Insurance Coverage Minimums

At the Berelc Law Office, we have recovered millions of dollars for clients who have been injured in various types of accidents.  In assessing the potential recovery in car accident cases, it is important to determine the liability limits of the at-fault drivers’ insurance policies.  Even if a victim obtains a large money judgment against an at-fault driver, if the driver is uninsured or has low liability limits on his or her insurance policy, it is frequently very difficult to actually collect the money that the victim is owed on paper.  Thus, the potential recovery in these cases is often dependent on the at-fault driver’s liability limits.

In Georgia, the minimum liability limits required by law for motor vehicles registered in this state are $25,000 for bodily injuries to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to more than one person in a single accident, and $25,000 for damage to property in a single accident.

Generally, the insurance policy shows the limit of liability in terms of the maximum amount the insurer will pay on a judgment against the insured for injury to “each person” and, usually expressed as a larger amount, the maximum liability of the insurer for damages arising from “each occurrence.”

CFR 387.9 provides that interstate vehicles that are for-hire with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds must have minimum liability limits of $750,000.  If a vehicle is carrying hazardous substances, as defined in 49 CFR 171.8, then the minimum liability limit is $5,000,000.

Due to the size and extremely heavyweight of tractor-trailers and large commercial trucks, the medical bills, and injuries that occur as a result of trucking accidents often greatly exceed $750,000.  Thus, the minimum liability requirements need to be increased by the legislature.

The minimum requirements for intrastate vehicles in Georgia are less than that required by federal law:

In the case of passenger vehicles with a seating capacity for twelve passengers or less, the limit for bodily injury to or death of one person is $100,000; the limit for bodily injury to or death of all persons injured or killed in any one accident (subject to a maximum of $100,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person) is $300,000, and the limit for loss or damage in any one accident to property of others (excluding cargo) is $50,000.

In the case of passenger vehicles with a seating capacity for over twelve passengers, the limit for bodily injury to or death of one person is $100,000; the limit for bodily injury to or death of all persons injured or killed in any one accident (subject to a maximum of $100,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person) is $500,000, and the limit for loss or damage in any one accident to property of others (excluding cargo) is $50,000.

In the case of motor vehicles used in the transportation of property, the limit for bodily injury to or death of one person is $100,000; the limit for bodily injury to or death of all persons injured or killed in any one accident (subject to a maximum of $100,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person) is $300,000, and the limit for loss or damage in any one accident to property of others (excluding cargo) is $50,000.

We have handled many cases where the “minimum liability limits” were not enough to compensate our injured clients.  In those instances, we look at every possible source of funds.  We consider stacking insurance coverage, UM coverage and looking at other sources of insurance based on theories of principal/agent theory, etc.

In any car accident case or trucking accident case, it is imperative to act quickly.  Call us at the Berelc Law Office today if you were in a car or trucking accident.