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How does uninsured motorist coverage work for pedestrians?

| Feb 25, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Driving isn’t the only way people get someplace in Georgia, and the fitness-minded may prefer to walk or take their bikes. Unfortunately, pedestrians and bicyclists may find themselves in a terrible situation: They get hit by a car, and to make things even worse, the driver might have little or no liability insurance. Filing an uninsured motorist claim may provide a solution that some pedestrians might not even know about.

Uninsured motorist coverage on an auto policy

Under Georgia law, drivers must carry $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury as well as $25,000 in property damage insurance on their liability policy. People don’t always follow the law and may drive without any insurance.

When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the result could be far worse than when two cars crash. A pedestrian or a bicycle rider lacks the protection that a vehicle’s frame affords. Therefore, injuries might be severe and involve extensive medical care, time off from work, and significant pain and suffering. The inability to file a liability claim may put injured persons into a panic along with the realization that suing someone who possesses few assets won’t lead to recovering anything. What injured accident victims don’t always realize is that an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim might be an option.

Points about uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

With uninsured motorist coverage, the injured party files a claim against his or her policy up to the policy’s limits. Underinsured motorist coverage is similar, allowing a policyholder to seek money for damages when the liable party’s insurance is insufficient.

Not every pedestrian realizes that their auto insurance policy has uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Alternatively, they might not realize that these auto insurance provisions also cover them when they are walking or riding a bicycle. The coverage might not be limited to auto collisions.

An attorney may be able to assist with negotiating an uninsured motorist settlement after bicycle or pedestrian accidents. An attorney might also advise an accident victim about filing a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached.