According to Tennessee law, all Tennessee drivers are required to carry minimum liability coverage in case they cause property damage and/or injure someone else in a car accident. Unfortunately, as most of us know, not everyone who drives is insured, which creates an extra burden for those of us who are. As a matter of fact, over one-fifth of Tennessee drivers are uninsured, giving our state the shameful distinction of being sixth on the list of states with the highest number of uninsured drivers.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver in Tennessee, and you have a serious injury as a result, it is essential that you contact an excellent personal injury attorney with a track record of success. Brian Cummings of Cummings Law in Nashville has a well-earned reputation as an agile litigator and has successfully handled numerous traffic accidents involving under/uninsured drivers. If you bring your case to him, you can rest assured that, in spite of its complex circumstances, he will find a way to get you every bit of compensation you are entitled to.
What To Do If You’ve Been In An Under/Uninsured Driver Accident
Tennessee is a “modified comparative fault” state when it comes to car accidents, meaning that, if sued and found to be “at-fault,” the defendant must pay for all personal injury damages resulting from a car accident, assuming the plaintiff is found to be no more than 49 percent at fault.
If you have had the misfortune to be injured in a traffic accident in which the at-fault driver had insufficient insurance or no insurance at all, Brian Cummings can assist you in filing a personal injury claim against the uninsured driver or help you to file a claim for damages with your own insurance company through your uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM) coverage.
Filing a Lawsuit Against an Uninsured Driver
Ordinarily, the driver found at trial to be responsible for your injury and its aftermath is held accountable, and they are therefore responsible for paying damages to you to cover your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and other injury-related costs. Because typically these damages are paid by that driver’s auto insurance company, when you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver, your options are more limited.
It is crucial to have a savvy attorney on your side when suing an uninsured driver because that individual is likely to be difficult to sue and collect from. Uninsured drivers are more likely to be lower on the economic scale than insured drivers and therefore may not have the resources to pay damages even if they want to comply. Nonetheless, Brian Cummings will doggedly pursue such a lawsuit if there is hope that the at-fault driver has assets that can be tapped to compensate you. If under rare circumstances, the uninsured driver responsible for your injuries does turn out to be a person of means to pay a settlement or judgment out of their personal funds, we can sue that individual for damages, and if we win the case, that individual will have to pay you out of their own pocket.
Even if the uninsured driver has few assets but has a reasonable income, it is possible for you to receive periodic, future payments through the garnishment of their wages. If you have sustained long-term, high-cost injuries, the driver responsible, if found to be legally at fault, may actually have to liquidate major assets, such as a house or other property, in order to compensate you.
When the At-Fault Driver Is Underinsured
A number of drivers who meet the legal requirements for auto insurance are nonetheless underinsured. Tennessee drivers are required to carry minimum car insurance as follows:
- $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $15,000 per accident for property damage
- Equal amounts of UM liability insurance
Anyone who has ever seen a hospital bill knows that these amounts are laughably low. A couple of diagnostic imaging tests, such as MRIs, or a couple of nights in the hospital, can by themselves lead to expenses well over these minimum levels of insurance coverage.
In such situations, Brian Cummings will be your ally, guiding you through the most productive legal process which may involve suing the at-fault driver personally or fighting for just compensation from your own insurance company through your UM policy.
Filing a Claim with Your Own Insurance Company
Tennessee law requires that all insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM); insured parties, however, can reject this type of coverage. Those who do refuse such insurance are taking a big risk since you never know (especially in Tennessee!) whether the driver whose car collides with yours is sufficiently insured or not.
We all know that most insurance companies do not like to part with money, so even though you may have paid for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for many years, you will need a sharp, aggressive personal injury attorney to advocate on your behalf- even with your own insurance company. This is not a do-it-yourself project. Without a legal representative who is extremely familiar with under/uninsured driver accidents and the laws governing them, you may be left high and dry. Studies show that people injured in car accidents receive up to three times more for injuries and damages when they have an experienced attorney representing them throughout the process.
Contact Our Nashville Under/Uninsured Driver Accident Attorney
Car accidents are always distressing, and that stress is exponentially worse if you are seriously injured. Cummings Law will assess your particular case carefully. Whether we are able to sue the uninsured or underinsured driver, or his insured employer (if the driver is working when the accident occurs), or have to negotiate with or sue your own insurance company for UM benefits, we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve to restart your life from that point forward. Get in touch with Cummings Law today by phone, email, or through our website to get the help you need.