If you are involved in a Tennessee hit and run accident you may still be able to recover damages for the injuries you sustained in the accident. How? Your uninsured motorist insurance coverage on your vehicle protects you from hit and run drivers.
To prove an uninsured motorist claim in a hit and run case, you have to prove that t(a) here was actual physical contact between your vehicle and the hit and run driver; (b) the driver that hit you was negligent; (c) you reported the accident to a law enforcement agency within a reasonable period of time; (d) you were not negligent in failing to learn the identity of the hit and run driver or the owner of that driver’s vehicle; and (e) the nature and extent of your injuries caused in the accident.
Different rules apply if the there was no physical contact between your vehicle and the other vehicle that you say caused the accident.
In this type of case, your insurance company will be adverse to your personal interests. Why? Because you will be asking them to pay you damages because of the negligence of another driver. You paid for this type of insurance coverage, and you have a right to collect it if you can prove the case as set forth above, but of course the insurance company will not be eager to pay the claim. They will hire a lawyer to defend their interests, and it is recommended that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you in your negotiations with the company. In fact, we recommend that you hire a lawyer promptly after the accident and before you give a statement about the accident to your own insurance company.
The amount of recovery that you will be able to make will depend on the nature and extent of your injuries and the amount of uninsured motorist insurance coverage that you purchased. In Tennessee the minimum amount of uninsured motorist insurance coverage the is available for purchase to protect any one person is $25,000. Unfortunately, some people signed a document which waives uninsured motorist and thus they have no insurance coverage whatsoever for hit and run accidents.
Finally, remember that the fact that at-fault driver fled the scene of an accident does not mean that he or she cannot be identified. There may be an eyewitness to the wreck or surveillance cameras belonging to a local business may have captured important evidence concerning the accident. This is yet another reason to promptly get the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer – the lawyer can help investigate the incident before the evidence is lost.
John Day represents personal injury victims and families of wrongful death victims in all types of cases, including hit and run claims and other claims involving uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage. He is board-certified as a civil trial specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and, in fact, served as President of the organization. He is an elected member of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. His book, "Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law," is used by judges and lawyers across Tennessee to further their understanding of personal injury and wrongful death law in Tennessee. In 2009, Best Lawyers named John "Best Personal Injury Lawyer" for Nashville; he was the first recipient of that award. Best Lawyers also named John as "Best Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Nashville" for 2010. John does not charge for an initial consultation and accepts personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingent fee basis. You can reach him by telephone at 615.742.4880 or by email by clicking here.