Tennessee is a fault state for car accident claims, which means that when two drivers are involved in a collision, the driver seeking damages must seek them from the negligent driver’s automobile insurance provider, rather than his or her own provider. This generally keeps insurance rates lower for all drivers.
But what if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have automobile insurance? You might find yourself worrying about how you will seek compensation for your damages and frightened that you will have to pay them out of your own pocket.
Do not panic. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you have a few options for seeking compensation.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of your automobile insurance policy, you can file a claim with this area of your coverage to cover your damages. In Tennessee, all
insured drivers must have this type of coverage unless they specifically reject it in writing. This can be used if the negligent driver in your accident does not have car insurance or if his or her insurance is not adequate to cover the cost of your damages. This is often the best option for an injured driver when the negligent party does not have adequate insurance coverage because it guarantees that the injured party’s damages are covered.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Driver
Another option when the negligent driver does not have insurance is to file a lawsuit against him or her for the amount of money you need to cover your damages. This is only advisable if the negligent driver has enough money to cover your losses – otherwise, even if your lawsuit is successful, you cannot receive the money you need. This can also be a riskier choice than going through your own insurance because it involves building a case and arguing it in court. However, it can lead to a larger settlement than you would receive through your insurance provider under certain circumstances.
Talk to your Attorney
Discuss both of the options above with your Memphis Attorney to determine which is right for you. There are many variables at play in any car accident case, such as your own level of fault and the extent of your damages. In many cases, the right way to handle a collision with an uninsured driver is not clear. Let your attorney examine the facts of your case to help you make the right decision.