Most drivers expect to file an insurance claim after a crash. The person who causes your collision should be the one ultimately responsible to pay for the cost to repair your vehicle, hospital bills and any income you lose because of injuries.
However, despite Tennessee law clearly stating that every driver must have a liability insurance policy, there are still many people without adequate insurance. If you get into a crash caused by an uninsured driver, you may have a hard time recovering the costs from the collision.
Tennessee has a huge number of uninsured drivers
Despite mandating insurance coverage and the risk of financial liability if someone causes a crash without insurance, a large number of people in Tennessee don’t keep the policies on their vehicles active.
Tennessee is one of the worst states in the country for uninsured drivers. According to information from 2019, the most recent year with data available, Tennessee ranks third in the nation for the overall percentage of uninsured drivers on the road. A staggering 23.7% of Tennessee drivers are without the mandated insurance coverage needed to legally drive at any given time.
If you get into a crash caused by one of these drivers, you won’t be able to make a standard liability insurance claim for your losses against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
You can pay for coverage to protect yourself
While you cannot make a claim against a policy that a driver has allowed to lapse, you can purchase additional coverage on your own insurance policy. Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection doesn’t cost much compared with liability coverage, but it could be a major form of support if you get into a wreck.
This coverage allows you to make a claim for anything the other driver’s policy should have covered against your own insurance policy. Of course, the problem with making a claim against your own coverage is that it will likely affect what you pay for your policy later, even though you weren’t at fault for the crash.
Drivers may also have the right to file a civil lawsuit against an uninsured driver who is at fault for a collision. If they broke traffic laws or were negligent at the wheel, you may be able to seek compensation through a civil lawsuit. Recognizing the risk of a car crash caused by an uninsured driver can help you better protect yourself on the Tennessee roads.