Knoxville Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims
Auto Accident Attorneys Serving Knoxville and Beyond
Even though Tennessee and almost every other state requires motorists to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, over 12% of drivers take the wheel without any insurance coverage on their vehicles. In Tennessee, the percentage of uninsured drivers is even higher, with nearly 20% of motorists driving without any liability insurance coverage. Of the 80% of drivers who carry liability insurance coverage, a large majority carry only the minimum amount required by state law, which may not be enough to adequately compensate all victims if there are multiple injured parties or severely injured parties. If you have been injured in a collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver, contact the Knoxville car accident lawyers at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz for a free consultation.
Recovering in an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim
It is against the law to drive in Tennessee without having liability insurance coverage of at least $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury if more than one person is involved, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. If you are caught driving without the required insurance, you may receive a citation for violating Tennessee’s financial responsibility law and be subject to fines and/or penalties.
What happens if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver? Suppose you are rear-ended on Interstate 40, and the responsible party advises you that he does not have any liability insurance coverage. Even worse, suppose that you are sideswiped on Interstate 40 by a vehicle that chooses not to stop at the scene. What can you do in a hit and run situation where the responsible party’s identity is unknown?
Uninsured motorist coverage will come into play in these situations. In Tennessee, motorists are not required to carry uninsured motorist coverage. However, insurance carriers must offer you the option of obtaining uninsured motorist coverage when you purchase your liability insurance. If you choose to forego uninsured motorist coverage, the company should have you sign a written waiver declining such coverage.
Since Tennessee has a high percentage of uninsured drivers, many motorists elect to carry uninsured motorist coverage to allow them to seek recovery from their insurance company following an accident versus trying to obtain a judgment against an uninsured defendant who may have no assets. With an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, you are entitled to seek compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other losses, just as you would be able to seek from a liability insurance carrier.
What happens if you are rear-ended by a driver experiencing road rage, but she only has only the required $25,000 in liability insurance coverage? What if you suffer severe injuries resulting in $60,000 in medical bills? In that situation, you would be able to file an underinsured motorist claim if you have such coverage on your policy. Insurance coverage is typically available in $25,000 increments, and the underinsured motorist carrier will receive a credit for the $25,000 policy limits tendered through the liability insurance. This generally means you must carry at least $50,000 in uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to be able to seek additional recovery from your own insurance carrier after the liability carrier has paid out its limits. A skilled auto accident attorney in Knoxville will understand how to interpret the available coverage from all insurance policies involved to ensure you recover fair compensation in an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim.
Seek Legal Advice from an Experienced Lawyer Today
The losses after an auto accident in Knoxville can add up quickly, from vehicle repairs to medical bills to lost wages. If you have suffered injuries in an accident where the defendant has too little or no insurance at all, call NST today to discuss your case with one of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys. We may be able to assist you with filing an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim so you can be compensated for your losses. We are the largest plaintiff’s personal injury firm based in Tennessee, with offices in Memphis, Jackson, and Knoxville to serve injured parties across Tennessee. Call us today at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form for a free consultation with a motor vehicle accident attorney. NST is the way to go.