You may let out a groan each year when paying your automobile insurance renewal premium, particularly if you purchased optional coverage. You may have to rely on the coverage, however, if you are in a car accident with a driver who does not have automobile insurance.
If you suffered injuries in a Tennessee crash with an uninsured motorist, the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you get reimbursed for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other losses related to the accident. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free legal consultation with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Knoxville. We will provide an honest evaluation of your legal options for recovering monetary compensation.
How Do I Know If I Have Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage?
During your legal consultation, we will go over your auto insurance policy with you to determine whether you have this coverage. Tennessee laws require motor vehicle owners to have auto insurance. State law also requires all auto insurance policies to offer UM coverage.
Your auto insurer will also offer underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, which pays out when an at-fault driver does not have enough liability insurance to pay for all the damages in an accident. While vehicle owners do not have to purchase UM/UIM insurance, we recommend purchasing this optional coverage. UM also benefits you in hit-and-run accidents when you cannot identify the driver.
How Much Will My UM Policy Cover?
UM coverage equals the limits of your liability coverage. By law, all vehicle owners must have a minimum insurance coverage of:
- $25,000 to pay for one injury or death per crash;
- $50,000 to cover all injuries or deaths per car accident; and
- $15,000 to pay for property damage per wreck.
If you have the minimum $25,000 in liability coverage, your UM amount cannot go beyond $25,000. However, you may purchase higher liability coverage from your auto insurer, which would raise your UM coverage.
How Do I Get Compensation From My UM Coverage?
You may receive compensation by filing a claim with your auto insurer. This is where you can see the benefits of having an established law firm working on your behalf. Insurance companies do not take policyholders at their word about accidents and injuries. You will have to prove to your insurer that the at-fault driver did not have car insurance.
Some at-fault drivers admit to not having insurance. In this case, you can ask them to sign a statement that you can give to your auto insurer when you file a claim. Unfortunately, others may not sign anything admitting lack of insurance. You can also sue an at-fault driver for damages, but the chances of collecting damages the driver has to pay out of pocket are slim.
What Help Would a Lawyer Provide?
We can help you gather evidence to show the type of damages the uninsured driver caused in the accident. To help you prepare a valid claim, we would collect relevant evidence, including the police report from the officer who responded to the accident. In some instances, uninsured motorists flee the accident scene. The police report would most likely document include this information, as well as details about the scene of the crash and information about who caused the accident.
We would also collect other information, such as:
- Your medical records to show the extent of your injuries;
- Photos of the accident scene;
- The license plate number of the uninsured motorist, if you were able to write down the number before they left;
- A description of the driver, if possible;
- Statements from your passengers about the accident;
- Statements from eyewitnesses to the accident; and
- Traffic surveillance video footage, if available.
If you tried to get information from the uninsured motorist and they did not cooperate, we can include a statement about this, as well.
Proof of Negligence Required to Collect UM Coverage
To recover compensation, you must prove that another driver caused your wreck and did not carry auto insurance. We can help prove the other driver caused the wreck by showing the four elements of negligence were present in your case. We will collect evidence to show:
- The driver had a duty to you and other motorists to drive carefully;
- The driver breached that duty of care;
- Their breach of duty caused an accident; and
- You suffered damages as a result of the crash.
An Attorney Can Help Negotiate a Fair Insurance Claim.
Another benefit of working with an established law firm comes in the negotiating stages of an insurance claim. We understand the games insurance companies play when it comes to settling claims. These companies often offer low payouts to car crash victims that do not adequately meet their needs.
We fight to get you full and fair compensation for your injuries, property damage, and future needs. If your auto insurer wants to deny your claim, we offer counsel on filing a lawsuit to get the money that you deserve.
How Much Money Will My Insurance Company Pay Me?
We cannot give you a definitive answer until we speak with you about your accident. However, we can say that a number of factors go into calculating your damages, including your medical bills and the severity of your injuries. For instance, a severe spinal cord injury brings a higher monetary award than a whiplash injury. Generally, you may recover monetary compensation for:
- Medical expenses;
- Physical therapy;
- Home health care;
- Assistive devices;
- Lost wages;
- Vehicle repair costs;
- Current and future lost wages; and
- Pain and suffering.
Our goal is to help you focus on recovering from your accident while we handle the legal complexities of your claim.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, for Help With Your Claim.
You can trust the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, to provide valuable counsel on how to obtain monetary compensation after an uninsured motorist accident. We aggressively advocate for injury accident victims and we know how to get results. Contact us today at 865-546-1111 for a free legal consultation.