Generally after a car accident in Tennessee, drivers exchange names, phone numbers, and insurance information so they can file claims to get compensation for their injuries or property damage. Things can get much more complex, however, if a driver does not have insurance or refuses to give personal information. Getting reimbursement for your losses in this type of situation can be difficult.
After a crash with an uninsured motorist, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and damage to your vehicle. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free legal consultation with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Johnson City.
How Can I Get Compensation After a Crash With an Uninsured Motorist?
Tennessee law requires automobile insurers to include Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) in each automobile liability policy. This type of coverage protects drivers if they were in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist—or in a hit-and-run accident. Unless you rejected UM/UIM coverage, your own insurer should compensate you after a crash.
Our attorneys can help you investigate your accident, document your losses, and file a claim for compensation under you UM/UIM policy.
How Much UM/UIM Coverage Do I Have?
We can help you determine this based on your auto insurance policy’s liability limits and the amount of damages you incurred from your accident. Your UM/UIM coverage is equal the liability limits in your auto insurance policy. Tennessee set the minimum limits of auto insurance at:
- $25,000 in coverage per injury or death for each accident;
- $50,000 for all injuries or deaths in your crash; and
- $15,000 in coverage for property damage per accident.
If you have the $25,000 minimum coverage, your UM/UIM policy will cover $25,000 of your accident-related expenses.
Penalty for Violating Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law
Driving without insurance is illegal in Tennessee. Uninsured drivers face a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $300 fine and the potential for having their vehicles towed. If convicted, uninsured drivers also face a driver’s license suspension.
To confirm that vehicle owners have auto insurance, Tennessee has an insurance verification system that matches the vehicle owner’s insurance policy with their vehicle registration. Police can use that verification program to confirm whether the driver who caused your crash had insurance. If they did not, we can help you recover damages.
What Do I Need to Do to Recover Damages?
To recover compensatory damages, you may file an insurance claim with your insurance company. Be aware that auto insurers want proof that your injuries were the result of an uninsured motorist accident. Without proof, your insurer will not hesitate to reject your claim.
Auto insurers often try to save money at the policyholder’s expense by rejecting valid claims or offering low payouts. That is where we can help. We can handle the negotiations process with your insurance company to ensure they take your claim seriously and offer a fair settlement that covers your damages.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover After a Crash With an Uninsured Motorist?
Your compensation award depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries and how they affect your daily life. For instance, permanent injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, amputation, or paralysis, have higher compensation awards. Your compensation award may cover:
- Medical bills;
- Ambulance transportation;
- In-patient rehabilitation;
- Physical therapy;
- Mobility devices;
- Lost wages;
- Reduced earning capacity; and
- Funeral expenses, if a family member died in the accident.
You may also qualify for non-economic damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish.
Our attorneys will calculate the full value of your claim, taking into account any future medical care needs you may encounter due to your injuries. We will also consult with experts regarding the long-term impact this crash will have on your career.
To ensure that you receive maximum compensation, we aggressively negotiate your claim with your auto insurer. We will continue negotiations until we reach a fair settlement for you. If your insurer does not provide a satisfactory payout, we can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against your insurance company.
Proving Negligence in Personal Injury Claims
In order to qualify for damages, we need to prove that the uninsured driver’s negligence caused your accident. We can use our extensive experience in negligence law to prove the following elements were present in your case:
- The uninsured motorist owed you and other drivers a duty to drive carefully to avoid an accident;
- The uninsured driver breached this duty;
- The driver’s breach of duty caused your injury; and
- As a result, you suffered damages.
We can also help you collect evidence to prove your negligence claim.
What Kind of Evidence Will a Lawyer Use to Prove Negligence?
Our legal team will collect detailed evidence to support your injury claim. We will obtain such information as:
- The police report of your crash;
- Photos of the accident scene;
- Eyewitness statements about the accident;
- Your doctor’s diagnosis of your injuries;
- Your medical expenses; and
- Employment statements showing your lost income due to your inability to work.
How Soon After a Crash Should I Contact My Insurance Company?
Notify your auto insurer immediately after the accident that you were in a crash with an uninsured motorist and you intend to file an uninsured motorist claim. The same applies if you were in a hit-and-run accident.
When you notify your insurer, it is important not to divulge more information about the wreck than necessary. Depending on the value of your claim, your insurer may try to use any information you provide to justify offering a low claim or denying a payout. Our lawyers can help you craft a statement about the accident that preserves your right to fair compensation.
Call Us Today to Start the Process.
Tennessee gives you one year from the date of your wreck to file a personal injury lawsuit. To avoid missing your opportunity to recover compensation for your accident, contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today.
Our law firm has earned a reputation for excellence in providing results for our clients. Let us handle your claim today. Call us now at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free consultation.