You can use your own insurance if you have full coverage on your damaged car. But, you might also file a claim against the at-fault driver’s property damage liability insurance to cover your wrecked car.
The Other Driver’s Property Damage Liability Policy
You have the option of filing a claim because Tennessee is a “fault state” when it comes to car accidents. In fault states, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company pays for damages resulting from an accident.
Tennessee requires drivers to carry a minimum of $15,000 in property damage coverage per accident. Auto insurers will pay up to a policyholder’s limit for property damage liability. This means that you may not have to use your own insurance because the other driver’s liability policy should cover your car repairs.
Your own property damage liability coverage will not pay for your damaged car. But if you cause an accident, your property damage liability will pay to repair someone else’s damaged car.
Using Your Collision Coverage to Get Your Car Fixed
If you do not want to file a property damage claim with the other driver’s insurance company, you may use your collision coverage to get your car fixed.
Collision coverage pays for your car’s physical damage regardless of who is at fault for an accident. Collision coverage also pays if you hit a pole, tree, or other object.
Your insurer may require you to pay your deductible first before your collision coverage begins to pay for the rest of the repair costs.
If the At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Property Damage Insurance
You may use another insurance coverage called, Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD). This optional coverage is similar to collision coverage. UMPD pays for car repairs when an uninsured motorist or a hit and run driver damages your vehicle. You will probably have to pay a $200 deductible before your UMPD pays the rest of your expenses.
Tennessee mandates that auto insurers offer UMPD, but drivers are not required to purchase this additional coverage.
Using Your Full Coverage to Pay for Medical Expenses
If you suffered injuries from an accident that you did not cause, the other’s driver’s auto insurance should pay your medical expenses up to a certain amount.
Just as Tennessee requires drivers to have a minimum amount of property damage coverage, drivers must also have bodily injury liability coverage. The state requires the following minimum coverage amount of:
- $25,000 for one injury or death per accident
- $50,000 for injuries or deaths per accident
You may file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to get reimbursed for your medical expenses. The insurer pays up to the limit of the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability policy.
If the Other Driver Does Not Have Bodily Injury Liability
If an uninsured motorist caused an accident and you suffered injuries, you may be protected if you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. UM is similar to UMPD, but UM covers you when an uninsured driver or hit and run driver causes an accident involving physical injuries.
You can file a claim with your own insurance company to recover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering if you have UM coverage.
If the Other Driver Denies Fault for Your Car Damage and Injuries
Sometimes drivers are more likely to dispute fault when an accident involves physical injuries and significant property damage. In this case, you may want to provide proof to the other driver’s insurer that shows how the at-fault driver damaged your car and caused your physical injuries.
Proving the Other Driver Caused the Accident
You can collect evidence from the accident scene. For instance, you may use a police report that provides details of the accident, photographs of your damaged car, and statements from eyewitnesses who saw the other driver hit your car. You can submit this information — and other relevant evidence — to the at-fault driver’s insurance company along with your claim.
If you were injured in the accident, you may also provide a copy of your medical records showing the extent and severity of your injuries.
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC can help you collect evidence if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries and property damage.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC for Assistance
If you suffered injuries and property damage in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, we can help you pursue compensation for your losses.
Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free consultation.