Suppose you get into an accident that wasn’t your fault. In most cases, you’d file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, have your car repaired, and compensation for damages and personal injury. However, some drivers don’t have insurance or enough coverage for the expenses. In these scenarios, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help protect you.
Tennessee has many irresponsible drivers who avoid taking responsibility for their actions by driving without insurance coverage. A personal injury lawyer can protect you from an underinsured or uninsured motorist. They can also help you avoid paying out-of-pocket for an accident you didn’t cause and walk you through the steps of seeking compensation from the insurance company.
What Is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re in an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have liability insurance. When you get into an accident with someone who has underinsured motorist coverage, their insurance company will pay damages within their policy limits. From there, your underinsured motorist coverage might cover the remaining expenses up to the limits you select.
What Is Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Each state defines “underinsured” differently, but it’s typically a driver at fault who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the other person’s damages. Someone might have auto liability insurance, but insufficient liability limits prevent them from covering expenses after an accident, or their liability limits are less than or equal to their underinsured motorist coverage limit. Some states bundle uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage together.
Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage breaks down into two coverage types: bodily injury and property damage. Suppose you get into an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or enough insurance to cover the expenses. In that case, bodily injury is designed to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering for you and anyone else in the car. Property damage protects you if you get hit, and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or enough coverage to pay for repair costs, collision deductibles, rental car costs, or other out-of-pocket expenses.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim With Your Insurance Company
After you get into a car accident, you’ll need to navigate the claims process with the insurance company. Some insurance companies set limits on claim periods, so you must contact your insurance company immediately following the accident. There are a few things to expect when you prepare to file a personal injury claim.
You should collect the driver’s name and insurance company information and details about the accident, including date and time, location, parties involved, and injuries suffered. If you suspect that the driver is an uninsured motorist, you should inform your insurer that you’re going to file an uninsured motorist claim.
An underinsured motorist claim will take longer because of medical treatment processing and your lawyer understanding how valuable your case is. Once your personal injury lawyer determines that your case is worth more than the at-fault driver’s liability coverage, you should inform your insurance company that you intend to file a claim.
During this process, the insurance company will investigate, disclose your medical records, and conduct depositions of witnesses. If you and your insurer can’t reach an agreeable settlement, you can’t file a lawsuit against them. In this case, you have to submit your claim to binding arbitration. The arbitrators will hold a hearing to evaluate all evidence and hear from both sides to determine who wins the case.
What Is Covered in Uninsured Motorist Insurance Policies?
Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage (IUM) is a provision in some auto insurance policies that provides injury benefits for auto accidents caused by drivers who don’t have insurance or whose insurance policies are inadequate to provide total compensation.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is typically available whether you were in your car, another vehicle, or a pedestrian at the time of the accident.
If a hit-and-run driver struck you, you might also be entitled to uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage if there’s enough evidence to support your claim. This is also known as the “phantom driver” provision of Tennessee UIM law.
Why Is It Important to Have UIM Coverage?
Unfortunately, not every driver in Tennessee has uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. While insurance companies must offer it, policy holders can opt out of it by signing a waiver. Certain “low-cost” insurance companies routinely seek these waivers.
In Tennessee, you don’t need proof of auto insurance to get a driver’s license or register a car. Therefore, many drivers on our roads are uninsured. We encourage everyone to have uninsured and underinsured driver coverage for this reason.
Middle Tennessee Personal Injury Attorneys
We help our clients pursue uninsured and underinsured driver benefits for their accident injuries. Our expert Tennessee personal injury lawyers can help you determine whether you have underinsured or uninsured motorist insurance and whether you’re entitled to benefits.
Flexer Law has been serving the legal needs of Middle Tennessee residents since 1981. Our experienced bankruptcy attorneys will work diligently on your behalf to provide the best financial outcome for you.
We have three office locations throughout Middle Tennessee to accommodate your legal needs. Contact us for a free consultation, and we’ll find the best solution to get your financial life back on track.
Flexer Law Office Locations
We have law offices conveniently located throughout Middle Tennessee. You will not pay anything unless we are successful in helping you get compensation for your injuries.