What Should I Do if I Was Hit By an Uninsured Motorist in Tennessee?
Posted in Car accidents on December 5, 2018
Every day, hundreds of uninsured drivers break the law and drive in Tennessee. The Tennessee Financial Responsibility Laws state all at-fault drivers are liable for damages in an automobile accident. The easiest way to fulfill this obligation is with adequate auto insurance. Failure to obtain this insurance can result in fines and loss of driving privileges. Unfortunately, not everyone obeys the law. If you get into a collision with an at-fault uninsured motorist in Tennessee, your claim may look different than typical crash claims.
Call the Police to Report the Crash
In Tennessee, drivers must remain at the scene of an accident and notify 911 if any injuries, deaths, or more than $400 in property damage occurs. These stipulations apply to most car accidents. Even if your wreck does not fulfill these requirements, call the police once you find out the other driver does not have automobile insurance.
Notifying the police protects you from the other driver giving you false information. It also creates an official record of the accident, as well as ensures a ticket and other penalties for the uninsured driver. It is your responsibility to get the uninsured driver off the road once you discover his/her wrongdoing to help prevent similar accidents in the future.
Collect the Other Driver’s Information
At the scene of the crash, request information from the at-fault driver, such as his/her name, phone number, driver’s license information, license plate numbers, and insurance information. If the driver was on duty at work at the time of the crash, jot down the company name as well. You will need the other driver’s information for the insurance claim process, even if the other driver does not have insurance. The police may gather this information for you if the wreck incapacitates you.
Go to the Hospital
If you have any personal injuries from the collision, seek medical care immediately. Do not delay medical care, as this could worsen your injuries and hurt your insurance claim. Go to the hospital even if you do not think you have injuries. Some injuries, such as hidden traumatic brain injuries, may have delayed symptoms, but will appear on medical scans and tests. Immediate emergency care can strengthen your future insurance claim and help your prognosis for recovery.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
In a collision with an uninsured driver, you do not have the option to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Instead, you will file a claim with your own insurance provider – even if you were not at fault. Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible after the wreck to file a claim. Your agent can tell you whether you have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance.
Uninsured motorist insurance is an optional type of insurance in Tennessee. Most car insurance companies offer this insurance in addition to the minimum requirements. UM/UIM insurance helps cover the costs specifically associated with collisions with uninsured drivers. If you carry this type of insurance, your company will most likely accept your claim and offer coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Contact an Attorney
If you do not have uninsured motorist insurance, or if your insurance company denies your claim for another reason, contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can review your options and potentially help you obtain compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Document your accident and damages throughout your experience to help strengthen your case.
You could qualify for compensation from the at-fault driver even without insurance, or another party with insurance may share fault – such as an auto parts manufacturer, property owner, or the city. More than one party may be liable for your damages. A meeting with a car accident attorney can help you identify your options for financial recovery.