A recent local traffic law case brings to light the importance of understanding uninsured motorist insurance:

A man whose car was rear-ended in DeKalb County in 2009 recently lost his claim against his uninsured motorist carrier when the Supreme Court of Georgia determined he did not adequately prove he was eligible for coverage.

The high court unanimously reversed a narrowly divided Court of Appeals opinion on the question. The justices found that the burden of proof rested with the injured driver, rather than his uninsured motorist carrier, to show whether the at-fault driver in the wreck was technically uninsured.

What is uninsured motorist insurance and why do you need it?

Let’s say, for instance, that you are involved in an auto accident and you suffer a serious injury by vehicle. You receive a broken leg, and with surgery and recovery, your medical bills are in excess of $50, 000. On top of that, you have lost wages and of course the pain and suffering that comes with the injury.

The driver who caused the accident has the minimum liability coverage in Georgia: $25,000. Obviously, that would not cover your damages. That’s where uninsured motorist insurance comes into play.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy, and you can prove the driver at fault was either uninsured or underinsured, you can file for payment of the difference with your insurance company.

So, if your claim is for $100,000, and you have uninsured coverage of $100,000, you could apply the $25,000 from the other party’s insurance and claim the remaining $75,000 on your policy.

Uninsured motorist coverage is relatively inexpensive. Check your auto insurance policy today and make sure you have an amount you are comfortable with. Then, in the event of an accident, contact an experienced traffic attorney to help you takes the correct steps toward the best possible outcome.