I was in a wreck with a tractor trailer several weeks ago. The truck driver’s insurance company called me and asked me some questions. I then asked him how much insurance his driver had, but he refused to tell me. He said that in Tennessee I could not find out how much insurance the other driver had, even if I filed a lawsuit. Is that true?
Yes. Tennessee is the only state in the nation that does not require an insurance company to disclose the amount of liability insurance in place for an accident. This is a result of a powerful lobbying effort in the Legislature, led by Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.
Sometimes an insurance company will voluntarily disclose the amount of coverage it has. However, in the ordinary situation, the only way you can discover how much insurance the other driver has is to win a lawsuit and start the process to collect the money you are due.
In trucking cases, federal law requires a minimum amount of insurance coverage and there is a website from which one can get some indication of the amount of liability insurance available. An experienced trucking accident lawyer can help you gather this information.
Let me add one thing. The amount of insurance does not influence the value of your case. In other words, the value of your case depends on the nature and extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, and many other factors. (Read more on the damages recoverable in personal injury cases in Tennessee here.) The amount of liability insurance is not a factor and in fact the jury is never about the existence, much less the amount, of insurance. The amount of insurance only determines the likelihood of being able to recover the full amount of the damages you sustained. If there is an insufficient amount of insurance available, you will be forced to try to collect the excess from the driver and the trucking company.