If you sustained injuries in an accident an uninsured driver caused, you may wonder how someone who does not have an auto insurance policy can pay for your medical bills and car repair costs.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, can help you pursue compensation for the unexpected costs you incurred because of your car accident. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a free consultation with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Nashville.
How Can I Get Compensation If the Driver Did Not Have Auto Insurance?
If an uninsured motorist was liable for your car crash and you have Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) in your automobile insurance policy, we can help you file a claim with your own insurance company. In Tennessee, automobile insurers must offer UM coverage to policyholders. UM coverage protects you when an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver causes an accident and property damage. UM also covers you if you sustain injuries as a passenger in an uninsured motorist’s vehicle.
UM coverage generally equals your policy’s bodily injury liability limits. Under state law, policy holders can reject UM coverage in writing. We recommend purchasing this additional insurance to protect yourself against uninsured motorists.
What Does UM Coverage Pay For?
UM coverage pays to treat your bodily injuries, those of your family members, and injuries of any passengers not related to you. You may also be able to recover compensation for the damages to your vehicle, as well as the cost to repair or replace other personal property damaged in the accident.
Our attorneys can review your UM policy to determine your level of coverage. We will pursue the maximum compensation available under your policy to pay for your crash-related losses.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim?
Our legal team can help you file a claim with your insurer while you recover from your injuries. Prior to filing an insurance claim on your behalf, we will investigate your crash. Our goal is to gather information that proves how the uninsured motorist’s negligence caused your car accident. This is an essential step to getting you compensation for your losses.
To do this, we may gather documents such as:
- A police report of the accident;
- Photographs of your damaged vehicle;
- Video from traffic surveillance cameras;
- Your medical report detailing the severity of your injuries; and
- Statements from eyewitnesses, including your passengers.
Some auto insurance companies want uninsured drivers to state in writing they did not have auto insurance at the time of the crash. However, getting this information may be difficult, particularly if the other driver refuses to cooperate with you or if your accident involves a hit-and-run driver. We will handle the communication with your auto insurer, letting them know of your attempts to get the other party’s contact information or if the driver gave you inaccurate contact information.
How Do You Prove Negligence With the Evidence You Collected?
We can use the evidence to show the at-fault driver’s action led to the crash. For instance, the driver may have been:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Texting while driving or talking on the phone behind the wheel;
- Driving while drowsy or fatigued; or
- Failing to obey traffic signals and signs.
Using the evidence we uncover regarding the cause of your crash, we will work to prove the four elements of negligence that Tennessee requires. To successfully recover the compensation you need, we must show:
- The uninsured motorist had a legal duty to drive carefully;
- The uninsured motorist failed that duty;
- The uninsured motorist’s negligence caused the accident; and
- You suffered injuries and other damages because of the crash.
We will also emphasize that the driver violated Tennessee law requiring all drivers to have a valid auto insurance policy. Under the state’s Financial Responsibility Law, all motorists must maintain:
- $25,000 to cover one bodily injury or death;
- $50,000 in coverage for all bodily injuries or deaths per crash; and
- $15,000 to pay for property damage for one accident.
Failing to maintain this coverage is punishable by fines, driver’s license suspension, and vehicle towing. If you or your passengers suffered injuries in the crash, the uninsured motorist will face even stiffer legal penalties.
What If the Uninsured Motorist Offers to Pay for My Damages?
In an effort to avoid legal ramifications, the uninsured driver may offer to pay for your damages if you agree not to report the accident. We advise against this. If you do not report the crash, you will have no guarantee that the driver will actually pay your accident-related bills. You can legally protect yourself by putting your accident on record with the police and your auto insurer.
Many auto insurance companies require you to report an accident within a specific timeframe. Furthermore, if your crash involved death, injuries, or at least $50 in property damage, you must report it to the police. If you fail to report your crash, you may face suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration.
When Can I Get Compensation?
The date you receive compensation depends on our negotiations with your auto insurer. Insurance companies—including your own—generally do not want to pay out settlements. Your insurer may dispute your right to compensation, claim you played a part in causing the crash, or question the severity of your injuries. These are common tactics insurance companies use as a way to offer less compensation.
With decades of combined experience negotiating this type of case, our attorneys know the tricks insurance adjusters play to delay or deny claims. You can rest assured we know how to counter the insurer’s challenges so you can get the compensation you need and deserve.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, Before Time Runs Out.
We encourage you to reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, as soon as possible after your crash. You only have one year from the date of your accident to claim injury. The sooner we can get started on your claim, the quicker you will recover compensation.
Contact us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.