When the at fault driver is not the owner of a vehicle involved in a collision or wreck, Georgia law allows for the possibility of multiple liability coverages. First to pay is the at fault vehicle owner’s liability policy, and this is usually true regardless of whether the owner was driving or even in the vehicle at the time of the incident. The law has exceptions, of course, for things such as rental cars and car dealerships, but generally the vehicle owner’s insurance is the first policy that will be required to pay for injuries, damages and financial loss.
After the at fault vehicle owner’s primary liability policy has been exhausted or tendered (paid in full), any other liability policies that the vehicle owner has will then come into consideration. These policies must provide coverage to the at fault vehicle as opposed to another vehicle, but they also sometimes include “umbrella polices” that far exceed the standard liability coverage amounts on most vehicles. Umbrella policies are usually purchased by businesses or high net-worth individuals with significant personal assets to protect.
Upon exhaustion of all vehicle owner insurance policies, the next coverages to be examined are those of the at fault driver. Although secondary, the at fault driver’s policy (or policies) can nonetheless be “stacked” on top of the aforementioned vehicle owner policies to create additional avenues of financial redress. Remember, however, access to additional insurance coverage is usually precluded if vehicle owner policies are not tendered.
It is important to note that the stacking of liability policies may also involve multiple defendants with varying degrees of responsibility for the wreck. In scenarios involving multiple injured parties, negligent drivers or insurance policies an attorney should be consulted. Careful thought and planning are needed to achieve optimal results.
Excluded drivers are specifically barred from operating a vehicle based upon poor driving records, excessive DUIs, etc. The at-fault party’s insurance company will almost always deny coverage. An asset investigation or lawsuit should be filed quickly to determine what options you have available.
Ridesharing companies usually provide drivers with substantial supplemental insurance in case of a motor vehicle accident. However, quick investigation and action is recommended because even significant insurance amounts can be depleted quickly when multiple individuals are injured.
Motor vehicle injures caused by a federal employee are covered by the Federal Tort Claims Act, and other federal law. Navigation of federal claims should normally not be handled without an experienced attorney as there are various pitfalls, including insurance caps and appeals procedures.