In Tennessee, drivers are required by law to have liability insurance. See Tennessee Code Annotated Section 55-12-102(12).
Drivers who comply with Tennessee's current insurance requirements ("Financial Responsibility Laws") have insurance policies that provide at least $25,000 of liability coverage per person and $50,000 of liability coverage per accident.
Drivers in Tennessee who do not have the required insurance policies risk conviction of a Class C misdemeanor and suspension of their drivers license.
Unfortunately, many drivers in Tennessee do not comply with the Financial Responsibility Laws and have no liability insurance. In fact, a 2014 study by the Insurance Research Council estimates that 20.1% of the drivers in Tennessee do not have insurance. That means 1 in 5 drivers on Tennessee roadways are uninsured. (Tennessee was the sixth worst state for uninsured drivers according to the 2014 study.)
What happens if you suffer injuries and damages in a car wreck that is caused by a driver who does not have insurance? If the negligent driver does not have liability insurance, then your best bet for recovery may be the uninsured motorist coverage available to you under your own auto insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to help you pay for bills associated with a car wreck that was caused by a driver who does not have insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages caused by a driver who does not have insurance.
When pursuing benefits through the uninsured motorist coverage available under your auto policy, you are making a personal injury claim against your own insurance carrier for the damages caused by the uninsured driver. Your insurance company generally will evaluate and treat your claim just as they would the liability claim of a third-party. (In Tennessee, an insurance company cannot raise your insurance premiums or cancel your policy because you make a claim for uninsured motorist coverage benefits. See Tennessee Code Annotated Section 56-7-1201(f)).
Personal injury claims arising out of car wrecks with drivers who do not have insurance ("uninsured motorist claims") can be tricky. Contact us if you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an auto accident that was caused by a driver without insurance. An experienced attorney can evaluate a potential uninsured motorist claim on your behalf.
Tennessee lawyer Patrick Witherington offers free consultations to discuss how he can help recover the compensation that you deserve.