Accident with an Uninsured Driver in Tennessee
In Tennessee, all drivers are required to either carry auto insurance or demonstrate proof of financial responsibility. Unfortunately, far too many drivers in our state fail to obtain car insurance. According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, 23.7% of drivers in Tennessee do not have car insurance.
So what happens if you are in a car accident with an uninsured driver in TN? Depending on the type of car insurance policy you have, you may be able to file a claim directly with your own insurance company. A skilled Tennessee personal injury attorney can help you determine the best way to recover the compensation that you need for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.
At the Law Offices of John R. Colvin, we work hard to help our clients get the money that they deserve for their losses. With offices in Winchester and Tullahoma, we are well-equipped to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Reach out today to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team.
What to Do If You’re in An Accident with an Uninsured Driver
After a motor vehicle accident, you may be shaken up and unsure of what to do. When the at-fault driver is uninsured, it raises some additional issues for any injury victim. Taking steps now can help to protect your ability to recover compensation from either the other driver or your own insurance company.
First, and most importantly, you should seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need to call 911 or ask someone to call for you. Even if you don’t think that you were badly hurt, you should still get checked out by a doctor to make sure – and to establish a connection between your injuries and the accident.
Second, gather information about the crash if you are able to do so. This includes getting contact and insurance information from the at-fault driver, along with the names of any witnesses. If you can, take photos and videos of the crash scene, your injuries, and any other important details.
If the police arrive at the scene, they will likely collect much of this information as part of their report. Your car accident lawyer can then seek a copy of this accident report to use in your personal injury lawsuit. The police may also cite the driver for driving without insurance or proof of financial responsibility.
Third, do not apologize to the other driver. While it is natural to want to say that you are sorry after an accident, it could be construed as an admission of fault. Instead, give a brief, factual statement to the police.
Fourth, reach out to your own insurance company to report the accident. This will start the process of getting coverage, particularly if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Under this type of policy, your own insurer will pay for your losses if you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Fifth, contact a Tennessee car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can handle communications with the insurance company on your behalf, and will work to determine what options you have for recovering money for your losses. They will also protect your interests, and help you get the compensation you deserve.
When Should You Hire an Attorney?
If you have been hit by an uninsured driver, you may not know what to do next. In most cases, it is a good idea to reach out to a lawyer to help you through the process.
Although it is not required, most insurance companies in Tennessee offer uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). These policies work to protect you by providing financial compensation in situations where you are in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance (uninsured motorist coverage) or whose policy limits are not high enough to cover your losses (underinsured motorist coverage).
In Tennessee, drivers are only required to carry a minimal amount of automobile insurance:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death per person;
- $50,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death per accident; and
- $15,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident.
For collisions involving more serious injuries, these limits could quickly be exhausted – leaving you stuck with medical bills, car repair expenses, and more.
UM/UIM insurance coverage guards against this possibility. With UM/UIM, you will be filing a claim with your own insurance company, instead of against the at-fault driver’s insurer. While it may seem easier and more straightforward to work with your own insurance provider, that isn’t always the case.
Remember: insurance companies are in business to make money. They do this, in part, by denying or minimizing legitimate claims – including uninsured motorist claims made by their own policyholders. Working with an attorney is the best way to level the playing field and make sure that you get the full amount that you are owed under your policy.
Before you file a claim with your insurance carrier, you should schedule a free consultation with a Tennessee personal injury lawyer. They will examine the terms of your auto insurance policy and help you determine the best course of action. This may include filing a UM/UIM claim with your own insurance company, and/or filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or another party, such as the town that failed to maintain the roads properly.
I Was Hit By an Uninsured Driver. Do I Need to Get the Police Involved?
Yes. Tennessee’s financial responsibility law requires drivers to either carry a minimum amount of car insurance or have proof of financial responsibility. Uninsured drivers in TN may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, be required to pay a $300 fine, and risk losing their vehicle registration.
Getting the police involved after a crash involving an uninsured driver is the best way to establish what happened so that you can file a claim with your insurance carrier. It also demonstrates that the at-fault driver was uninsured at the time of the crash. Contact John R. Colvin, attorney at law, to schedule a free consultation about your claim.
A Hit-And-Run Driver Caused My Accident. What Can I Do?
If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, then you may be able to file a claim with your own insurer after a hit-and-run accident. While it may not be obvious, these types of policies don’t just cover crashes with known drivers – but also motorists who leave the scene and cannot be held responsible.
A seasoned Tennessee car accident lawyer can help you determine what you need to do to file an uninsured motorist claim with your insurer. They’ll analyze your policy, reach out to your insurance agent, and fight for your right to full compensation. Give John R. Colvin a call to learn more about how our law firm can help you get the money that you deserve.
Can I Sue an Uninsured Driver for My Car Accident?
You can file a lawsuit against an uninsured driver who caused a car accident. However, it may not be a good use of your time or resources to do so. Typically, a driver does not have insurance coverage because they cannot afford it – which means that it is unlikely that you will be able to recover any money from them, let alone enough compensation to cover your losses.
In this situation, filing a claim with your own insurer through your UM/UIM policy is probably the best option. Attorney John R. Colvin can advise you of the best course of action based on the specific facts of your case – which may include filing a claim with your own insurance company, and/or filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver or even a third party. Give our law office a call to learn more about how we can help you.
Hit By an Uninsured Driver? Reach Out Today.
If you have been hurt in an accident involving an uninsured driver, you may not realize that you have options for getting paid for your losses. Our law firm is here to help.
Attorney John R. Colvin takes a bold approach to personal injury cases. He works hard to help each of his clients get the compensation that they deserve for their injuries, aggressively advocating for a fair settlement or verdict at trial. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a Tennessee car accident lawyer, give our law office a call at 877-380-3017 or fill out our online contact form.