Being involved in a car accident is stressful, however, when you are in a car accident with an uninsured driver, the fallout from the accident may increase exponentially. Unfortunately, according to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2015 the state of Tennessee ranked number five for the highest number of uninsured drivers. While a full 20 percent of all Tennessee drivers were without car accident insurance at that time, the national average was 13 percent. If you suffered an injury in a car accident caused by an uninsured driver, contacting the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 can help ensure you receive justice as well as possible compensation for your injuries and damages.
What are the Car Insurance Requirements in Tennessee?
Tennessee drivers are required to carry $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of uninsured motorist bodily injury, $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, and $15,000 per accident in property damage liability. Drivers who fail to carry car insurance in Tennessee and are involved in an accident may face fines or other penalties. According to autoinsurance.org, liability car insurance became mandatory in Tennessee in 1977. If a car is financed, the finance company may require additional insurance. Tennessee is an at-fault state, meaning the driver found at fault for the car accident is deemed legally responsible for the injuries and damages caused.
What Should Drivers Do When Involved in an Accident with an Uninsured Driver?
It is important to be prepared in the event of a car accident with an uninsured driver, whether the driver is a Tennessee resident or is from out of state. It can be very dismaying to ask for the other driver's insurance information only to find they have no car insurance. While drivers should always follow certain steps after a car accident, these steps become even more important when the other driver has no insurance, or in the case of an out of state car accident. The most important steps include:
- Immediately contact the police. While contacting the police is always important, it is even more important when the other driver is uninsured, or when the driver is out of state. A police report is the beginning of crucial documentation necessary to provide to the insurance company and will also be needed in the event of a personal injury claim.
- Seek prompt medical attention. If an accident results in a personal injury claim, it is important that all injuries are properly documented.
- Obtain the other driver's information. It is perhaps even more important that the contact information for the other driver is secured when the driver is lacking car insurance. Some insurance companies will require the uninsured driver to sign a statement affirming he or she has no car accident insurance before they will release Uninsured Motorist compensation. At a minimum, the other driver's name, phone number, and address should be obtained, and a photo snapped of the other driver's license plate.
- Contact their own insurance company. Once necessary medical treatment has been administered, the driver should contact his or her own insurance company, providing the contact information for the other driver.
Perhaps one of the most important decisions a driver in an accident can make is to contact an experienced Tennessee personal injury lawyer. All those involved in a car accident in which the at-fault driver has no insurance should consider visiting with a qualified attorney who has dealt with uninsured motorist claims before. An uninsured motorist claim can be more difficult than one might anticipate. An insurance company could attempt to minimize damages or even hire a lawyer for the uninsured driver to help that driver avoid paying the owed compensation. An attorney from the Labrum Law Firm can clearly explain all options, guiding accident victims through this difficult time in the best way possible.
Steps To Take If You Are Involved In a Car Accident With an Uninsured Driver Out of State
Those involved in an out of state car accident when the other driver has no car insurance can feel extremely high levels of stress and anxiety. There may be a question as to whether the driver's own auto insurance will cover them, and whether they need to do additional things to ensure adequate compensation for injuries and damages. One consideration often faced following an out of state car accident is that the state where the accident occurred may have different liability minimums. As an example, if a driver is at fault, his or her property damage minimum in Tennessee might not cover the other driver's vehicle damages. As with an uninsured motorist, it is crucial to contact the police, seek prompt medical attention, secure the other driver's contact information, and consider visiting with an experienced attorney as quickly as possible. Victims have the option to file a lawsuit in the state where the accident occurred if the insurance company refuses to provide adequate compensation.
How the Labrum Law Firm Can Help You Following a Car Accident
You only have a limited amount of time to file a claim in a court of law in the state of Tennessee regarding your injuries and losses or lose your right to do so permanently. However, when you have a car accident with an uninsured driver, you may have additional complications regarding bringing and filing a lawsuit. While you may be a safe and cautious driver, car accidents happen, and they often occur with uninsured or underinsured drivers. If you have suffered injuries from a car accident, only to find out the driver who hit you is uninsured, a highly-skilled, compassionate personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and help you secure the compensation you deserve under the law. Contact Labrum Law Firm today by calling (615) 338-9500 for the experienced legal representation you need. We look forward to visiting with you to help you obtain the justice you deserve.