THE SHORTCOMINGS OF UNINSURED MOTORIST INSURANCE
Motorists in Tennessee are required to carry liability automobile insurance. However, as the Insurance Information Institute notes, in 2012, 12.6 drivers across the country still lacked insurance. This can be problematic when these uninsured drivers are involved in a car accident.
Because Tennessee is a “fault” state, the driver who caused the accident is financially responsible for the damages. When that driver lacks insurance, the injured party can file a claim with his or her own insurance company in order to recover damages through the uninsured motorist liability.
By law, every motorist in Tennessee must carry uninsured motorist coverage in the same amount as the bodily injury and property damage limits. Bare minimum auto insurance coverage in Tennessee includes the following:
- $25,000 for a bodily injury
- $50,000 for bodily injury when two or more people have been hurt
- $15,000 for property damage
Therefore, a driver who carries these minimums will have the same limits applied to uninsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately, if a driver is involved in an incident where the total damages exceed the policyholder’s coverage, the insurance company will not cover the excess costs. Further, insurance companies often try to shortchange people on the amount they are owed. Lastly, an insurance claim will not compensate a victim for the pain and suffering he or she endured.
In those situations, the injured party may have to pay out of pocket for the expenses. Fortunately, Tennessee does permit victims to file a lawsuit against the negligent party for damages incurred. Under the law, anyone planning on filing a personal injury claim has one year from the date of the incident to do so. These suits can cover items such as medical bills, emotional distress and missed wages.