If you suffered injuries in an auto accident caused by another driver, you assume that you could file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. What if that driver does not have insurance or has insurance with liability too low to cover your costs? Can you still receive compensation for your injuries?
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, has answers to these questions and more. We specialize in helping accident victims get compensation in challenging and complicated circumstances. Contact us today at 865-546-1111 to arrange for a no-obligation case review with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Kingsport. The initial consultation is free.
Tennessee Requires Motorists to Have Auto Insurance.
According to the state’s Financial Responsibility Law, vehicle owners must carry a minimum of $25,000 in coverage for injuries or death per person and $50,000 per accident, along with $15,000 in coverage for property damage per accident. Unfortunately, not everyone abides by Tennessee state law.
A new insurance verification system, however, gives authorities more power to identify and penalize uninsured motorists. This system matches vehicle registration against the vehicle owner’s insurance policy. The goal of the program is to encourage every vehicle owner to carry the minimum mandated auto insurance. Uninsured motorists may face fines or vehicle towing under the law.
What If the Other Driver in My Car Accident Did Not Have Insurance?
If the driver who caused your wreck did not have adequate insurance, you still have options for recovering compensatory damages.
We can help you file a claim with your own auto insurer if your auto policy includes Underinsured Motorist coverage (UIM) or Uninsured Motorist coverage (UM). UIM coverage protects you when a driver who causes an accident has auto insurance, but the liability limits are too low to cover your injuries and property damage. UM coverage protects you when you want to recover damages for bodily injury or death from a driver who causes an accident but does not have liability insurance.
Tennessee requires all insurance policies to include UIM or UM coverage options, but some vehicle owners reject this coverage to reduce their insurance premium. If you opted out of UIM or UM coverage or do not know the liability limits of your policy, we can help. Contact one of our attorneys today to discuss your legal options for seeking compensation.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File an Insurance Claim?
No, you do not. However, if you file an insurance claim on your own, you should know that auto insurers often pay very low settlement amounts just to save the company money. Our attorneys understand the value of your claim and know how to calculate the amount of money it will take to cover your injury-related expenses. We negotiate insurance claims on behalf of our clients to get the maximum amount of compensation possible.
If your insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement for your injuries, we can file suit and argue your case in court. With our expert representation, you stand the best chance of recovering full compensation.
We can also help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured motorist directly, if you choose to do so. It is important to consider, however, that many uninsured drivers do not purchase adequate insurance coverage because they believe they cannot afford it. Our attorneys can advise you on whether filing a lawsuit against the other driver is likely to earn you the compensation you need after a car crash.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive?
We cannot answer that question until we determine the losses you suffered from the accident. For the most part, the severity of your injuries and your medical expenses play a major role in determining your compensation amount. For instance, a traumatic brain injury demands a higher amount of compensation compared to minor cuts and bruises. Besides your current and future medical expenses, we can help you recover compensation for:
- Ambulance transportation from the accident scene to the hospital;
- Physical therapy;
- Home health care;
- Medical equipment and assistive devices;
- Vehicle repair costs;
- Current and future lost wages;
- Funeral expenses, if a family member died in the accident;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Mental anguish.
As part of our investigation into your accident, we will collect your medical bills, receipts, employment records, and other documentation proving the amount of your losses. We will submit this evidence when we file your claim, along with any proof showing that other driver’s negligence.
Why Do We Need to Prove the Other Driver Was Negligent?
Whether you file a claim with your insurance company or file a lawsuit against the uninsured motorist, we must prove negligence on the part of the at-fault driver. We must show:
- The uninsured motorist owed you a duty of care to drive carefully;
- The uninsured driver breached that duty through reckless behavior;
- The driver’s negligent behavior caused an accident; and
- As a result of the accident, you suffered injuries and property damage.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we have the knowledge and skills to gather the solid evidence we need to show the other driver in your case was negligent. For instance, the driver may have been intoxicated, driving without a valid driver’s license, speeding, or distracted due to texting or talking on the phone. The evidence we gather helps to build strong support for your insurance claim or lawsuit.
We may also use police reports to prove details the accident based on what you, the uninsured motorist, and other eyewitnesses to the accident told the police officer at scene. If necessary, we can also work with specialists to recreate your accident scene. Our firm does what it takes to ensure our clients get the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, We Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, understand the doubts you have about recovering compensation from an uninsured motorist. Contact us today at 865-546-1111. We can cut through red tape and remove barriers to help you get the maximum compensation you need to recover.