September 26, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Take caution against uninsured and underinsured motorists---
Article provided by Ogle, Gass & Richardson, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.ogrlawfirm.com
Being involved in an automobile accident is always stressful, especially if you have sustained a personal injury. When the driver who was at fault is uninsured, the situation is all the more difficult, as you must be concerned about the financial impact of the collision while you are trying to recover from your injuries. Even if the at fault driver was uninsured, you may still be able to receive just compensation for your losses. This article will help educate you about the laws in this area.
Minimum insurance required in Tennessee
The state of Tennessee requires that all licensed drivers carry appropriate motor vehicle insurance. By law, the minimum amount of liability coverage that all drivers are to have is $25,000 to cover death or injury to one person, $50,000 to cover the death of, or injury to, two or more people, and $15,000 to cover any property damage or loss.
Options for people hit by uninsured drivers
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been in a car accident with an uninsured driver in Tennessee, you do have options. The first is to file a claim with your own insurance company, if you have uninsured motorist coverage. (All drivers should carry this very important coverage as it is the only way to make sure that you can receive compensation in a collision for your damages when you are not at fault.) If you make a claim on your own policy, your insurance company may then try to recover some of the compensation paid to you from the other driver.
Another option is to file a lawsuit against the driver directly who was at fault. Unfortunately, many times the uninsured person will not have assets to provide you with compensation for your financial losses and injuries. An experienced attorney can assist you in evaluating whether this type of lawsuit might provide the fair treatment that you deserve in this situation.
What about underinsured drivers?
An underinsured driver is one who carries the state's basic minimum requirement for auto insurance but whose coverage limits are less than your total damages. For example, if a driver hits you and they have $25,000 worth of liability coverage for injury to one person but your medical bills, lost wages, any permanent impairment and other personal injury losses exceed $25,000, the driver who caused the accident is said to be "underinsured".
You may also be able to use your own insurance coverage in this situation as well. If your own insurance limits exceeded the limits of the driver who was at fault, you may again use your own coverage to help compensate for your losses, as listed above in the section on uninsured drivers.
The danger is real
According to the Insurance Research Council, more than 16 percent of drivers in the United States are uninsured and 14 percent of all accidents are caused by uninsured drivers. Additionally, these statistics tell us that Tennessee has the fifth largest number of uninsured drivers nationwide. Make sure to have appropriate insurance coverage for yourself, and promptly consult with an attorney if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
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