that are woefully inadequate in all but very minor car wrecks, according to the attorney.
“In order to avoid becoming an underinsured motorist yourself, it would be wise to consider increasing your liability coverage to at least $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident,” Millar said.
Because car insurance law can be very complex, Millar suggested discussing one’s policy with a qualified Atlanta car accident attorney to ensure that one is properly insured as they take to the road in 2012.
He also emphasized how important it is to consult with a Georgia personal injury lawyer if one has the misfortune of suffering a car accident. An experienced UM / UIM coverage attorney can also help an accident victim get the benefits they deserve if their insurance company is reluctant to make good on an uninsured motorist coverage claim.
About Millar & Mixon, LLC
The Atlanta personal injury law firm of Millar & Mixon, LLC, based in Atlanta, GA, focuses on representing persons injured in car, truck, motorcycle, bus and other motor vehicle accidents. The firm also represents persons hurt by drunk / DUI drivers cases, and handles slip and fall injuries and animal attacks and bites, among other personal injury claims. Since 1993 Atlanta attorney Bruce Millar has obtained judgments and settlements exceeding $60 million for his clients.
The firm represents Georgia accident and injury clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area and the state of Georgia, including North Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Forest Park, College Park, Decatur, Roswell, Marietta, Peachtree City, Douglasville, Jonesboro, East-Point, Conyers, Lawrenceville, Fayetteville, Riverdale and other communities all across the State. For more information, call (877) 475-7015 or contact the firm through its online form.