WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT WITH AN UNINSURED DRIVER?
Any car accident can be frightening and stressful. If you have been in an accident with an uninsured driver, you might also feel frustrated. According to the Insurance Information Institute, these drivers are not uncommon. In fact, the Institute reports that in 2012, roughly one in eight drivers did not have car insurance.
In Tennessee, the problem appears more severe. According to a recent report from WBBJTV, approximately one in four drivers in the state is uninsured. This has prompted a new law that requires drivers to show proof of insurance when pulled over or they will be subject to a fine.
Tennessee is considered a "fault" state, which means that the person who causes an accident will be held legally and financially liable for the damages. In a typical car crash, you have several options, including filing a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. Clearly, if the driver does not have insurance, this is not a possibility.
Another option is to file a claim with your own provider. In Tennessee, you are required to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage equal to the limits for property damage and bodily injury. This helps to ensure that you are protected if you get into an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. Make sure you let your insurance company know when you file the claim that the other party does not have coverage.
In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Keep in mind that if someone lacks insurance, he or she may not have much money to pay for a lawsuit. However, it is possible that if the driver has any assets, you may be able to file a lien against the property.
While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.