Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Laws in Tennessee
Posted in Car accidents on April 7, 2020
In most cases, when a person gets into a car accident, they will turn to insurance carriers to cover personal injury and property damage expenses. Just like every other state in the country, Tennessee mandates that all drivers carry a minimum amount of insurance to remain legal on the roadway. In this state, the following coverage is required:
- $25,000 for each injury or death per accident.
- $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident.
- $15,000 for property damage per accident.
However, drivers who are struck by uninsured or underinsured motorists can be put in a difficult situation when it comes to securing compensation.
Is underinsured or uninsured motorist insurance required in Tennessee?
The state of Tennessee does not require drivers to carry underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. However, it is generally recommended that all drivers strongly consider carrying this coverage.
- Underinsured motorist coverage is designed to provide protection if the at-fault driver’s insurance limits do not cover all the expenses caused by a crash.
- Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to provide protection when somebody is struck by a driver who does not have insurance at all.
How many uninsured drivers are there on Tennessee roadways?
Despite requirements that drivers carry insurance to operate legally on the roadways in Tennessee, far too many drivers in this state operate without insurance. Estimates show that as how much as 20% of drivers in this state are uninsured. This means that drivers have an approximately one out of five chances of being in an accident that involves an uninsured driver in Tennessee. That statistic alone shows that drivers in Tennessee have good reason to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
Injury expenses can quickly exhaust insurance limits
Most people think they will be taken care of in the event an accident occurs, especially if all parties involved in an accident have insurance. However, we need to consider many of the injuries that can occur in a car accident:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
The medical costs associated with these injuries, along with lost income and other out-of-pocket expenses, can very quickly exceed the minimum insurance policy limits of the at-fault driver. If a Tennessee car accident victim sustains a serious injury, having underinsured motorist coverage could prove to be incredibly valuable.
Can you file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver without insurance in Tennessee?
In the event that an at-fault driver does not have insurance, the injured party could file a personal injury lawsuit with the court to recover compensation for their injuries and property damage. However, if a driver is operating their vehicle without insurance, there is a good chance they will not have the assets available to cover car accident injury and property damage expenses. A lawsuit may not yield much, if any, compensation.
How often do car crashes occur in Tennessee?
Unfortunately, car accidents are not uncommon in Tennessee. According to the latest year of data from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there were more than 200,000 total car accidents across the state. Out of these incidents, there were nearly 50,000 injuries and 1,064 fatalities reported. The reality is that most people will deal with a car accident at some point, so it is important that they choose what types of insurance they carry wisely. If you or a loved one have been in a car crash in Tennessee involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist, reach out to a Nashville car accident lawyer.