Finding out that the driver who slammed into your car does not have auto insurance adds another layer to an already stressful situation.
An uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Jefferson City can help you pursue compensation for your damages. We work on a contingency fee basis which means you do not have to pay us for our services unless we achieve a favorable outcome for you. Call the team at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC now at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free consultation.
How Can I Get Compensation If the Driver Did Not Have Insurance?
You can seek benefits from your auto insurance company through Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM). Our uninsured motorist accident lawyer can review your auto insurance policy to determine if you have this coverage and how to use it.
What is UM Coverage?
UM coverage protects you if you or your relatives sustain physical injuries and property damage from an accident with an uninsured driver as long as they are at fault. For example, your UM coverage will pay for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical expenses to treat your and your relatives’ accident-related injuries.
UM also protects you as a passenger in an uninsured vehicle, and as a pedestrian if a car hits you.
You can also purchase a UM property damage policy that covers damage an uninsured motorist does to your vehicle.
Is UM/UIM Coverage Mandatory?
No. Tennessee requires auto insurance companies to offer UM coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, but vehicle owners can reject this optional coverage in writing. UIM provides protection when an at-fault driver does not have a sufficient amount of insurance to cover damages the driver caused in an accident.
Rejecting these policies means you will pay out-of-pocket for any losses that uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run drivers cause.
How Do I Prove That I Did Not Cause the Accident?
We can help you gather evidence to build a solid claim to show the uninsured driver caused the accident and you sustained damages. The evidence can include your medical reports that details the severity of your injuries and medical bills related to your injuries. Documenting your lost wages and receipts or estimates for your car repairs or replacement also serve as evidence.
Police Report As Evidence
A police report provides details about the accident and auto insurance information on all drivers in a crash. Your insurer will not rely solely on your version of the crash and will ask for a police report to determine your role and the at-fault driver’s role in the accident.
The police report also notes whether the at-fault driver fled the accident scene or remained until the responding officer arrived. If a police officer did not respond to the accident scene, we recommend that you go the police department nearest the accident scene to report the crash. In this way, you have an official document about your accident.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Calling your auto insurer to report the accident also provides proof. Your insurance company will ask you whether you obtained the at-fault party’s contact information. This is not always possible — even when at-fault drivers have insurance. Sometimes, at-fault drivers leave without giving contact information or give invalid information to avoid dealing with the accident.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim?
We can file the paperwork on your behalf because our firm handles all aspects of insurance claims so that you can continue recovering from your accident. We also negotiate the claim to make sure that you receive the amount of compensation which you might recover under Tennessee law.
If the insurer rejects the claim or fails to offer fair compensation, we will speak with you about filing a lawsuit against the insurer and have the matter resolved in court.
Does Tennessee Have a Penalty for Driving Without Insurance?
Yes, Tennessee requires all drivers and vehicle owners to purchase auto liability insurance. Tennessee requires the following minimum limits for auto insurance:
- $25,000 for each injury or death per accident
- $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident
- $15,000 for property damage per accident
Tennessee also has an electronic insurance verification system that matches vehicle registration information against the vehicle owner’s auto insurance policy. Vehicle owners must show proof of insurance if the system cannot confirm insurance coverage.
Failure to provide proof of auto insurance as the law requires can result in drivers facing a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $300 and the potential of the police towing their vehicle. If convicted, drivers could face a license suspension.
Tennessee’s Uninsured Motorist Problem
According to a 2017 SmartAsset Annual Study, Tennessee ranks fourth out of the top 10 states with the worst drivers. The study found 20 percent of drivers in Tennessee do not have auto insurance. So, if someone crashes into your car, there is a 20 percent chance that the driver does not have car insurance.
Talk to an Uninsured Motorist Accident Lawyer in Jefferson City Today
To get help in recovering your losses, contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, now at 865-546-1111 for a free, no-obligation consultation.