Professional Counsel in Sevierville after an Accident Involving Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
Pursuing all remedies for Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge car crash victims
Tennessee requires that all have car owners have liability insurance for accidents, which covers medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if the insurance owner caused the accident. Because many automobile owners do not obey the law or do not carry enough insurance, Tennessee also requires that car owners have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage unless they specifically choose to waive such coverage. Drivers and passengers who are involved in an accident can collect liability and fault damages from their own uninsured/underinsured insurance carriers if the at-fault party does not have the right coverage.
The Sevierville uninsured and underinsured attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC understands the liability and insurance laws in Tennessee. For more than 20 years, our firm has been helping accident victims in areas like Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Seymour, prove someone other than the victim caused the accident. We work to get the maximum damages allowed by law, including bringing claims against responsible parties who do have insurance and demanding payment from the UM/UIM insurance carrier when the person who caused the accident did not have any or enough insurance protection.
What is the difference between uninsured and underinsured insurance?
A driver who is uninsured is simply never took the time to get insurance before operating a vehicle, or has let his or her insurance policy lapse. If you get into an accident with someone without insurance, then you have to rely on your own insurance coverage for compensation.
Many drivers may have some insurance but not enough to pay for the damages. This type of driver is underinsured. For example, if you suffer a catastrophic injury in a car accident, then you may be entitled to damages of $500,000. If the other driver only has $25,000 in insurance coverage, then you are out the difference of $475,000. If you have underinsured coverage, then you will be able to recoup the amount you are owed up to the policy limits or $475,000, whichever is less.
We understand how confusing and complicated this area of the law is. You can trust our experienced Sevierville UM/UIM auto insurance lawyers to get the right insurance proceeds from the right companies, once fault is established.
Insurance requirements in Tennessee
Tennessee car owners must have fault insurance. If they drive or let someone else operate their car without insurance, they can be arrested and lose their license. Owners must also carry UM and UIM insurance in the same amount as their fault insurance, unless they waive UM/UIM insurance in writing.
The minimum amounts needed for auto insurance accidents in Tennessee are:
- Injury or death to one person in one accident: $25,000
- Injury or death to multiple people in one accident: $25,000
- Property damage for one accident: $15,000
The shorthand abbreviation for this amount of coverage is “25/25/15.” Our attorneys recommend that car owners carry the maximum amount of liability and UM/UIM insurance they can afford because many negligent drivers do not have any or enough insurance. You would be surprised at how relatively inexpensive adding additional coverage can be, and it will pay off in the long run should you ever have to invoke your coverage.
Uninsured and underinsured coverage can be very tricky. Some of the issues our Sevierville UM/UIM insurance attorneys review with clients are:
- Who can bring a claim for UM/UIM insurance? If you have UM/UIM insurance on your vehicle, then:
- You can normally bring a claim if you were the driver or passenger in your car.
- You can normally file a claim if you were the driver or passenger in any other vehicle.
- You can bring a claim if you were injured as a pedestrian.
- A relative who lives with you can also bring a claim if they were injured as a driver or passenger in your car.
- A driver or passenger in your car can bring a claim if they were in the car with your consent so long as it is covered under the policy.
- What happens if you were injured by a hit and run driver? This area is also complicated. Claiming UM/UIM damages may depend on whether the car you were in was actually struck by the hit-and-run driver or if the hit-and-run driver can be identified.
- What happens if you get medical payment from your own car policy, health policy, or a workers’ compensation policy? Our Sevierville UM/UIM insurance lawyers explain which policy pays the medical bills.
Contact Sevierville UM/UIM insurance coverage attorneys today
Time is of the essence. Tennessee has a short statute of limitations for bringing accident claims—much less than most other states. The Sevierville uninsured and underinsured attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC understand who can file claims, who is responsible, and which insurance policy should pay your damages. Please call 865-280-3686 or complete our contact form to schedule a no-obligation consultation. We serve clients in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Seymour, and surrounding areas in Tennessee.