Lebanon Car Accident Insurance Coverage Attorneys
What you need to know about auto insurance after a wreck in Mt. Juliet, Cookeville, and across Tennessee
When the time comes to pay the car insurance bill each month, some people may dread writing out the check and wonder why they even need it at all since they have never gotten into a car crash. Some people opt to skip paying for car insurance at all, but often those people learn the hard way that having car insurance pays off because you cannot possibly know when you are going to need it. If you cause a crash, or if you are injured in a crash caused by a driver who chose not to purchase car insurance, you can't run out and buy a new policy to cover your losses.
As Lebanon car accident lawyers, we deal with insurance companies every day. We want to share some vital information that you might not know about car insurance and how it can have an impact on your finances and your life. At Lowery, Lowery & Cherry PLLC, we are here to protect our clients’ rights when they have been injured in a car crash. We negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to make sure that you recover the compensation you need. We offer free consultations to discuss your case. Call today to schedule a case review at our Lebanon or Cookeville office.
Car insurance requirements in Tennessee
The state of Tennessee has a financial responsibility law, which requires drivers to prove their financial responsibility if they should become involved in a car crash. Purchasing a car insurance policy can ensure that you are abiding by state law. In 2017, a new law went into effect requiring that drivers be able to prove financial responsibility or face fines and possibly lose their vehicle registration.
The Tennessee Department of Revenue requires the following as minimum liability insurance for motorists:
- $25,000 for each injury or death per accident
- $50,000 for total injuries or deaths per accident
- $15,000 for property damage per accident
If you have a car loan or lease, your lender may require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage. Car insurance is required by law in Tennessee.
Why do drivers need to pay for car insurance?
Car accidents cost the U.S. economy about $230.6 billion every year, which averages out to $820 per person. Keep in mind that there are other costs included in car accidents aside from property damage. There is the time lost at work and medical expenses. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that the average cost of motor vehicle crashes included wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, property damage, and other uninsured costs for each injury and per damaged vehicle was an estimated $26,000. The price tag rises to about $90,000 per crash, and death to about $1,542,000.
Car insurance protects you from the unexpected expense of a car accident. It protects you from liability if you are at fault in an accident and someone is injured. Car insurance allows you to pay a monthly premium in exchange for coverage that protects you from having to pay out of pocket to cover the tremendous expense of property damage, medical expenses, and other losses after a crash. Knowing that you are covered against financial disaster can give you peace of mind that comes from feeling protected from unexpected disasters.
How does uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage work?
The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that the national uninsured motorist rate throughout the United States was 13% in 2015 (the most current data available), and their research showed that there is a range of uninsured motorists rates, with the lowest at 4.5% in Maine to the highest at 26.7% in Florida. Tennessee has the fifth highest rate of uninsured motorists in the country, at 20 percent.
While we just covered that car insurance is required by law in Tennessee, we also covered the fact that about 20% of the drivers with whom you share the road have chosen to flaunt the law and not purchase car insurance. Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is included by law in every Tennessee car insurance policy in amounts that match the coverage on your car liability coverage. When deciding how much coverage beyond the absolute legal minimums, you must balance your desire for a low premium with making sure that you have enough coverage if you become involved in a crash that was caused by someone with very little or no insurance coverage.
UM/UIM coverage goes into effect when:
- If you suffer injuries in a crash while you were driving your car, riding in your car as a passenger, riding in any car, or as a pedestrian
- If a relative or member of your household is injured while driving your vehicle or riding with you in your vehicle
- Any person who is riding in or driving your car with your permission
- Any other person who is a passenger in a car you are driving but you do not own
Another important reason to have sufficient uninsured motorist coverage is in case you are injured in a hit-and-run accident.
To access coverage under the UM/UIM portion of your liability policy, you must first provide proof to your insurance company that the other driver was underinsured at the time of the crash. You can obtain the proof you need by getting a letter from the other driver's insurance company. Your Lebanon car accident attorney can help facilitate the negotiation between your insurance company and that of the underinsured driver.
What is insurance subrogation?
Subrogation is a legal term which describes the legal right held by an insurance carrier to pursue a third party that caused an insurance loss to the insured.
For our purposes, we are referring to your health insurance company's right to pursue reimbursement from the insurance company for the party that caused the accident where you were injured. Immediately following the injury, you received medical care which your insurance company paid for. Later, when you settle with the at-fault driver's insurance company, you will receive a payment which includes medical expenses. Subrogation is your insurance company taking the amount that they paid the medical providers for your care out of your settlement. This process is called a "health insurance subrogation lien."
When you have hired a skilled Lebanon car accident lawyer from Lowery, Lowery & Cherry, your lawyer will review your health insurance policy documents, and they will do whatever they can within the law to reduce the reimbursement claim. Our seasoned car accident attorneys have a thorough understanding of subrogation laws and health insurance. We will do whatever we can to protect your injury settlement from your health insurance company.
Schedule a free consultation with car accident lawyers at Lowery, Lowery & Cherry for a free consultation
If you have been injured in a car accident, you will probably have many questions. At Lowery, Lowery & Cherry, we are here to protect and represent the rights of our clients who have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. We serve clients in Lebanon, Cookeville, Mt. Juliet, Nashville, and throughout Tennessee. You are welcome to call 615-454-9404 or contact our attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation today.