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Auto Accidents: Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists

Tennessee Auto Injury Lawyers
Some studies suggest that 1/3 to ˝ of all drivers have no insurance, completely disregarding Tennessee’s auto insurance requirements. These individuals either fail to, or cannot afford to pay for insurance, or they carry insufficient insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage is a form of insurance that pays for bodily injury resulting from an accident with a driver who is legally responsible for the damages, but has no liability coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage pays for bodily injury stemming from an accident with a driver who has liability insurance with limits that are lower than the injured party’s claim value. If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, it is important that you consult with an attorney at an experienced personal injury law firm as soon as possible so you do not waive valuable legal rights.

Uninsured Motorists

Typically, uninsured motorist coverage protects injured parties if the at-fault party has no insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage can also be useful when someone is injured in an accident with an unidentified hit-and-run vehicle. If a person has uninsured motorist coverage and is in an accident with an uninsured motorist, he or she can collect from his or her insurance company to recover damages. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney before you file a claim with your insurance company to ensure that you obtain all of the coverage available to you.

Underinsured Motorists

Underinsured motorist coverage provides compensation for injured parties when the at-fault party does not have enough insurance coverage to compensate the injured driver in full for his or her injuries. An “underinsured motorist” is generally a person who is liable for the damages, but who has opted to purchase only the minimum policy required by law. If a person has purchased underinsured motorist coverage is in an accident with an underinsured motorist, he or she may be able to collect from his or her insurance company to recover damages that are greater than the liable party’s limits. There is never a negative outcome on your own coverage, either with higher rates, or being dropped from coverage.

Collecting benefits

In order to collect underinsured or uninsured motorist benefits, a person generally must first establish that the underinsured or uninsured driver was at fault and that he or she suffered significant damages. In the case of underinsured motorist benefits, the injured person must also collect the at-fault driver’s policy limits before collecting under his or her own insurance policy. An insurance company is usually entitled to a credit for any recovery received from the underinsured motorist’s policy.

Stacking Insurance Coverage

Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection is “stackable” in Tennessee. Stacking uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage may allow a person to add together either insurance coverage from several auto policies or insurance coverage from family members.

Conclusion

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects a person if someone who does not have adequate insurance harms him or her in a car accident. If you are in a collision with someone who is uninsured or underinsured, do not settle with the other driver’s insurance company without first contacting our law firm. Some underinsured motorist policies do not have to pay if the insured person has settled with the other driver’s insurance company with out first obtaining consent to settle. This can be a very risky mistake. Ensure your rights, contact our firm today. A lawyer can provide you with the information and support you need to obtain the best result available to you.

If you have been hurt in an auto accident, please contact our lawyers today. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingent fee basis, which means that there is never a fee unless we successfully settle your case.

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