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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Involved In a Car Accident? Other Driver Has No Insurance? Your Next Move

Tennessee, like most other states, has a legal minimum insurance requirement for all vehicle owners and drivers- but that doesn't mean everybody has it. Unfortunately, more than 14% of drivers in the US are uninsured, which can cause complications if they are involved in an accident.

When someone is involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it can be difficult to know what to do and what the legal options are. This guide covers the vital next steps and shares valuable information that could help victims facing expenses and damages.

Who Pays for Damages in Accidents Caused by Uninsured Drivers?

Who Pays for Damages in Accidents Caused by Uninsured Drivers?

Usually, when people are involved in a car accident, the at-fault driver is liable for damages- paid by their insurance provider. When that driver does not have insurance, the responsibility falls to the victim's own insurance company.

As long as their policy includes the right type of insurance coverage- in this case, uninsured motorist coverage- their provider will pay for any property damage, medical bills, and other expenses related to the accident and subsequent injuries.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage Explained

How does uninsured motorist coverage work?

In short, it is an extension offered by insurance companies when people take out a car insurance policy. While car liability insurance exists to cover damages caused to someone else by the policyholder, uninsured motorist coverage is in place to protect them financially if they are hit by an uninsured driver.

It is usually equal to or less than the amount of liability insurance on the policy. Depending on the policy and provider, UIM coverage only pays for expenses relating to injuries, and separate add-on coverage is required for vehicle damage repairs or replacements. Other policies include all damages in one package.

On the other hand, underinsured motorist coverage is usually set up to pay for vehicle damage but not medical bills. Most policies for underinsured motorist coverage work as an extra source of money if the driver who caused the accident has some insurance but not enough to fulfill the claim.

These policies are also optional but recommended. Insurance companies limit underinsured motorist coverage to a much lower amount (usually enough to fix or replace a car).

Uninsured VS Underinsured: What Is the Difference?

Put simply, an uninsured driver has no liability coverage whatsoever- whereas an underinsured driver has some, but not enough insurance coverage to meet the requirements of the victim's rightful claim.

Both are problematic in their own rights and almost always leave the victim relying at least partially on their own coverage.

What If the Victim's Insurance Policy Doesn't Include Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

Insurance companies will generally only cover damages caused by uninsured drivers if the victim's policy includes uninsured motorist coverage. Without it, they are likely to refuse the claim.

This does not necessarily mean it is impossible to claim compensation, but it does make things more complicated.

Collision coverage is another optional coverage that many drivers have. It pays for vehicle damage in any accident- whether or not someone else was at fault. That said, this only insures your vehicle and the expense of replacing or repairing it- it doesn't extend to medical treatment and lost wages.

The other possible option is to sue the at-fault driver. That said, there are potential difficulties to consider. Although there is no reason to stop you from filing a lawsuit, the fact that they don't have insurance could suggest that they do not have the financial means to pay the amount required.

Even if judgment rules in the victim's favor, recovering the money could be very difficult. It is best to speak with a trusted expert accident attorney in Nashville TN about the options and potential courses of action.

What To Do After a Car Accident with a Uninsured or Underinsured Driver

The immediate steps to take after car accidents with an uninsured driver are the same as in any motor vehicle accident.

First, call the police. 911 should be the first number an accident victim calls to alert the emergency services to the incident. This includes law enforcement and medical services if required. Always stay at the accident scene until the police say it is okay to leave. Leaving before they arrive (unless for emergency medical care) will significantly harm a claim.

The police will register the accident and complete a report. A police report is one of the most crucial pieces of evidence used to support claims, so involved parties should make sure they get a copy.

Another vital step following an uninsured driver accident is to collect the driver's information. This includes their name, contact details, and registration number. Always take note of the vehicle's license plate as well.

If the driver refuses to share their information, try to gather what information you can peacefully. When the police arrive, they can intervene. An uninsured driver who flees the scene can be traced using the license plate number, which is why it is such an important detail to take note of.

Any evidence that can be gathered at the scene is beneficial. Security footage, photographs, witnesses and their statements, and traffic cam tapes can all support the claim the driver needs to make with their insurance company- or their case if they take it to court.

Drivers should inform their insurance company that they have been hit by an uninsured driver as soon as possible. They should also go to the hospital even if they feel fine. The medical record can also be used as evidence.

Why Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer?

Why Hire an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer?

Any auto accident claim can be complicated, but those involving uninsured drivers are even more complex- especially if the victim's car insurance company does not want to accept the claim. Having a professional personal injury attorney who knows the ins and outs of filing a compensation claim or lawsuit can make the road ahead clearer. They can assist with overcoming the fear of driving after a car crash as well.

They can also ensure any claim or lawsuit filed has full legal backing. Lawyers strengthen the case using evidence and an intricate knowledge of Tennessee law. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on delayed chest pain after car accident.

Schuerger Schunnarah Trial Attorneys Go to War for Nash Accident Victims Facing Uninsured Drivers

Anybody who has been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver in Nashville should arrange a free consultation with the exceptional legal team at Schuerger Schunnarah Trial Attorneys. They are dedicated to winning justice for accident victims- helping them seek compensation and hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions, even in the most trying of circumstances.

Contact the team today for a free, no-obligation consultation to explore your options and prepare for the next steps.


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