When an uninsured driver causes a serious car accident that leaves you injured, you can still recover compensation for your damages.
If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you file a claim with your own insurance company to recoup your financial losses. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to discuss your case during a free, no-obligation consultation with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Clinton.
We can help you build a solid case so you can recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, car repairs, pain and suffering, and other compensatory damages.
What Is UM Coverage?
UM coverage protects you against a driver who causes an accident but does not have liability insurance and cannot pay for your injuries or property damage. UM coverage pays up to your insurance policy’s limits for bodily injury liability.
The policy protects you under the following conditions:
- When you drive or ride in your own car;
- When you are a pedestrian;
- When a family member who lives with you drives or rides in your car; or
- When another individual drives or rides in your car with your permission.
Does UM Coverage Pay for Damages to My Car?
Many Tennessee auto insurers offer Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage as an optional insurance policy. UMPD coverage pays for car repairs if the uninsured motorist causes damage to your vehicle during the accident.
UMPD pays up to the limits of your auto policy for property damage. Our attorneys can examine your policy to determine if you have to pay a deductible or meet other specific qualifications before you can file a claim.
Is UM Coverage Included in My Auto Insurance Policy?
UM coverage is an optional policy, but Tennessee state law requires all auto insurers to offer it to policyholders. You can reject this policy in writing if you choose.
We can review your auto insurance policy to determine whether you have this coverage. If you do not have UM coverage, you may have other options to recover compensation.
Can I Take the Uninsured Driver to Court for Damages?
You can file a personal injury lawsuit and take an uninsured motorist to court. However, even if you win a judgment against the individual, collecting a debt from someone who did not want to pay for auto insurance can be challenging.
If we believe the at-fault driver in your case has access to substantial financial resources, a lawsuit might be a viable option. Or, if the driver who caused your injuries is facing criminal charges, you may be able to recover damages from a crime victims compensation fund. This might apply if the other driver was drunk.
How Do I Prove That the Driver Did Not Have Insurance?
When exchanging contact information, ask the driver to state in writing that they do not have auto insurance. Some auto insurers require you to get a written statement if you plan to file a claim for damages.
Drivers who do not have liability insurance violate state minimum coverage requirements, which mandate all vehicle owners or drivers to carry auto insurance.
What If the Driver Asks Me Not to Report the Accident?
Because it is illegal to drive without auto insurance, it is not uncommon for uninsured drivers to try to avoid contact with police or the accident victim’s auto insurance company. In some instances, the at-fault driver offers a check on the spot to the other driver in exchange for not reporting the wreck. Or, an at-fault driver might volunteer to pay reasonable costs for car repairs if you send them estimates.
- You have no guarantee the uninsured motorist will actually pay for your car repairs even after you send estimates;
- The amount of cash the at-fault driver offers you at the accident scene may not cover all of your damages; and
- If injuries or damages occurred, you must report your car accident within 20 days of the crash.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim?
We handle all aspects of insurance claims for our clients. We also negotiate settlements with the auto insurance company.
Before you can receive compensation for your damages, however, Tennessee requires us to prove the following elements of negligence:
- Duty of care: The uninsured motorist owed you a duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner to avoid an accident;
- Breach of Duty: They failed to carry out that duty;
- Causation: The uninsured motorist’s negligence caused an accident, and you suffered injuries; and
- Damages: You suffered bodily injuries or property damage because of the accident.
How Do You Prove Negligence?
Our case must prove negligence and causation. We may do this by securing evidence for your case that proves the uninsured motorist caused the accident. This evidence may include the following:
- A police report of the accident;
- Video surveillance footage;
- Photographs and other documentation of the accident scene;
- Eyewitness testimony; and
- Other relevant evidence.
We will present this information to the insurance company along with your claim.
Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, Today.
You have one year from the date of your accident to claim injury in Tennessee. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to discuss your accident with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Clinton.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, works on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay for our services unless we recover compensation in your case.