Tennessee is one of many states that requires its drivers to have insurance, but unfortunately, countless drivers operate vehicles with inadequate policies or no insurance at all. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 20 percent of all Tennessee drivers are uninsured. When you’re injured in a car accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, it’s understandable why you might panic about how you’re going to pay for your hospital bills and car repairs, along with other damages. Fortunately, you have options available to you that Dunk Law Firm can help you realize and take advantage of when you call us for a free consultation. Our Memphis attorneys have helped clients across Tennessee understand their existing UM and UIM policies and can help you access the coverage you need to make a complete recovery after an unfortunate accident.
In Tennessee, all drivers are required to carry two types of insurance: bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
Bodily injury liability involves any injuries sustained in a car accident, whether by you, your passengers, or the other driver, as well as fatalities. The policies are comprised of a set amount for injuries to one person and a separate amount for injuries to all involved per accident. At a minimum, drivers must carry $25,000/$50,000 in bodily injury liability insurance in our state. Many companies and lawyers recommend that drivers purchase at least $100,000/$300,000 for bodily insurance, however, as damages can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Property damage liability, on the other hand, is meant to cover the costs of damage to your vehicle or other property involved. In Tennessee, you must carry $15,000 in property damage liability.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is a supplemental type of coverage drivers can add to their auto insurance policies to protect them in the event that they are injured by a driver whose policy cannot cover their injuries or damage, or they don’t have any insurance. UM/UIM coverage can also apply to hit and run accidents when the at-fault driver can’t be apprehended and thus their insurance policy can’t be accessed.
The amount of damages that UM and UIM policies can cover is typically equal to the liability coverage you have; for example, if your policy is the state’s required 25/50, you’ll have the same amount in UM/UIM coverage.
UM and UIM insurance is meant to pay for the following costs when the at-fault driver can’t cover them:
A unique feature of Tennessee’s insurance laws is that drivers have the ability to waive their right to uninsured and underinsured coverage or lower the limits. This could be unfortunate for some drivers who sustain serious injuries because it may mean they have to personally pay their medical bills if their costs exceed their policies.
It’s important to know that insurance companies offer various types of policies and that what you have might not necessarily be what your neighbor or a family member has. Because there are add-ons you can get, it makes sense if you’re not sure whether you’ve purchased UM or UIM insurance.
This is where our attorneys come in. Having handled countless claims involving uninsured and underinsured motorists before, we understand how to help you access your coverage and determine what compensation is available to you. Don’t lose hope if your policy doesn’t offer the full amount of compensation you need – our team can also sit down with you to look into other options that can cover the extent of your damages. We have filed claims with insurance companies as well as personal injury claims against at-fault drivers and are open to exploring either option if it means you can heal and maintain financial stability.