If you were involved in a car wreck caused by an uninsured driver, you may assume that you must pay out of pocket for your own injuries and property damage. Before you place this financial burden on yourself, contact the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC for legal guidance on pursuing compensation that you may receive to for your damages.
You may be eligible to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages from your job, pain and suffering, and other damages. We can help you file a claim or personal injury lawsuit to recoup your financial and emotional losses from your accident. Call us today at 865-546-1111 to schedule a free case evaluation with an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Oak Ridge, TN.
Getting Compensation from Your Own Auto Insurance Policy
Tennessee requires auto insurance companies to offer Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) to protect against drivers who cause accidents and do not have auto insurance. UM helps pay for medical costs for treating a motorist’s injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
UM also covers the vehicle owner’s relatives who were passengers at the time of the accident or driving the vehicle with the owner’s permission. UM also protects you in accidents involving hit-and-run drivers, and pedestrians or bicyclists hit by cars.
Auto insurers pair UM Coverage with Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). UIM coverage protects you when a driver who causes an accident has auto insurance, but not enough to pay for all your damages.
Your UM Coverage Amount Depends on Your Liability Limit
Your UM coverage equals your bodily injury liability limit. Tennessee requires vehicle owners to carry a minimum amount of the following auto insurance coverage:
- $25,000 for one bodily injury or death
- $50,000 for all bodily injuries or deaths
- $15,000 for property damage in one accident
The higher your insurance coverage is the more UM coverage you have to protect against uninsured motorists who cause accidents.
You Can Reject UM/UIM Coverage
While Tennessee requires insurance companies to offer UM/UIM coverage, vehicle owners can reject this optional coverage in writing. Some policyholders believe that purchasing UM/UIM coverage will raise their insurance rates. Fortunately, Tennessee prohibits insurers from increasing the rates of vehicle owners with UM/UIM coverage or from canceling their insurance policy just because the insurer paid a UM/UIM claim.
If you rejected this optional coverage and want to recover compensation for your injuries, an uninsured motorist accident lawyer in Oak Ridge can discuss other legal options to recover your damages.
Filing a UM Claim With Your Auto Insurer
Your insurance company can give you just as much hassle in filing a claim as another auto insurer would give you. This is when having a lawyer representing you helps in getting compensation from an insurance company.
Our lawyers can help in negotiating claims with insurance adjusters. We work hard to get our clients a fair settlement that takes care of the damages they suffered.
Dealing With an Uncooperative Uninsured Driver
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the uninsured driver. However, we will discuss with you whether this is a viable legal option to pursue, especially if the driver refuses to provide contact information.
To avoid dealing with police and insurance companies, some uninsured drivers flee the scene of an accident while others refuse to exchange personal information and ask the other driver not to report the crash.
Some auto insurers require a written statement from the at-fault driver stating that he or she does not have auto insurance. You may not be able to obtain this statement if the uninsured driver does not want to cooperate with you.
Should the uninsured driver refuse to cooperate, we can still help you pursue compensation and assist you in filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Proving Negligence Against the Uninsured Motorist
To prevail in your insurance claim, our case must prove that the at-fault driver’s negligence caused the accident. In your case, we will show how the uninsured driver owed you a duty to drive safely but breached this duty by causing an accident, and because of the driver’s negligent actions, you suffered damages.
We may prove negligence by:
- Obtaining the police report that you filed after the crash
- Securing photographs of your injuries and damage to your car
- Your medical records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Video surveillance footage
It is necessary that we investigate your accident because your insurance company may claim that your actions contributed to your accident. This will give your insurer a reason to reduce your settlement.
If, however, you are partially negligent for the wreck, your settlement amount is based on the percentage of fault contributed to you.
The Type of Compensation You Can Recover
Your compensation amount primarily depends on the severity of your injuries. You may recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve for the damages you suffered.
Drivers Face Penalties for Failing to Have Auto Insurance
Failing to purchase auto insurance violates Tennessee’s Financial Responsibility Law. If caught by police, uninsured drivers must pay a $300 fine. Uninsured drivers who cause an injury or fatal accident face a Class A misdemeanor which punishable by 11 months and 29 days in jail, a maximum $2,500 fine, or both.
Recover Compensation in Your Uninsured Motorist Case
The Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC fight for victims who suffered injuries in accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
Contact us today at 865-546-1111 for a free case evaluation with an uninsured motorist lawyer in Oak Ridge.