The state of Tennessee requires that all motorists carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage in order to legally operate a motor vehicle on the roadways. Unfortunately, research shows that 13% of all drivers do not carry car insurance as legally required under the law according to research from the Insurance Research Council. While the Tennessee Department of Revenue has made an extraordinary push since 2017 to increase the number of drivers that carry insurance under Tennessee's Financial Responsibility Law, the unfortunate truth is that many drivers in Tennessee still drive with no insurance or not enough insurance coverage. If you experienced an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, learn how you still may have the legal right to receive compensation for your injuries and losses by contacting an uninsured and underinsured accident lawyer at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 for a free consultation today.
Tennessee Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
Every state has the right to determine the minimum car insurance requirement for all of its drivers. The state of Tennessee minimum car insurance requirements are as follows:
- $25,000 minimum coverage for every injury or death per car accident
- $50,000 minimum coverage for total injuries or deaths per car accident
- $15,000 minimum coverage for property damage per car accident
If a driver in the state of Tennessee fails to have this amount of car insurance coverage, they are not only violating the law, but they also may not have the ability to compensate the victims of a car accident that results from their negligence. While they may remain personally liable for the expenses incurred by a victim of a car accident, the truth is that many of the drivers that fail to carry the minimum car insurance requirements required by Tennessee law, also do not have the financial ability to compensate victims following a car accident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Tennessee
Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM coverage) is not a requirement in the state of Tennessee. This supplemental automobile insurance coverage protects you, as a driver, in the event that you experience a car crash with another driver that either does not have any car insurance coverage, or fails to have adequate car insurance coverage to cover your injuries and losses resulting from the car accident. Because UM/UIM coverage is not a requirement under the law in the state of Tennessee, drivers have the legal option to refuse this coverage under their policy. Drivers should seriously consider whether or not to opt-out of this coverage, as an accident with a hit-and-run driver or driver that does not carry enough car insurance coverage could ultimately result in the victim paying for all of their expenses related to their car crash even though it was not their fault.
What UM/UIM Insurance Covers
UM/UIM car insurance coverage will typically cover all of your family members for any costs associated with any medical bills, loss of wages, loss of future wages, and pain and suffering. However, UM/UIM insurance coverage does not cover property damage to a vehicle.
How To Determine If You Have UM/UIM Insurance Coverage
The best practice following a car crash with an uninsured or underinsured motorist is to get a copy of your car insurance policy and carefully study it line by line. Make a list of questions regarding your insurance coverage if necessary, and then contact your insurance company in order to obtain a full and complete understanding of your coverages and the amount you may have a legal right to receive regarding your uninsured or underinsured accident.
Receiving Compensation From Your Own Insurance Company
Do not be fooled into thinking that simply because you may have the right to file a claim under the UM/UIM portion of your insurance policy with your own insurance company that they will look favorably on providing you with a full and fair settlement offer. At the end of the day, many insurance companies (even your own) may utilize manipulative and deceptive tactics in an attempt to avoid paying a victim the amount of compensation they are owed under the law. Some of the unscrupulous tactics that an insurance company may use regarding a UM/UIM claim may include the following:
- Delay or failure to provide a complete and accurate policy to the insured
- Failure to provide accurate or timely answers to the questions asked by the insured
- Making the process challenging, difficult, or unnecessarily cumbersome by requiring the insured to go through several steps in order to frustrate the insured and hope that they either give up completely or simply take a lower settlement offer
- Mailing a check in the hopes that the insured will cash it without understanding that cashing the check will be the payment in full for their claim
- Attempting to solicit information from insured while they are still in the hospital or suffering serious injuries following their car accident
- Recording the conversation with the insured to attempt to use a portion of the conversation against them to show that the insured was liable in some way for the car crash
- Requesting a full and complete medical history in order to attempt to find a pre-existing medical condition that could account for current injuries suffered from the car accident.
- Stalling the entire process in an attempt to have the victim lose their right to file a claim in court by missing the Tennessee statute of limitations deadlines to file a claim
Our experienced attorneys at Labrum Law Firm can represent your interests and negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf following an uninsured or underinsured car accident.
Learn More About Your Legal Rights Following an Uninsured or Underinsured Car Accident
If you have medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, you may have the right to file a claim under your own UM/UIM insurance policy, or file a claim directly against the other negligent driver. Learn more about your legal options following an uninsured or underinsured car accident in the state of Tennessee by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney at Labrum Law Firm at (615) 338-9500 today.