If your knowledge of car accident claims is limited to what you see on TV ads for personal injury attorneys, you may believe that if another driver is at fault in an accident that left you seriously injured, you will be automatically awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars. The reality is that, unless you are hit by a very wealthy individual, your compensation will be limited to the amount of the other driver’s insurance policy. Very often, this amount is not even enough to cover your medical costs.
Insurance Requirements in Tennessee
Drivers in Tennessee are required by law to carry liability coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This means that if you are hit by a driver carrying the minimum coverage, his insurance company will pay $25,000 in damages if only you are injured and $50,000 for everyone injured in the crash. For most catastrophic car accident injuries, this amount may only be a drop in the bucket. Unless the driver has extensive personal assets, you will not be able to get any more money for your injuries.
What’s worse, despite the legal requirement to have car insurance, nearly 25 percent of Tennessee drivers do not have any insurance at all. If you are hit by one of these drivers, they will be ticketed for having no insurance, but you will be out of pocket for all of your expenses. Think about that—there is a one in four chance that the driver responsible for your crash has no insurance at all.
How Uninsured Motorist Coverage Helps
Simply put, when you carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, your insurance company will pay your damages if the driver who hits you does not have insurance. Tennessee law states that drivers must carry UM coverage in an amount equal to their liability coverage, but drivers are given an opportunity to opt out of this coverage, which many do in an effort to save money. By carrying the maximum amount of uninsured motorist coverage you can afford, you are ensuring that there will be enough money to cover your damages in an accident. This coverage also kicks in when the at-fault driver has insurance, but it’s not enough to pay all of your costs. Also known as underinsured motorist coverage, this is a necessary benefit in many serious car accident cases.
The Holton Law Firm Can HelpIf you have questions about uninsured motorist coverage, or you are already suffering the consequences of a crash with an uninsured driver, call us now. We can help you get a fair recovery so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.