Everything You Need to Know About Uninsured Motorists in Tennessee
Car accidents happen every day. People get distracted and can cause accidents. Unsafe driving conditions can also cause accidents. In order to protect yourself and your vehicle when accidents happen, you have purchased car insurance. In the state of Tennessee, all drivers are required to have at least liability insurance. Unfortunately, people disobey this law and drive on the roads uninsured. Keep reading to learn more about uninsured motorists in Tennessee.
Insurance in Tennessee
It is estimated that about 20% of drivers in Tennessee aren’t insured even though the state requires drivers to have some form of insurance. Typically, the least amount of coverage that is required in Tennessee is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in liability insurance. You can choose more coverage if you want, but you are required to have this minimum liability coverage at the least.
Most policies are set up so that your liability coverage amount is the same amount as your uninsured motorist coverage. However, you could waive uninsured motorist coverage entirely in order to lower your premiums, or select an amount of coverage that is less than your liability coverage. Uninsured/underinsured coverage does protect you and your passengers if you are in an accident and the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance, has an inadequate amount of coverage, or you are in a hit and run accident. As stated, Tennessee law allows you to waive your right to uninsured motorist coverage in order to save money on your premium. While it may sound like a good deal to decline this coverage, you could be stuck paying for medical and property bills out of pocket. You should speak with your insurance company to learn more about this type of coverage.
What to Do in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist
If you are in a car accident with an uninsured motorist in Tennessee, there are a few steps you should follow.
Contact the Police
Just like with any car accident, you should call the authorities after you make sure you and your passengers are ok. You should never agree to settle the matter without the police. Calling 911 ensures anyone with injuries is taken care of, and it starts the documentation process for your personal injury case.
Get Contact Information
After the police write up the accident report, you should ask them or the other driver for their contact information. Since they don’t have insurance information, you will need to get their name, phone number, and email address. Most insurance companies won’t release uninsured motorist compensation to you unless they have a statement that is signed from the uninsured party.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have the police report and uninsured motorist contact information, you should contact your insurance company. You’ll want to let them know that you were in an accident with an uninsured motorist, and this is essential, especially if they were at fault.
Contact a Lawyer
After you have spoken with your insurance company, you should reach out to a personal injury lawyer. An attorney who has worked on uninsured motorist car accident cases will be able to tell you what your options are. You may even want to contact a lawyer before you reach out to your insurance company so they can help you through the process of filing a claim and making sure you are treated fairly.
Now you know more about uninsured motorists in Tennessee. Have you been in an accident with someone who wasn’t insured? Contact one of our personal injury lawyers to set up a meeting and discuss your options.