Monday, November 11, 2013

DRUNK DRIVERS

DRUNK DRIVERS CAUSE HOLIDAY TRAGEDIES

In Tennessee, all drivers are required to have automobile insurance and are not supposed to drink and drive. Some violate both laws. Especially around the holidays.

If you are injured by a drunk driver, you may be able to receive money damages for medical bills, lost wages, lost enjoyment of life, or punitive damages, even if he is is uninsured.  But, it is important to understand what happens after you are hit by a drunk driver so that you can make sure you get what you deserve.

In Tennessee, an automobile insurance policy must meet certain requirements. It must cover only $25,000 for one injury or death. Also, it must cover $50,000 for all injuries or deaths from one accident. And, it must cover $15,000 for property damage for one accident. It is important to note that these are the requirements for the minimum coverage required. Some drivers may have automobile insurance policies with higher coverage, but we can all agree $25,000 may not cover just the medical bills.

Your own automobile insurance policy often has “UM” coverage for those that have little or no coverage. UM acts like the drunk driver’s coverage in all ways, even though it’s your insurance company. That’s where your medical bills and pain and suffering are paid through. Do not be afraid to make that claim. Also, try to carry at least $100,000 in UM.

If you have been hit by a drunk driver, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to document any injuries you have sustained and minimize your injuries. The automobile insurance companies will look at this information when determining how much money they should give you for your injuries.  Delaying treatment can hurt your case and diminish your credibility. 

Always put your own insurance company on notice of any accident, and check your UM policy to see if you are underinsured yourself.

Drive safely this holiday season.