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What happens after getting in a wreck with an uninsured motorist?

What does Tennessee have in common with other states when it comes to car insurance? For starters, our state shares a high rate of uninsured drivers, which can lead to major problems in the event of a car accident. Victims who are involved in a car wreck with an uninsured motorist can suffer major physical and financial harm - you could be "on the hook" for your own medical costs and vehicle replacement if you get in a crash with this type of driver.

What do those costs look like? For a basic idea, consider the fact that even the shortest hospital stay often reaches into the tens of thousands of dollars. Expenses for ambulance rides, lost wages, rehabilitative care, and other medical costs can quickly skyrocket, and $10,000 is unlikely to go very far. You may have your own health insurance, but that coverage does not provide you with wages that you are missing because of the effects of the crash. Further, you are still responsible for copays, deductibles and other expenses.

What about suing the responsible party? This is always an option, but there is a start reality to consider: A driver who is unable to afford car insurance likely does not have the assets to pay for your medical costs. Suing the driver can be a viable option, but that is relatively rare.

So, what can I do? Some Tennessee residents have found the answer in purchasing uninsured driver insurance. This uninsured motorist coverage is activated both when an at-fault driver lacks insurance and when an at-fault driver flees the scene of the crash. Drivers can then seek financial compensation from the insurance company instead of the at-fault driver. This carries its own risks, but it may make more sense than the alternative. All drivers who have been involved in an injurious crash deserve financial compensation, and a qualified attorney may be able to help.

Source: NerdWallet, "Don’t Hit the Brakes on Uninsured Motorist Coverage," Scott W. Johnson, Feb. 21, 2017

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