Although another driver may be at fault for your accident, the amount you are able to recover may be limited by that person’s insurance coverage, or their ability to pay out-of-pocket. Many times, this amount may not be enough to cover all of your medical expenses. If the at-fault driver is uninsured, it can be even more difficult to get compensation for your damages. This brings us to the subject of uninsured motorist coverage and why it is so important to have this protection.
Tennessee car insurance requirements
Beginning in 2017, uninsured drivers in the state of Tennessee were faced with the loss of their vehicle registration in the payment of fines if they were not able to demonstrate they possess car insurance coverage – in other words, proof of financial responsibility. A web-based program in the state currently operates to verify the insurance status of all Tennessee drivers.
Under Tennessee law, drivers are required to carry liability coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. If you have such coverage, the insurance company of an at-fault driver who causes your injury will pay you $25,000 in damages. The payment will extend $50,000 to cover everyone else injured in the collision. However, if the injuries involved are catastrophic in nature, these amounts may not even come close to providing the necessary compensation to cover medical costs. Additionally, unless the negligent driver is wealthy, you will have little success in securing more money for your injuries.
If you run into problems having your insurance claim approved, an experienced car accident attorney can fight to help you secure the settlement you deserve.
Another issue that works against injured car crash victims is that a large percentage of Tennessee drivers do not carry any insurance at this time. If you are struck by one of these drivers, they may receive a ticket for the failure to carry insurance, but you will be left with the bill for your medical expenses.
The benefits of uninsured motorist coverage
The solution to the above dilemma is to carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. If you are injured by an uninsured motorist and you have this coverage, your insurance company will pay your damages. Under Tennessee law, drivers are required to carry UM coverage that is equivalent to the amount of their liability coverage. However, drivers may opt out of UM coverage – something many drivers choose to do in order to save money.
By choosing to pay for the maximum amount of UM coverage you can afford, you can ensure your damages will be covered in the event an uninsured motorist is responsible for your car crash injuries. This insurance will also cover your medical expenses when the at-fault driver is insured, but his or her insurance coverage is not sufficient to pay all of your costs. This segment of coverage is known as underinsured motorist coverage and can provide significant benefits to victims of serious car accidents.
At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we fight for justice. We fight for the truth, but more importantly, we fight for you. We are here to shoulder the burden, take care of all the paperwork, deal with the greedy insurance companies, and fight for the recovery you deserve! To set up a free consultation about your case, call us at 615.246.5549, complete our contact form, or visit one of our offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Knoxville.