A Tennessee driver’s license for a teenager or young adult symbolizes a step toward independence and adulthood. Unfortunately, a devastating car accident can force that same young person to take a step backward to recover from serious physical injuries and loss of transportation.
If you are a teenager or young adult and you suffered injuries in an accident that occurred due to another driver’s negligence, you can depend on the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, to help make things right. Contact the law firm at 865-546-1111 to arrange a no-obligation legal consultation with a teenage young adult car accident lawyer in Knoxville.
Will My Parents’ Auto Insurance Cover My Accident-Related Expenses?
In Tennessee, teenage drivers under 18 years old must drive with a licensed adult driver—age 21 or older—supervising them in the front seat. If teens drive under their parents’ supervision, they are more than likely covered under their parents’ insurance policy. If you were in an accident, your parents may file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover damages.
Parents Are Liable for Teen Drivers Under 18.
Before teenagers under 18 receive their learner permit or driver’s license, their parents must sign and submit an affidavit to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. By signing this affidavit, parents are accepting responsibility for the actions their teen driver takes behind the wheel. Accepting this responsibility makes parents jointly liable for any damages their child causes while operating a motor vehicle. Parents who refuse to sign the affidavit effectively cancel their child’s driver’s license.
What If I Am over 18 Years Old and Carry My Own Insurance?
Tennessee’s age of majority is 18, which means you may enter into contracts to purchase your own car and maintain your own automobile insurance coverage. In your case, you may file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit as any adult driver would in Tennessee.
If this is your first car accident, our attorneys can help you understand and navigate the claims process. We can investigate the cause of your accident, identify the responsible party or parties, calculate the total value of your damages, and file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Tennessee Requires All Drivers to Have Auto Insurance.
Regardless of age, Tennessee requires all drivers to comply with the state’s Financial Responsibility Law. The law mandates drivers to have auto insurance to cover injuries, death, or property damage in case of an accident. The law requires a minimum coverage of:
- $25,000 for each injury or death per car accident;
- $50,000 for all injuries or death per accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage per accident.
Drivers may also purchase higher insurance coverage and optional insurance policies for uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage.
What Is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Sadly, some Tennessee drivers ignore the law and drive without having insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage pays your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages when an at-fault driver does not have auto insurance. An underinsured motorist policy covers you when a driver has auto insurance but the liability limits are too low to pay for all of your costs.
I Suffered an Injury in the Accident. Do I File an Insurance Claim or Do My Parents File a Claim?
If your parents added you to their insurance policy, then your parents would file an insurance claim. However, we recommend that you and your parents speak with our lawyers as soon as possible since Tennessee law gives you one year within the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Our law firm files and negotiates insurance claims on behalf of our clients to take the burden off of their shoulders during such a traumatic time. If we cannot reach a fair settlement, we discuss the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Drivers of All Ages May Recover Compensation for Their Accident-Related Injuries.
Teenagers and drivers over 18 years old may recover damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Recoverable damages may include:
- Past and future medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Emotional distress; and
- Property damage for the vehicle involved in the accident.
Drivers under 18 may also recover damages for loss of past and future income if their accident-related injuries prevented them from working. Additionally, parents may also recover damages for loss of services of a child if the accident caused an injury such as amputation or permanent paralysis.
Tennessee Requires Proof of Negligence.
Tennessee is a fault state, which makes the party responsible for causing an accident liable for injuries and damages. To prevail in an auto insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, we must provide proof of the four legal elements of negligence:
- The driver had a duty to you and other motorists to drive carefully;
- The driver failed in the duty by driving recklessly or carelessly;
- The driver’s recklessness or carelessness caused an automobile accident; and
- You suffered injuries and financial losses because of the accident.
To prove that you suffered injuries and incurred expenses due to the accident, we may use such evidence as:
- Your medical bills;
- The police report of the accident;
- Eyewitness reports of the accident;
- Photographs of the accident scene; and
- The at-fault driver’s driving history.
We collect this evidence to help you build a strong insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, at 865-546-1111 Today.
If you have questions regarding an auto accident, call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, today to schedule a free consultation with a teenage young adult car accident lawyer. We aggressively, yet professionally, work to get our clients the maximum compensation for their injuries and damages.
Our law firm accepts cases on a contingency fee basis—meaning you pay nothing for our services unless we achieve a favorable outcome for your claim. Call 865-546-1111 today to get started.