Uninsured vs. Underinsured Motorists: What You Need to Know
No one wants to be involved in a vehicle accident, but those feelings intensify when you think about getting injured by an uninsured motorist. Not only do you have to deal with the physical consequences of the accident, but you also have to figure out the financial outcomes. While uninsured motorists on the road are an issue, so is not having enough insurance coverage. Here is everything you need to know about uninsured vs. underinsured motorists:
Differences in Legality
As you probably know, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on the roadways of Tennessee without having the vehicle covered by car insurance. However, that does not stop people from doing it all the time. One issue that is not as commonly discussed is drivers that are severely underinsured. Unfortunately, the minimum state limit for insurance coverage is just $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. As you can imagine, in a severe car accident with injuries, the cost of vehicle repairs and medical bills can easily surpass the minimum requirement of coverage. Therefore, while being underinsured is not against the law, it can still be just as catastrophic for car accident victims. When it comes to financial burdens, often there is not much difference between being uninsured vs. underinsured.
Similar Processes on the Scene
Whether the responsible party of the accident has little or no insurance, your reaction process should be the same. After checking for injuries, the first thing you want to do is call the police so they can come to the scene and fill out a report. This will serve as the official record of the crash, so it’s important if you end up needing to file a claim. Be sure to also properly document the scene, which includes photos of the vehicles, injuries, and contact information of the other driver and any witnesses from the scene. If you come to realize that the other party does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for the accident, you may need help from an experienced personal injury attorney.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Let’s say a driver only carries the minimum $25,000 worth of coverage, but your medical bills come out to $40,000. What will happen is the insurance will pay for the $25,000, and you will be left with the remaining $15,000 of your unpaid medical bills. In this type of scenario, it is important to have additional auto coverage on your plan for uninsured and under-insured motorists. The key to dealing with insurance companies is that you should never agree to any type of settlement without first consulting with an attorney. Our team will sit down with you to discuss every aspect of the case so we can give you the best advice possible on how to proceed.
Now that you know a little more about uninsured vs. underinsured motorists, learn more about how our team of lawyers can help you through the process of any car accident. We will fight for the financial compensation that you are entitled to.