Is Motorcycle Insurance Mandatory in Georgia?
Georgia, like most states, requires motorcycle operators to carry insurance coverage. Riding a motorcycle without required coverage may result in a misdemeanor charge with serious penalties.
Insurance can protect riders from financial liability if they cause an accident. However, if an at-fault motorcycle rider lacked mandatory insurance coverage, people injured in the crash could have other options for recovering compensation, including uninsured motorist (UM) benefits from their own auto policy.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, motorcycles account for about 2 percent of registered vehicles in the state. Fewer than 1 percent of motor vehicle crashes in Georgia involve a motorcycle. However, motorcycle operators accounted for 21 percent of all motorist fatalities and 11 percent of all traffic fatalities in one recent year. About half of all motorcycle operators involved in a crash that year lacked a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.
What Auto Insurance Are Motorcyclists Required to Carry in Georgia?
Georgia regulations require motorcycle liability insurance policies to meet minimum coverage requirements. These minimum requirements include the following:
- $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident of bodily injury/death liability coverage
- $10,000 per accident of property damage liability coverage
In Georgia, driving without required insurance constitutes a misdemeanor offense. A conviction may carry penalties such as a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail, or both a fine and jail time. Even if a motorist has valid insurance, operating a vehicle without proof of that insurance may result in a ticket and a $25 fine. However, courts often dismiss such tickets if motorists can present proof of valid insurance on the ticket date.
Georgia law does not require motorcycle operators to carry uninsured motorist (UM) or underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. However, riders can protect themselves in a motorcycle accident by purchasing UM/UIM coverage. UM coverage can help pay for a rider’s medical bills, motorcycle repairs, and lost wages if they get hit by a negligent driver who doesn’t have liability insurance.
Many drivers in Georgia carry only the minimum liability coverage required by state law, which is often insufficient to compensate motorcycle riders injured in accidents. A motorcycle rider with a higher UIM coverage limit can turn to their insurance company for compensation for accident losses exceeding the at-fault motorist’s liability policy limits.
What Compensation Can I Receive Through a Motorcycle Insurance Claim?
When filing an insurance claim with an at-fault driver’s insurance or your insurance’s UM/UIM coverage, you can seek compensation for financial and personal losses you’ve incurred due to a motorcycle accident, including for:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Costs of long-term care and support for disabilities
- Ongoing and future losses of income and job benefits if your injuries prevent you from working
- Pain and suffering
- Costs of motorcycle repairs or reimbursement for your totaled motorcycle
Is There a Deadline for Filing My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Under Georgia’s statute of limitations, you have only two years to file a lawsuit against the driver or another party at fault for the motorcycle accident that injured you. The courts will likely dismiss a lawsuit filed after the deadline without considering the case’s merits. Furthermore, most insurance policies require policyholders to “promptly” notify them of any accidents and claims. Getting started on your claim right away is crucial.
Contact a Georgia Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident in Georgia, contact Geiger Legal Group, LLC, for a free no-obligation consultation with a Georgia motorcycle accident lawyer. Let our firm help you seek the financial relief you deserve from the insurance companies.